Saturday 21 February 2015

A chocolate feast!

Last Friday morning I had my usual physiotherapy appointment in Descartes. While waiting for the kiné to appear, I thumbed through the ghastly celeb magazines to find a "star" I'd actually heard of who might be capable of stringing a sentence together. Instead, I turned up a trio of recipes in a magazine I no longer recall the name of. I photographed them with my mobile phone. At the bottom of one page it says "Retrouvez nos recettes sur" but there is no sign of any of them at that address. Apparently there is a fourth one. It must remain in lost El Dorado forever. What they do have there looks good, I must say. That link is well worth following up.

The original recipe
Yesterday I tried "Tartes choco/gingembre" (chocolate and ginger tart) on friends and family. This turned out to be a rich, sophisticated dessert that's as easy as... er...pie. It's a deep, dark chocolate ganache in a crisp sweet pastry shell, garnished with preserved ginger, "confit de gingembre". The buckwheat flour gives the shell a crunch that contrasts welI with the smooth ganache. I substituted home-made confit de clémentines, which gave a fresh lift to the richness of the chocolate.

This recipe serves six, if making tartlets, and at eight in a round tin. The amount of pastry is probably about right for six square tartlets, but I only had a round 21 cm tin and there was twice as much as needed (surface to volume ratio, you know). I found that loose-based tart tins were not a great success. A solid tin or tins is preferable. There is no need to line or grease the tin.


For the pastry :
150g wheat flour
75g buckwheat flour
25g ground almond powder
70g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg
For the ganache filling :
300g good quality dark chocolate, the best you can find. I used 72% cocoa solids
30cl liquid cream (30%fat)
To decorate :
30g crystallised ginger
or 2 confit clementines

Prepare the pastry :
Sift the wheat flour and the icing sugar. Place all the dry ingredients for the pastry in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Mix until well blended. Add the butter and the egg. Mix until the pastry forms an irregular ball. Mould it into a ball shape with your hands. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge for an hour. Do not leave it in the fridge (as I did, for four hours) because it goes rock-hard - if you need to leave the pastry for more than an hour, move it to a cool place. If making one large tart, cut the pastry ball in half and freeze one half for next time.
Make the pastry shell :
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Pick it up holding the paper only - warning, fingers go through the pastry! Garnish 6 tartlet moulds or one 20cm square mould or one 25cm round mould with the pastry.  Prick the pastry with a fork, cover it with a circle of greaseproof paper wider than the base and weigh it down with baking beans. Blind bake it for 15 minutes, taking out the weights and the greaseproof for the last five minutes to let the bottom of the pastry brown. Leave the pastry shells to cool.
Prepare the ganache :
Cut the chocolate into small pieces (you can use a hand grinder for this) and put it in a heat-proof basin. Bring the cream to the boil and tip it boiling over the chocolate. Leave it untouched for five minutes for the chocolate to melt. Stir well with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.
Fill and decorate the tarts :
Pour the ganache while still hot into the bottom of the cooled pastry shells. Leave to rest at room temperature and, just before serving, garnish with slices of the preserved ginger / clementines.
Save some for next time!

Astuces: Leave the ganache to cool at room temperature rather than in the fridge. It will then stay glossy and won't go hard.

Don't try adding alcohol or anything fancy, it isn't needed. I put walnuts on but they weren't needed either. The pastry should be sweet: the ganache should not.


GaynorB said...

I can vouch that this tart is absolutely delicious. It is such a rich dessert that the confit clementines and walnuts add something different. I shall definitely be trying this myself.
Thank you, Pauline.

Susan said...

hehe :-) I'm confit'ing orange peel at the moment. This will be an ideal base for them in a couple of months time when they are fully cured.

Jean said...

Nick was very complimentary about your chocolate tart - and now I have the recipe!
It looks delicious - ginger, chocolate and orange - a divine combination of flavours.

Tim said...

Gaynor... 'twas good, 'twas... 'twasn't it...
but we've only one bit left...
for pudding tonight?

Susan... 'tis excellent scran! But just how sick were your oranges??

Jean... if you hurry, you might get a taste...