January 29th, 2012

Chocolate ganache tart with cream cheese pastry and raspberries

This was a new recipe for me, but using techniques that I’d tried before. I made it for a dinner party at a friend’s place.

The pastry is actually an adaptation of a cookie dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It is a cream cheese dough, with extra richness from egg and orange zest. It is easy to work with and lovely and crumbly.

It’s quite easy to make too (although a little messy).

I made 1 quantity of dough from the Smitten Kitchen recipe, and it actually made enough for 2 tarts. This was fine, as cooked pastry freezes well: I just ended up making 2 pastry cases.

Once the dough had rested in the fridge for an hour, I rolled it out, and then placed it in a 22cm removable-bottom tart dish.

And blind baked the case: 15 minutes at 200ºC with the weights (I use chickpeas) in, 10 minutes with them out (to cook the inside). My favourite baking cookbook, Baking by James Peterson, actually recommends using dried beans or peas instead of aluminium baking weights (he says that the weights are too heavy and form indentations in the dough). Who am I to argue? And it’s cheap this way too!

The chocolate ganache filling is extremely easy. Chopped, high quality dark chocolate (I used Callebaut) and cream (I used 40% fat) in equal proportions. For a tart this size you need about 200g chocolate and 200ml of cream. Bring the cream to the boil, and pour over the chocolate to melt it, and then whip together.

Pour the hot ganache into the cooked pastry shell. I found it hard to get the top of the tart completely flat — It does tend to settle as it cools, but it to get it completely smooth you would probably have to use a blowtorch to melt the top once it had set. The ganache will set pretty solidly, but will still be a little soft at room temperature, so keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

The tart is great on its own, and the cream cheese pastry with orange adds and interesting touch, but it really needs some acidity to offset the richness: raspberries are perfect for this, and they look pretty too. We served them alongside, but you just as easily lay them in the tart when the ganache is still a little soft.

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