The inspiration for this week’s post came when I received a mini cookbook in the mail from the team at Carême.
The cookbook included a recipe for a decadent dark chocolate tart – a chocolate pastry shell filled with ganache and garnished with drunken muscatels.
One of my favourite desserts ever is Black Forest Gateaux and it got me wondering whether I could combine the rich flavours of chocolate, cherry and cream in a tart.
This led to the creation of this Black Forest tart – a chocolate pastry base filled with crème pâtissière and topped with tinned sour cherries (of which I’m a huge fan!).
To make the chocolate pastry, I used Michel Roux’s recipe for pâte sucrée and substituted a quarter of the flour for good quality unsweetened cocoa.
The rolling, resting and baking was exactly the same with this rich, dark dough but I have to say that I did have a bit of a problem realising when the pastry was ready to take out of the oven.
When cooking other tart doughs, it’s easy to tell when they are done by the golden colour and the way the base looks like it’s dried out a bit.
But this time, I couldn’t rely as much on my eyes so will admit I allowed mine to overcook a bit because I didn’t want to risk a soggy base.
The good news is that the flavour was there so the recipe wasn’t the problem – I just need to rely on touch as well as appearance in the future.
To correct my errors, I made some pastry tartlets using leftover chocolate and pâte sucrée doughs and thankfully these worked out much better. Practice makes perfect!
I will write a post soon that sums up all of the mistakes I’ve made while learning, and how to make sure they don’t happen again!