Somehow along the way I've discovered my love and passion for baking, and as an amateur baker I used to bake occasionally for the fun of it. But it was towards the end of my accounting and finance undergraduate degree when I started to seriously consider a career as a pastry chef instead of crunching numbers at a desk. This fall, I started the Patisserie Diploma intensive course at the Le Cordon Bleu to master pastry techniques, and to learn the art of chocolate and sugar. Time flies by really quickly when I have a busy school schedule (I started in September and I'm almost half way through the second term :O) and there isn't time or energy left in me to formulate, test recipes and update the site as frequently as I would have liked.
I wasn't intending to make a tart but there was an empty tart case just sitting at home waiting to be filled (I made it in school as part of a skills test). So I settled on something easy to make - chocolate ganache. This particular tart is something for the adults, slightly bitter and alcoholic, and it wouldn't suit everyone's taste. That's why I've included a few variations on the ganache (no sugar added/ no alcohol).
Dark Chocolate Baileys Tart
(makes 1 tart in a 16cm tart ring)
Pâte Sucrée (Sweet Pastry Dough)
125g - Butter
50g - Caster sugar
1/2 Lemon zest
5g - Vanilla extract
50g - Egg
2g - Salt
200g - Plain flour
~ In a bowl, cream butter and sugar with a whisk till pale and fluffy (or with a paddle attachment in the stand mixer).
~ Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
~ Add in the egg and mix well.
~ Sieve the flour and salt. Add to the mixture and combine with a dough scrapper (or on low speed on the mixer) until it forms a ball.
~ Knead the dough by hand a few times before flattening the dough into a disc (if not using mixer).
~ Cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use.
Blind Baking A Tart
~ Preheat the oven to 180°C.
~ Remove from the fridge and knead the dough slightly to make it more pliable. Lightly dust the table with flour and roll out 2/3 of the dough out to a thickness of 3mm.
~ Place the tart ring on a paper lined tray and line the ring with the dough. (Tip: to transfer the dough from the table to the ring, roll it up around the rolling pin. This prevents the dough from tearing)
~ Dock the tart by pricking the base all over with a fork. Refrigerate again for at least 30 minutes.
~ Trim off the excess dough with a knife or by rolling a rolling pin over the top of the ring. Place two layers of cling film over the tart and fill it with baking beans.
~ Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and return the tart to the oven for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
*Freeze leftover tart dough for future use.
Tips to prevent the dough from shrinking in the oven:
1. Do not overwork the dough
2. Line the ring properly by making sure the dough is gently pushed into the bottom corners. This will also give you nice straight edges and sides.
3. Generously dock the base of the tart before baking.
4. Bake the tart with baking beans
Dark Chocolate Baileys Ganache Filling
100g - Good quality 72% dark chocolate
50g - Caster Sugar
80g - Whipping cream
80ml - Baileys
~ Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces in a metal bowl.
~ Bring the cream and sugar to a boil and ensure that the sugar is dissolved.
~ Take it off the heat and add the Baileys. Pour the cream and Baileys over the chocolate. Let it stand for a minute to allow the chocolate to melt.
~ Using a spatula, stir the mixture starting from the center till completely combined and smooth.
No added sugar: Take out the caster sugar and ue (70g dark chocolate + 30g milk chocolate) in place of the 100g of dark chocolate
No alcohol: Replace the Baileys with cream.
~ When both the tart case and ganache are cool, pour the ganache into the tart case. Allow to set overnight at room temperature or in the fridge for an hour.
~ Lightly dust the top with cocoa powder before serving at room temperature.