Apr 1, 2011

Weekend Recipe -- Tarte au Chocolat et à la Crème de Marron

⤿ I bought a rectangular tart pie on Wednesday and wanted to use it. All week, I tried to come up with a recipe to use it. I considered making a savory tart, but I realized I didn't have enough ingredients for a vegetable tart (no tomatoes, or zucchinis, or even arugula). I had bought chestnut spread (crème de marron) and had plenty of dark chocolate in the fridge, so I tried to find a recipe using both, and ended up finding inspiration but no recipe I had time to make. I decided to make a two layer tart, with chestnut spread on the bottom and a chocolate and crème fraîche mix on top. I used my mother's crust recipe, but added some ground pecans to the dough to give it a more flaky texture and a better flavor. 

⤿ I braced for a complete disaster because baking is more of a science than an art and you can't just make it up as you go along, but I guess having read so many recipes in my life that I sort of knew what I was doing. Maybe the temperature was off, I probably could have cooked the chocolate and crème fraîche spread differently, but all in all, it turned out to be a pretty tasty tart.  

✻ Chocolate and chestnut spread tart ✻


- 20 or so pecans
- 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
- 1 stick (125g) unsalted butter, 
cut up and at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 7 fl ounces heavy cream, crème fraîche or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 ounces (200g) dark baking chocolate
- one small can chestnut spread
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    ⤿ Roast pecans in the oven for about 5 minutes. Let cool. 
    ⤿ Grind the pecans in a food processor and put them in a small bowl. 
    ⤿ In the processor, mix together the flour, butter, egg, water and ground pecans. 
    ⤿ Flour some cling wrap and place the ball of dough on top of it. Set aside but do not chill in the fridge. 
    ⤿ Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175° Celsius).
    ⤿ Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. 
    ⤿ Grease and flour a pan and put the dough in the pan*. 
    ⤿ Spread a layer of crème de marron directly onto the crust. 
    ⤿ In a medium sized pan, cook the cream on medium heat until it starts to boil. Add cinnamon. 
    ⤿ Set aside and add the chocolate and vanilla. 
    ⤿ Mix until fully combined. Set aside for a few minutes. 
    ⤿ Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan on top of the chestnut spread. 
    ⤿ Bake for 35-45 minutes. 
    ⤿ Chill until settled, or approximately two hours. 


    * I used a large rectangular one and had plenty of dough left over. You could make individual tarts too. I only had one small square pan, but if I had had a few more, I probably would have made a bunch of tartlets instead. 

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