Tuesday 24 October 2017

Chocolate and orange tart

90 minutes to prepare Serves 12

The elephant's after


"When you become a father, you can tell even from the first second that this will be a definitive after, the only thing in your life there’s no turning back from.

Not even if you wanted to, not even if you tried your hardest—no matter what you do with your future, that after will never change. In return, it will change you. It’s already changing you; it already has, in a way you don’t know how to articulate but feel in your arms and your legs — a metamorphosis.
I move like an elephant when I used to move like a gazelle. But the point is that the gazelle wakes up in the morning because it knows the lion is there. And the lion wakes up every morning because it knows the gazelle is there.
But an elephant couldn’t care less. He doesn’t run and doesn’t hunt. He wakes up after sleeping for a couple hours and does what he needs to do, knowing that it’s precisely his being an elephant that keeps it all together. He wakes up when he needs to and moves slowly, even in a china shop. But when he moves, it’s neither for a lion nor a gazelle.
He moves because his life began when he became an elephant. It began after. And that after, the elephant’s after, is the only after in the world that is also a before. It’s the ultimate before, the before everything, the beginning and the ending at the same time. It’s actually the only experience that cancels out every before and after and transforms everything into a while. An elephant lives only in the present and knows that his present has a certain weight; he feels it in his arms and legs. In his back. Therein lies his strength. All the strength he needs. The kind gazelles wish they had and lions can only dream of.." *

Today, it is Nina's first birthday.
Even if I do not like epic celebrations and I am pretty discreet about my private life, I feel like sharing this event with you with a dedicated, sweet post.
I created a tart - a chocolate and orange custard tart - inspired by the raspberry-based Knam's creation (you find it here).
Made with a cocoa crust, filled with a custard of orange and almonds, and topped with a silky smooth dark chocolate ganache, this dark chocolate tart is like no other pie you have seen or tasted before. The preparation is time-consuming, but the result is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! You can actually taste the almonds, the sweet juicy oranges, and the rich cacao in the dark chocolate. The texture is creamy and the aroma is great, thanks to the almonds...while the orange custard gives a moist and decadent flavour.
I am sure you guys are going to love this recipe and for sure it will please your guests. Enjoy and please leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

Here are ingredients for a 12-serving recipe (24-cm diameter baking pan):


For the pastry

200 g flour 00
100 g sugar
100 g butter
40 g cocoa powder
1 egg
1/2 sachet vanilla baking powder

For the orange custard

2 egg yolks
250 g  cow milk 
1/2 orange, both juice and zest
45 g sugar
20 g potato starch

For the orange and almonds filling

orange custard
40 g  powdered sugar
15 g butter
15 g almond flour
30 g potato starch
1/2 beaten egg

For the chocolate stuffing

2 egg yolks
1 egg
20 g honey
90 g  butter 
100 g sugar
35 g potato starch
45 g flour 00
25 g cocoa powder

For the dark chocolate ganache

220 g fresh milk cream
300 g chopped dark chocolate

  1. Start preparing the pastry: cut the butter into cubes and place it in a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and knead it quickly
  2. Stir in the egg, then mix again. Finally add flour, cocoa powder and vanilla baking powder, all sifted. Knead it again
  3. Form a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour
  4. When we are close to the the 1-hour resting time of the pastry, preheat oven to 170°C
  5. Move on to the orange custard preparation: pour the milk into a saucepan with the orange zest and bring to a boil
  6. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks with sugar until stiff for about 15 minutes
  7. Incorporate sifted potato starch to the mixture. Whisk well
  8. Pour everything into the saucepan with the hot milk. Let the custard to thicken over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. When the custard is almost ready, remove the orange zest, and pour the orange juice in
  9. Pour the custard into a bowl and sprinkle with granulated sugar to prevent skin from forming over the surface
  10. To prepare the orange and almonds filling, mix the almond flour, the flour 00, the starch and the powdered sugar in a saucepan. Then add the butter, the egg mixture, and the orange custard. Cook the mixture, while stirring gently, until a temperature of 85° is reached. Let it cool down
  11. Finally, prepare the chocolate stuffing mixture: whisk butter with sugar. Then, add honey, egg yolks and the egg. Beat until stiff for about 10 minutes. Finally, add flour, starch, cocoa, and a pinch of salt and whisk well
  12. Grease and dust the baking pan with cocoa powder, then cover bottom and sides with the pastry cut into a flattened disc-shape, about 5 mm thick
  13. Pour the orange and almonds custard into the pastry pan and level well
  14. Upon the custard, pour the chocolate mixture layer with a sac à poche
  15. Bake the cake at 170° for 50 minutes. (Do not open the oven for at least the first half of the baking time and perform the toothpick test at the end, to be sure baking is done). Then, let it cool down
  16. Start preparing the chocolate ganache: pour the milk cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the cream — it's not necessary to boil it. It just needs to get hot: the cream is ready when you can place a finger in the cream and keep it there for 3 to 4 seconds. Turn off the flame and remove the cream from the stove
  17. Scoop the chopped dark chocolate into the cream. Stir gently to distribute the chocolate through the cream and let it sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate time to soften and melt
  18. When the dark chocolate ganache is ready, pour it over the chocolate layer and level it. Place the tin in the fridge to rest for at least 3 hours

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

* Excerpt from Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast by Matteo Bussola

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