Tarte Chocolat

As a result of having made too much pastry for the Tarte Frais Mascarpone and also having been on babysitting duty for my wonderfully chocoholic niece, I decided to make the most of the leftover ingredients and try out another recipe from my favourite – the Ladurée cookbook.

Luckily, having already made the pastry – this tarte was incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat! Using the same recipe for the Sweet Almond Pastry, all I needed to make was the filling, which was made up of a chocolate ganache and a flourless chocolate “sponge”.

For the “sponge”:

  • Preheat the oven to 170 °C
  • Melt 45g of semi-sweet chocolate (60-70% cacao solids) in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
  • Separate the egg yolk from the egg white of three eggs.
  • In a large bowl (I was lazy and simply used a stand mixer), mix the egg yolks with about three tbsp of caster sugar – beat until frothy and thickened
  • In a clean, dry bowl (again, because of laziness I simply washed & cleaned the stand mixer bowl) whip the egg whites until they begin to foam. Once frothy, add 2tbsp caster sugar, beating constantly until it’s formed stiff peaks.
  • Pour 1/4 of whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the melted chocolate until mostly combined. Finally add the remaining whipped egg whites and gently fold together.
  • Line a baking sheet with baking paper and transfer chocolate mixture to a piping bag.
  • Snip off the end and pipe a circular disk of batter in a spiral (starting from the centre and moving outwards), make sure it’s about 2cm smaller than that of the pastry shell
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 15 mins, the sponge should be slightly on the drier side
  • Remove from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack.

For the chocolate ganache:

  • Make sure 100g of butter is at room temperature, cut it into small pieces
  • Place 300g semi-sweet chocolate (60-70% cacao solids) in a bowl (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, however if you have blocks then carefully using a knife, finely chop the chocolate into smaller pieces)
  • Bring 300ml whipping cream to the boil. Pour half over the chocolate and using a stand mixer, whisk in a circular motion to gradually emulsify the mixture
  • Add the remaining cream and whisk until fully combined
  • Add the cut butter pieces to the ganache and use a spatula to stir until smooth.
  • Now you must assemble the tarte immediately

Tarte assembly:

  • Pour a thin layer of the ganache into the tart shell
  • Place the disk of chocolate “sponge” on top and press down very lightly
  • Fill to the very top with the remaining ganache.
  • Allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 mins to set
  • Decorate the top of the tarte with chocolate shavings. I used a milk chocolate bar to offset the bitterness of the semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Scrape the side of the chocolate bar with the back of the knife and scatter shavings over the tarte.
  • Refrigerate to allow tarte to fully set.

If this doesn’t epitomize “Indulgence”, I don’t know what does

Although it looks incredibly rich, the chocolate ganache isn’t too sickly sweet as it uses semi-sweet chocolate and the “sponge” provides a lightness that (unfortunately) tricks you into being able to eat a couple more slices than you normally would! Thank goodness for resolution #4!

Above all else, the main person that needed to give this dessert her seal of approval was my gorgeous little chocolate-monster of a niece and when she saw that I had made her her own individual mini-tarte she went bananas for it. Who said you can’t buy a child’s love?!

Happy cooking and happy eating everyone!

xoxo   V.

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