Monday, 16 December 2013

Love of cheese, actually

One of the films I never seem to tire of is Love Actually. I watch it about once a week,  especially in the run-up to Christmas - stubbornly hoping that one day my hapless journey on this planet just might warrant its own, Richard Curtis-like happy end. 

And my movie nights are not complete without cheese doodles dipped in chocolate. This is a combination that cheese-loving Tzatziki Champion can't get her head around. And so, in the words of one of the great thinkers of our time: challenge accepted! I set out to create something a bit more elegant out of these ingredients; something a bit more food blog-worthy.

And thus the idea of a chocolate ganache tart with cheese doodle crust was born. As I was toying with the idea, my colleagues who usually get the questionable honour of testing my creations did not share my enthusiasm. Repulsion, yes. But hey, that only means one thing: more for me!

Just in case I decided to make a smaller one. Which provided a great excuse (as if my kitchen equipment arms race really needed one) to hit the baking section at my favourite shop again in the quest for a smaller, loose-bottom fluted tin. As a result this recipe is for a 20-cm tin.

In order to play up the wonderful combination of salty and sweet I added pretzel crumbs into the filling as well. They also add a lovely crunch. Since I had accidentally (don't drink and shop!) bought gluten-free pretzels, this tart is (albeit unintentionally) also suitable for celiacs.

If you want, you can make the ganache the traditional way only using dark chocolate. Based on tip I once picked up from Barefoot Contessa's Ina Garten I added a shot of espresso into the chocolate mix as it lends chocolate treats wonderful depth.


6 dl cheese doodle crumbs (about half of a 275 gr bag)
150 gr butter or margarine

Crush the cheese doodles either in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in a blender. Melt butter and let it cool slightly before adding into the crumbs. You want the consistency of wet sand that sticks together. Press on the bottom and the sides of the tin and bake at 175° for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Chocolate ganache:

200 g dark chocolate
100 g milk chocolate
1 tbsp espresso
1,5 dl heavy cream

Roughly chop the chocolate into a bowl. Bring cream to boil and pour into the chocolate along with espresso. Stir until you have a smooth, shiny mixture. Pour half of it into the chilled pastry shell, top with crumbled pretzels and pour rest of the chocolate on top.

Let set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before serving.

A slice of this tart is a perfect way to celebrate the blog's 11 month- anniversary. Thank you all for being part of this journey. Don't forget you find us on Facebook too, where you'll be treated to behind the scene snapshots along with those not-too-stellar moments in the life of a food blogger...!




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