It was Greek Easter last week and what better way to finish the feast than with a rick chocolatey tart to cap of a day full of eating where it is inevitable that you will feel stuffed to the brim by nightfall.
I love chocolate, but it has to be rich, dark and good quality. The darker for this particular recipe, the better, as the bitterness of the chocolate will be offset by the candied orange. Therefore I would say minimum 70%.
I did make this the previous week with a friend for his easter celebrations, but as I was fasting I was unable to even try the ganache, but I was told it was smooth, dark and delicious......and as I said in my brownies post, it is times like this which are the biggest tease for my fast, but I did not give in.
I prepared the tart base the night before and assembled it the morning of the feast. It was amazingly easy and looks so much harder than it actually is, which is always a bonus!!! I do warn youm it is soo hard not to roast a few extra almonds, nibble on some candied orange, or leave a few spoonfuls of ganache to nibble on while you are doing it, and once you assemble it you have to wait for it to set over a couple of hours so it cannot even be enjoyed straight away BUT it is sooo worth it as it is amazingly decadent and I enjoyed every single bite.
It is best served at room temperature so the intensity of the ganache can really shine.
So what was the feedback from my family? Well most enjoyed it, a few thought it was too bitter and Mum thought the pastry shouldn't also be chocolate, and maybe a hazelnut meal would work better to add another dimension on it. Well I was lucky that there were a few slices left I shared them with friends at work who I think enjoyed it a bit more than the family (but that could be due to our incredible fullness already by dessert on Easter Sunday).
The tart is rick, it is dark and it is addictive, but that is why I love it and want to play with the recipe a bit more and maybe go for some different combinations........any requests??? I'm thinking maybe going in a totally different direction and somehow incorporating salt, but if I tried to do this, the ganache would have to be much sweeter.....
Dark Chocolate Ganache, Roast Almond, Candied Orange Tart
125g unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsps cocoa
1 1/4 cups plain flour
Candied Orange peel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups almonds, roasted then chopped
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pure cream
300g dark chocolate, at least 70%, but better if it was higher in cocoa
1/4 cup Galliano
1) Beat together the butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt until well combined then add cocoa.
2)Add flour and mix until it forms clumps which are still quite moist (don't be afraid if you think it is too moist as it will harden in the fridge). Roll the dough into a ball and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1hr.
For candied orange:
1) Skin the oranges with a knife and cut into very thin strips then place into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then cook for another minute and drain.
2) Rinse the saucepan and add the sugar, 1/2 cup of water and peel. Cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and then simmer until the sugar starts to caramelize and the peel is soft.
3) Transfer onto baking paper until you require them. They can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container.
Prepare the dough:
1) I would then take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out. Then put it over the base of the tart tin and press into walls so evenly distributed.
2) Pierce the dough all over with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
4) Bake dough for about 15 minutes until the edges are slightly dry and the bottom is bubbly.
5) Cool completely.
Prepare the ganache:
1) Put cream into a saucepan, bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
2) Add chocolate in small pieces to cream and pix until it melts and the mixture is smooth and silky.
3) Add the Galliano and stir well.
Assemble the tart:
1) Roast the almonds in a grill or oven until golden brown. Then once cooled crush with a mortar and pestle in large chunks.
2) Toss almonds with sugar and cinnamon.
3) Line the base of the tart with the candied orange, then sprinkle the almond mixture over the top.
4) Pour the ganache and cover the almonds well (but save some for garnish).
5) Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
6) Once ready to serve take it out of the fridge and garnish with extra peel and nuts.
7) Cut the tart then let it stand for at least half an hour so it softens slightly as the chocolate flavour intensifies if you do this.