Have you ever read a recipe that says, a pinch of this and a large spoonful of that? That is how old recipes used to be before everyone had a scale and cups, ounces, and the metric system even existed. It's a lot easier now days. In culinary school, after measuring salt, sugar and flour over and over, I got pretty good as guessing how much I needed. That is how older recipes worked, the person who wrote the recipe knew from repeated making of the recipe how much worked each time. However there are times I still find myself in a "pinch" wanting to make a dessert but not having access to proper measuring equipment. Believe it or not, not every kitchen in France is as well equipped for pastry making as mine is. And while I can pretty much eyeball a teaspoon of salt without an actual teaspoon still, other measures are not as easy for me now.
I spent a nice rainy weekend in Le Touquet over Bastille day weekend. We had hoped for sun and beach time, since the city is known as Paris-Plage (Paris beach). Instead much time was spent indoors wrapped in sweaters and reading books on a unusually cold weekend in July. On our last day there I wanted to make a nice dessert for our hosts. After surveying the kitchen I realized I didn't have much to work with. Crumbles tend to be my fall back dessert in these situations. Good fruit or berries, and equal parts of butter, sugar and flour and you can't go wrong. However Romain's Grandmother really loves chocolate and I really wanted to make something fancier then a crumble. Chocolate Ganache Tart to the rescue!
Its really simple to make. You just need a medium bodied ganache: equal parts chocolate to equal parts heavy cream. Heat the milk and mix with the chocolate till smooth. Then you pour that into a tart shell while still liquid and then put it in the refrigerator till it becomes firm. That was the easy part, the challenge was to try to make a pastry crust. My pate sucree recipe is fairly easy, but I didn't have time to bake a crust and cool it, so I opted to make something like a graham cracker crust with LU biscuits. It turned out quite nice, and once the chocolate set, I topped it with fresh berries. Oh course after 6 of us has almost eaten the entire tart, I thought about how pretty it was and that I SHOULD have taken a photo. That just meant I was going to have to make it again......
This time I skipped the LU biscuits and made my pate sucree recipe since I had a scale to weigh all the ingredients. This lovely tart may be appearing in the pastry case of a Cafe in the 9th arrondissement very soon.
Simple to make....
Fancy enough to impress!