Friday, 7 February 2014

Chocolate and orange - BFF

On a tram the other day I happened to overhear a conversation between 2 girls of about 10. The other one was telling the other one how Sheila was her best friend. The other girl exclaimed Sheila was her best friend too, which was met with serious disdain: " but you can't! she's my BFF! And anyway, don't you remember how only last week Annie was your best friend? And in any case, Sheila had told Milly that she doesn't want to be BFFs with someone who already has someone else as her best friend! There!"

This eavesdropping old lady found the conversation somewhat deflating. Ouch. World is a ruthless place for a 10-year-old. Though it doesn't seem to be a terribly gracious place for a 30-something over-educated underachiever trying to find a job either. Sometimes it feels the world hasn't moved on one bit and the Universe, the coolest girl in the school yard is ganging up with the rest making the whole world not want to play with me.

Luckily now, 20+ years down the line it's socially acceptable to have several best friends standing in your corner, rooting for you when the going gets tough. And then there's chocolate, which is always there to comfort you - even during those bleak moments when getting out of bed and cleaning up oneself to a socially acceptable appearance seems like too much work. 

And chocolate is a great companion in that it's happily best friends with so many things. It's great with port wine, salty liquorice, coconut and nuts. But the 10-year-old within still secretly feels there's one BFF head above the rest: orange.

Now there's a combination I never tire of. And neither did my colleagues who once more were recruited as the test audience for this orange and chocolate ganache tart.

The shell is made with the trusty recipe that was used for egg custard tart too. Like with orange curd tart, I grated in the zest of 1 orange and instead of cold water used orange juice.

The recipe for chocolate ganache you'll find from the post about chocolate ganache tart with pretzels and Cheetos crust which combined salty and sweet in the most deliciously deranged way. This time, instead of coffee I added a splash of Cointreau to add more orangey oomph.

Since ganache filling itself doesn't require any cooking, the pastry needs to be blind baked. 

Make the dough according to the recipe and let rest in the fridge for half an hour. Roll into a sheet or press into the bottom and sides of a loose-bottom tart tin. Place a large sheet of foil on top of it and fill the case with those ceramic baking beans or-what-ever-they're-called or bulghur that you just didn't seem to get excited about enough to ever actually get through the box of. Or you can use rice. Or uncooked beans. Bake at 175° for about 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Let cool.

Melt the chocolates and cream in Bain Marie. Add about 1,5 tbsp of Cointreau. Mix until smooth and shiny. Pour into the cooled pastry case and let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Even until the following day.

I fancied a change, so I used the rectangular tin which measures 13 cm x 36 cm and hasn't been getting a whole lot of action lately (which reminds - I really should make more of that salmon and spinach tart!) . In case you're using a round one with diameter of about 28 cm, it's best to make 1,5-times batch of ganache.

Since this doesn't need proofing, you can use a gluten-free flour or substitute the flour with almond flour to make this suitable for celiacs as well.




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