Remember last week, how I did a whole post on candied peel?
Well, it was all for this: a chocolate and Cointreau ganache tart.
Yep, a whole post devoted to prepping garnish as it paraded as candy.
It was bad and lazy of me, I know. But I was also totally swamped with school work and more school work, and got really busy playing Peggle when I should have been doing school work.
Not to say that candied peel isn’t delicious candy and isn’t totally worth making just to eat and enjoy — just that I never meant for it to stand on its own. That peel I made was destined for greater things.
Greater things, like, sitting on top of a layer of rich, bittersweet chocolate and cream and liqueur in an almond shortbread crust.
I wish my destiny was that great. School and work (or idly waiting around for work to call) have made me into The Most Boring Person in The World. I wish they would give out an award for that.
But that’s okay — my life might be boring, but at least it’s infused with dessert and booze and love.
Kinda funny how I often confuse the three.
Chocolate & Cointreau Ganache Tart with
Almond Shortbread Crust
*adapted from Martha Stewart Recipes online
- 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cubed and cold
- zest of 1 large orange
- 14 oz / 400 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 & 1/4 cups whip cream, unwhipped
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Mariner
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
First, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Crush the sliced almonds into very fine pieces. Sift the almonds in a bowl with the white sugar, flour, and orange zest.
Drop the cold cubes of butter in the bowl and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the flour mixture.
Once the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and no large bits of butter remain, pour the mixture into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Use your fingers to gently spread and press the crumbs into an even layer that covers the bottom and the sides of the pan. Use the bottom and sides of a measuring cup to help shape the crust if needed.
Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Do not over bake!
Take the crust out of the oven even if it looks a little pale and allow it to cool completely.
Once the crust is cool, chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring the whip cream to a vigorous simmer, but do not let the cream to boil over.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour the cream through a mesh strainer (this will remove any gunky bits) and over the chopped chocolate.
Allow to sit for 1 minute before whisking the mixture. As you whisk, add the extracts and Cointreau.
Once the chocolate ganache starts to look smooth and glossy, switch to stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. Stir gently to an even consistency, then pour the ganache into the shortbread shell.
If you want to garnish your ganache, wait about 10 minutes before doing so. This way toppings won’t sink into the chocolate, but then they won’t simply slide off later either.
Place the ganache tart into the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. Remove the tart from the tart pan just before serving.
You’d think that for a dessert so rich and luxurious, a chocolate ganache tart would be hard to make, but it really isn’t at all. I’ve definitely messed up white chocolate ganache before, but the high cocoa content in bittersweet chocolate is far more forgiving.
If chocolate and orange isn’t your thing, then you could always add a different fruit, coffee, or cream liqueur instead.
How about a mocha tart garnished with espresso beans? Yum!