Sometimes, magic just happens in the kitchen. Which is what I found out when putting these three ingredients together in a dark chocolate tart:
The first time that I made this orange, pomegranate, and almond awesomeness, I actually made little tartelettes for Valentine's Day. The recipe was sort of a complete amalgamation of whatever I had lying about the kitchen, which was, luckily, awesome winter pomegranate and citrus. I knew I wanted to make some sort of chocolate tart, and I literally grabbed the first ingredients that I saw and folded them in. Serendipity is such a wonderful thing sometimes.
Once I had finished the tartelettes, I took a few as a trial run up to my weekly class in Berkeley. I watched silently in the middle of class as people slowly snuck bites out of their tartelettes, and their faces started lighting up. Ah! I just live for those moments.
Anyways, after all of my tartelettes had been devoured over Valentine's Day weekend, I knew that I had to revisit the recipe and make one large tart for personal consumption. The super-flaky pastry crust here is infused with blood orange zest and almond extract, making for one extremely flavor-packed tart crust. The dark bitterness of the chocolate ganache filling is balanced out by a hint of sweet pomegranate liquor. Put this all together, and you end up with a richly smooth and decadent chocolate tart that stores a burst of orangey and almondy goodness.
And, to demonstrate the magic of these tarts-- my Berkeley professor, who had completely lost her voice from a sore throat, ate one of these tartelettes and magically gained her voice back immediately thereafter! Okay, sure, this might have been due to the amount of tea she was guzzling during class, but I like to think that these tarts had something to do with it. :-)
Read on for the recipe...
Orange/Pomegranate/Almond Dark Chocolate Tart
makes 1 large 9" tart
(if making tartelettes, double the pastry crust recipe.)
for pastry crust:
1 3/4 cups AP flour (~6 oz/260 grams)
7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1-2 Tbspn freshly grated orange zest (I used one blood orange)
1 Tbspn almond extract
1-2 Tbspn water
1. Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse just until a dough begins to form.
2. Remove the pastry dough from the food processor, form it into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
4. Roll out the pastry crust. Prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork. Then, line the pastry with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights (or dry beans, which is what I use). If making tartelettes, just prick the bottom of the pastry without weighing them down.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pastry looks golden.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool.
for chocolate ganache filling:
12 oz. bittersweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped
10 oz. heavy cream
2 Tbspn butter
2 Tbspn Pama pomegranate liquor
1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside.
2. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream and butter. Heat on medium high, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly until it reaches a gentle simmer. Remove from heat.
3. Pour the hot cream onto the prepared chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and evenly distributed. Stir in the pomegranate liquor.
5. Pour into the prepared tart crust. Let set until completely cool, about 1-2 hours. If adding toppings, like fresh pomegranate seeds or almond slices, add these right when the ganache begins to set, about 10-15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.