Oh the excitement! February the 14th is drawing ever nearer!
Can you feel it? All that love in the air! The romance? – No, neither can I!
I’ve never been a massive Valentine’s day fan. It’s just a way for card companies, chocolatiers and florists to make money! right?!
I think (as most girls do – however unconventional they are) that it would be nice if that special someone made some kind of gesture on St Valentines’s day [even if we do say we're not into it].
Yes, I think we are probably testing you!
I don’t expect diamonds (though I would never decline!) but maybe cook us a nice meal? Take us out, plan a random surprise, it doesn’t have to cost much, or anything at all. Just… make us feel like you haven’t completely forgotten about us.
Asking to be acknowledged romantically is not very lady-like!
Oh, and a set of gym weights is NOT an acceptable Valentine’s day gift!
I honestly never meant for this post to turn into a rant so I shall move on!
I had been meaning to make Mo a chocolate tart for quite some time.
It was after seeing some in the window of La Maison du Chocolat in Paris, about a year and a half ago (just a day before he proposed to me). See! Keeping it all romantic and stuff!
I’m pretty sure the tarts we saw in the window were baked chocolate tarts having referred to the photo above, I see that the ones from La Maison du Chocolat, are indeed ganache tarts, which involve very careful baking in the oven makes this whole process so much easier for me to pull off!
My reason for choosing a ganache tart is not out of laziness. In fact, I plan to one day find/discover/invent a recipe for paleo/primal baked chocolate tart. For the purpose of keeping the number of ingredients to a minimum and to avoid adding sweeter, I decided to make Mo a primal friendly dark chocolate ganache tart!
For Christmas, Mo’s mom made some primal pumpkin pie (we had a Thanksgiving meal for Christmas). The recipe she used was from Mark’s Daily Apple. In the post Mark mentions that the crust can be used for any number of pies and tarts, and so I was very keen to attempt to make his walnut pie crust, as a tart shell, and make some primal appropriate chocolate ganache to fill it!
The crust is simple to make, as is the ganache. So I really had no excuse to hold out on Mo any longer!
Primal Chocolate Ganache Tart
Makes: 6 x 10cm tartlets Time: 30-40mins
30g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
300g Dark Chocolate (I used 72%)
165ml Double Cream
- Pre-heat oven to 175C or 350F
- Place walnuts into a food processor, and pulse until nuts are ground.
- add baking soda, salt and cubed butter (Mark suggests melting the butter, but the pastry chef in me was keen on using cold butter) pulse once again until the mixuture is fully combined, and begins to clump together.
- divide the mixture between 6 10cm (4 inch) tartlet tins and press into the sides and bottom until even and well packed in
- bake these for 15-20 mins until evenly browned.
- once the crusts have cooled, make your ganache.
- chop the chocolate finely, and gently par-melt in the microwave at 50%.
- gently warm up your cream in a pan, and once the chocolate is melted and the cream is warm, (but not boiling!) Pour cream over chocolate, and gently stir until you have a nice glossy ganache.
- pour the ganache into the tart shells and let them set in the fridge.
- when ready to serve, VERY gently remove from the tartlet tins, and serve with some whipped cream and a complementary fruit (the tartness – pun intended! – of the fruit will be a welcome contrast to the rich chocolate).
WARNING: These tartlets are INCREDIBLY rich! Don’t be surprised if you can only manage a few mouthfuls!
They are rich, and they are not exactly sweet. So not for the faint hearted, but great for the dark/bitter chocolate lovers out there!
You could maybe use a slightly less intense chocolate for the ganache, but bear in mind, the higher cocoa content your chocolate has, the better it is for you! Also, chocolates from different origins will have different flavour notes, so use a chocolate you enjoy eating!
I found the walnut crust to be pleasing, particuarly with the added salt! Mmmm salted chocolate! But walnuts tend to be a little on the bitter side, so next time, I’ll probably try using pecans (possibly a walnut/pecan mix) or maybe hazelnuts (Mmm nutella style!) in a bid to reduce the bitterness.
I reckon these are the prefect valentines dessert to share with a loved one, and I’m serious when I say share! good luck attempting one of these alone, in one sitting! (I do NOT condone, suggest OR recommend this!)