Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Valentine's Day!
I do hope everyone had a pleasant day. I spent part of my Valentine's day with my family rummaging around Sur la Table gathering up goodies, free from any tongue clucking from my husband over my desire to acquire yet another cake stand. Eight cake stands isn't too many, right? They're all different! Certainly eight similar cake stands would be absurd, but eight different ones, well that is completely reasonable.
Just nod your heads in agreement. Thanks.
So then we came home, I basked briefly in the glow of my new toys and started baking.
Naturally, I made something that didn't require a cake stand.
Since it is Valentine's day, I decided to make a chocolate tart. Rich and bitter with dark chocolate, drizzled with a little tart red raspberry. Appropriate, wouldn't you agree?
Not So Humble Bittersweet Chocolate Tart
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1/2 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
pinch kosher salt
In your food processor, blend the butter and dry ingredients together until it resembles a fine meal. Add the egg and pulse until the mixture comes together. Press into a 14 x 4.5 x 1 inch tart pan and place in the freezer for a minimum of two hours.
Preheat your oven to 350°F
Place a piece of parchment into the frozen tart and add plenty of pie weights (or dried beans). Bake for 8 minutes and remove the weights. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until the bottom of the tart is dry and has lightened in color.
Allow the tart to cool on a wire rack and begin work on the ganache filling.
(Feel free to flavor the ganache. You can add just about anything: almond or peanut butters, fruit purees, spices, or liqueurs. Basically anything you can dream up. If you add a 1/4 cup of puree or liqueur (etc), reduce the cream by an equal amount and add it to the finished ganache.)
11 oz good quality dark chocolate (54% cacao) finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside.
Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat and pour it over the chocolate. Allow to stand for one minute and then mix until smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a second bowl.
(Now would be the time to add flavorings to the ganache, if using).
Pour the ganache into the tart and allow to chill for at least four hours.
Optional Raspberry Sauce:
6 oz fresh raspberries
Purée raspberries in the blender and then strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Thin the purée with simple syrup to achieve the desired sweetness.
Before serving, drizzle the sauce over the tart and slice into one inch bars.