Two things I was looking forward to when Papa and I were heading to Europe was eating their food and drinking their wine. We certainly succeeded at doing both.
In Paris I learnt that a double coffee with crème is not a double shot of coffee but two coffees served out of a soup bowl.
I also learnt that a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast will come with a fried egg, salad and french fries. Deep fried chips first thing was a little too much to stomach.
One thing the French is definitely good at is making pastries and cakes. They have a love of chocolate and are masters of the patisserie. The pie I attempted below in my Thermomix is a famous dish among the French. It has a hazelnut pastry covered with rich chocolate that melts in your mouth.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present:
Tarte au Chocolat (chocolate pie).
You will need:
For the dough.
80g butter cut into pieces
For the topping.
200g dark chocolate (50% cocoa) cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
Now what you do is:
- Place hazelnuts into mixing bowl & pulverise 10 sec/speed 9
- Add butter, sugar, egg and flour, knead 30 sec/speed 5. Form dough into a ball, place into a bowl, cover and allow dough to rest in the fridge for 30 mins. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Roll out dough into a circle approx 26 cm round, place into buttered, floured tartlet form dish. Prick dough with a fork, cover with baking paper, scatter dried chick peas (or similar) over baking paper and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove baking paper and dried chick peas from the pre-baked pastry turn oven temp down to 120 degrees Celsius.
For the topping:
- Place chocolate into mixing bowl, grate 6 sec/speed 8.
- Add cream, melt 6 min/90 degrees/speed 2.
- Add egg yolks and sugar, mix 1 min/speed 3. Pour filling over pre-baked pastry. Bake at 120 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow to cool before serving.
According to the book I knicked the recipe from, the pie tastes even better one day later. I can tell you that it also tastes mighty good the day it’s made.
What I learnt… The pastry could of been cooked just a tad longer to firm it up a little bit more on the base.
I was also curious as to why I had to cover the pastry with the baking paper and dried chick peas, so I asked my good friend at Sugar Snout what it was all about. What I was told is that it is a process called blind baking. To prevent the pastry becoming soggy, it needs to be partially cooked before adding moist fillings. The dried chick peas stops the pastry from rising during cooking. So there you go.
Until next time…