Simple Chocolate Tart à la Timotarou

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Tart shell, cream, sugar, salt, chocolate and butter at the ready.

I took a second crack at Jamie Oliver's Simple Chocolate Tart and pulled through with a bit more success. The first time I tried this recipe, I made a complete mess with everything. This time I gave my mise en place a bit more love and avoided such disasters. I also swapped out the one pound of "best-quality bittersweet chocolate" for a pound of old truffles because that's what was in my pantry. Here's how I did it.

Molten chocolate in cream, also known as 'ganache.'

Bring one and one-third cups of heavy cream, two tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt to a boil. Keep an eye on it while you're waiting, because as soon as it begins boiling, that cream is going to foam up and go right over the edge and everywhere else (lesson learned from last time). As the soon as the cream comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add half a cup of softened butter and a pound of chocolate. Stir this until everything has melted completely. If you didn't break the chocolate up into small enough pieces, you might need to return the pot to low heat to get all the lumps out.

Here in Oliver's recipe, he directs you to let the mixture cool a little and stir in a half cup of cold milk "until smooth and shiny." Since I used truffles instead of chocolate, I skipped this step, and the ganache seems to have turned out pretty much as it should have.

Cooling on a level surface.

Dump the warm ganache into a cooked and cooled pastry shell. This recipe should fill an 11 x 1.125 inch (27.9 x 2.9 cm) shell perfectly. If you have any extra ganache left over, scrape that into a bowl and stick it into the fridge. It will harden to the consistency butter and you can just eat with a spoon.

The first time I did this, I put the pastry shell on a plate. Well, most plates aren't actually flat, but dip down in the middle. If your plate also dips toward the middle, so will your tart after you pour a pound-plus of chocolate onto it (second lesson learned from last time). This time I left the tart on a nice, flat cookie sheet.

Simple chocolate tart with café au lait.

Let the tart cool for an hour or two and finally dust with some unsweetened cocoa powder. You can serve it as is, but I find that it's a little too soft that way, so I like to chill it in the fridge.

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1 Comment

And when do I get a piece? I'm thinking this would make a wonderful birthday dessert...hmm whose birthday is coming up??? David - Jan 30, Miki - Feb 12...better get busy!

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