for those who burn to learn

23

Nov 2015

Bittersweet Chocolate Chocolate Tart

Posted by / in Holidays, Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

In 1968 I flew all alone to Paris. To this day, I don’t know how my favorite Aunt who had recently married a French man named Alain Darmon, convinced my overprotective parents to allow me, an eleven-year-old with extremely limited life experience, to board a jet, let alone travel overseas, but miraculously, my Aunt prevailed. I had sundaes before, but never accented with crisp meringues. I knew what French fries were, but had no idea that they tasted even better when you dipped them into a sauce made of mussel juice, garlic and butter. And who, I wanted to know, was the genius who decided to marry buttery crisp bread with chocolate logs? I confess, that although I now spend much of my time cooking delicious rustic Italian food, my palate was first awakened by French chefs and Paris holds a special place in my heart. I stole the filling for this bittersweet chocolate tart recipe from the famed French chef Joel Robuchon and the crust from acclaimed French born chef Alain Ducasse. The technique of rolling out the chocolate crust before it is cold is not difficult to do if you sandwich the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and then freeze the dough for ten minutes before trying to release it into your tart pan with the removable bottom. Since you must blind bake this pie, I like to do this the day before Thanksgiving. The filling is a cinch to make and since the pie should be eaten warm or at room temperature, you can make the filling quickly and then bake it off just before your guests arrive. You should use a chocolate that is between 65-70% cocoa and my favorite chocolate to use for this recipe is Valrhona. I also use a serrated bread knife to shave the chocolate before I toss it in the warm milk/cream mixture. What an amazing, decadent little tart this is. After your guests bite into it, they will probably murmur: “Vive la France!” which is an especially moving sentence to say out loud this Thanksgiving.

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    04

    May 2015

    Chocolate Dream Pie

    Posted by / in Into the Fire Blog, Recipes, WCSH6 /

    FEATURED ON WCSH 6 MORNING REPORT

    I adore chocolate cream pie, but it’s difficult to buy a really great one since the cost of chocolate is very expensive and many people skimp on the quality to bring the price down. I, of course, do not do believe in skimping. And I don’t feel guilty at all about this since I only make this pie on rare occasions (such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day). My mother and my Valentine both deserve the very best so I buy the best chocolate by the block (either Valrohna or Callebaut) and the best dutch process cocoa powder I can find. (Pernigotti makes a lovely one.)

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