The macaron-phobe has finally become a macaron-pro. I know, modesty isn’t one of my strongest suits, but hey, this is a moment I’m really proud of. The amazing thing with confidence is that it allows you to experiment, break a few rules. And I want to share the fruits of my success with you.
Tag Archives: ganache
This is the first time in six months I’ve taken such a long break from my blog. Blogging rule #1 says never to ignore your ardent followers for too long. I have been absent for a few days, I know and I have a genuine explanation. I was fever bound and stepping into the kitchen was not an option. Continue reading
This is probably the longest break I’ve had from baking in the last three months and I missed it. I’ve been traveling. Enjoyed the Bangalore chill – ambling under the trees, several cups of filter coffee and I certainly wouldn’t leave the city without having kaarabath and vadais from Veena Stores. I also brought back home some obbats, congress and kodubales among other things. These are protocols you indulge in when you go to a city like Bangalore and there are no two ways about it.
And then I stopped over at my Madras for little over a day. Of all the years I spent growing up there, I would’ve gone to Saravana Bhavan thrice. I never understood the stereotypical tourists who would insist on eating there. But when you’ve been away from home for long, you find yourself happy in committing such stereotypes. I plead guilty – I did have the gargantuan ghee roast at Saravana Bhavan and felt more at home than ever.
Now I am back to square one with my little oven, whisk and a new apron, which I shamelessly took from my mom in law. A tart cannot get more chocolatey than this and that’s why I call it an all chocolate tart. Chocolate ganache in chocolate tart shells. They look like little chocolate ponds don’t they?
For the chocolate dough
- 160 g (1 1/4 cups) all purpose flour
- 32 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 32 g (1/4 cup) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg, yolk only
- 1 tbsp ice cold water
For the ganache filling
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 150 g dark chocolate, chopped
Makes 12 3-inch tarts
- For the chocolate dough, in a large bowl, mix together the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Add the butter cubes gradually and knead using your hands gently until you get crummy texture. Make a well in the center. Add the egg yolk and ice water. Using your index finger, mix the yolk with water. Now slowly start bringing in the flour mixture towards the yolk and combine gradually. Work the dough using the heal of your palm. Once your done combining the dough, pat it into a rough rectangle and wrap it with a cling film. Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pan of simmering water, place a bowl with the chopped chocolate and butter. Let it melt. Stir it occasionally. Remember, the base of the bowl should not touch the water. Once melted, mix well and allow it to cool.
- After the dough has been chilled, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. To avoid the dough sticking to the work surface, I place it between to sheets of parchment paper. Always roll out the dough from the center to get an even surface.
- Once the dough has been rolled out, using a 6-inch round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. You might have to use the scraps and roll out the dough again to cut out rounds. Gently place each round on the fluted tart tins. Fit them into the tart, pressing the sides towards the ridges of the tin, without breaking them apart. Once all the tart shells are done, place them in the refrigerator for 30 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- After 30 minutes, take the tarts from the fridge. Prick their bases using a fork. This is done to prevent the base from rising. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tart tins over the baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the tarts to cool off. Spoon the ganache into the tarts. Chill them for about 3-4 hours before serving.
Chocolate can change lives. Period. Like the lines go in the film Chocolat – ‘so small, so plain, so innocent…I thought just one little taste, it can’t do any harm..and it melts…it melts ever so slowly on your tongue….and tortures you with pleasure…’ In the film, it changed the psyche of a resolute village, freeing them from their repressive tendencies. In real life, it has it’s way of getting to people’s head and making them happier, for those few moments at least.
From licking the cocoa batter to watching it cascade down the glass bowl and tasting a slice of that dark, bittersweet pyramid, a good chocolate cake makes life worth living. Everybody loves chocolate cake, and with this recipe, everybody can make a heavenly chocolate cake. It just goes by a simple dry ingredients + wet ingredients theory and since there is no butter involved, the cake keeps for longer. As for the topping, it’s a ganache, the easiest thing to make. Ganache is nothing but a concoction of chocolate and cream.
For the cake
- 225 g plain flour, sifted
- 85 g unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 350 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125 ml vegetable oil (canola, sunflower)
- 250 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 250 ml boiling water
For the ganache topping
- 200 g dark chocolate, chopped (more than 70% cocoa solids)
- 200 ml fresh cream
- 200 g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to 180 C and line 2, 8 inch round cake tins with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift in the flour and cocoa. Add the salt, paprika, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
- Now, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the oil and beat further. Finally add the milk and vanilla essence and mix well.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold thoroughly, scrapping the bottom of the bowl. Meanwhile, boil 250 ml of water in a saucepan and pour it into the cake batter. You will have a rather runny batter; don’t be alarmed, it’s meant to be like that.
- Bake for 35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for half an hour.
- For the ganache, bain-marie (double boil) the chopped chocolate and cream together. Heat a pan of water in a sauce pan and place a bowl on it. The bowl shouldn’t touch the water. Add the chopped chocolate and cream. Just let it sit until the chocolate melts into the cream. Remove from heat and let it cool. Refrigerate it for a couple of hours.
- After the cakes have been cooled, place the first cake on a plate, top side facing down. Take a dollop of the chilled ganache and spread on the cake and the sides, using an offset spatula. Place the second cake on top and repeat the same process until the entire cake is covered in ganache. Sprinkle the toasted, flaked almonds on top and stick it on the sides.
Adapted from Rachel Manley’s Easy Chocolate cake, BBC.