Yesterday was Pi Day: March 14, or 3.14 – get it? Hehe! I didn’t make a pie to celebrate, but how about posting the story of a tarte noire that I had made?
A little while ago, I found out that one of my labmates was getting married in two days (she hadn’t told us earlier for several reasons). So what do you do when you’re a baker and you found out a colleague is getting *married*? As in, what can you make that will wow the bride-to-be (and colleagues), but won’t take all night to do because you got home at 8:00 p.m. the evening before and have to be at work early the next morning?
The girl loves chocolate and things that are simple yet classy, so I decided to make my own version of tarte noire, or chocolate ganache tart. Things always sound so much fancier in French, don’t they? As usual I “cheated” by making a hazelnut / graham cracker crust instead of using sweet tart dough. When it’s getting late and you only have the exact amount of good-quality chocolate, you don’t want to muck up a buttery crust with a semi-fried brain, particularly if you’ve never made one before (one, as in the crust). Unless you own a food processor. Or are more daring than I was feeling that evening.
– 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
– 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (for that extra bit of fancy)
– 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
– 10 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped*
– 1/2 stick (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into four pieces, at room temperature
*Since this tart’s main ingredient is the chocolate, how well it turns out in the end really depends on how good your chocolate is.
To make the crust: stir together the graham cracker crumbs, ground hazelnuts, melted butter, and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl, and then press onto the bottom of a springform or tart pan, or even a pie plate. Bake the crust for about 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350F oven, or until golden brown, and let it cool while you prepare the ganache.
To make the ganache: place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan, and then pour half of it over the finely chopped chocolate,and let it sit for 30 seconds. Then, very gently whisk (or stir with a silicone spatula) the chocolate and cream mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Holly wrote in the original post to start stirring gently in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl, and work your way out in concentric circles. Pour in the remainder of the cream and gradually blend it into the chocolate. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter one piece at a time.
At this point, don’t stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients, because the less you fuss with it, the darker, smoother and shinier it will be (which is exactly how we want the ganache).
Pour the ganache into the cooled crust, and gently tilt the pan from side to side to even the ganache.
Refrigerate the tart for 30 minutes to set the ganache (I let it set overnight for bringing it to work the next day). The tart is best enjoyed when served at room temperature.
Supposed to make 8 servings, but I mean, if you were to eat half a tart in one sitting, how many servings would that be?
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So here’s to 3.1415926535…