I think little introduction is needed for a dark chocolate and orange combination. There’s just something about the two that brings out the goodness in each other. The delicate orange flavour against the dark and rich dark chocolate is a sheer delight to all senses.
I made a dark chocolate orange tart awhile back. It was extremely delicious and it was quickly devoured the moment I brought it out – with people returning for seconds.
I used a chocolate shortcrust pastry for the tart base. While a pâte sucrée would work as well, I think a double chocolate combination would make the tart doubly good. Does anyone disagree?
The best way to infuse the chocolate with orange flavour is to use its zest. The orange oils from the zest is strong enough to perfume the ganache when the zest is infused in the cream.
I don’t believe that zest should be grated into cream/ganache. While I would readily do that for a citrus cake, there are places where grated zest should not go. Mousses, creams, and ganaches are a few places that I can think of that grated zest has no place in. I find it puzzling when people grate a whole orange into a chocolate ganache. Maybe I’m being particularly precise here; I strongly feel that while you would want the flavour of the zest, you wouldn’t want to comprise on its smooth, velvety mouth-feel.
Lastly, I know some people love a milk chocolate and orange combination. My personal preference swings in favour of the dark variety. Nonetheless, you can most definitely make this tart with either variety of chocolate. Either way, you would end up with a really delicious tart.
Recipe:Dark Chocolate Orange tart
Makes a 9 inch fluted tart with a few extra small individual tarts
Chocolate shortcrust pastry
Adapted from Le Cordon Bleu recipe
This is a very basic recipe for a chocolate short pastry. It uses icing sugar which makes the dough a little softer and harder to handle but it will reward you with a extremely crumbly tart.
140g Plain flour, sifted
25g Dutch-processed cocoa power, sifted
60g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), sifted
pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter, cubed
30g egg yolks, room temperature
1 tbsp whole milk (add more if needed)
Method: (I use the Rub-in method)
1. Place sifted dry ingredients into a bowl and use a whisk to ensure it’s uniform.
2. Using your fingers, rub in the chopped butter into the dry ingredients until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture.
3. Add in egg yolk and milk and incorporate into mixture. The pastry dough should come together into a ball. Do not overwork the mixture. If the dough still feels slightly dry, you can add in a little more milk.
4. Flatten the dough into a disc and cling wrap it. Put it in the refrigerator to chill and rest for at least 1/2 hour.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until 3mm thick on a floured baking parchment so that it doesn’t stick. Transfer the rolled out pastry dough into your fluted tart tin gently and push the dough against the sides of the tin. The dough is quite soft so do work fast especially if you are doing this in a warm environment.
6. Chill the tart in the refrigerator until firm for about 15 – 20 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line the unbaked tart with baking parchment and fill it with uncooked rice, beans or baking weights. Blind-bake the tart until it is dry for about 20 -25 minutes.
Dark chocolate orange ganache
375ml double cream
orange zest from about 1.5 oranges
1 tbsp glucose (optional)
1.5 tbsp Grand Marnier (or use any other orange liqueur)
375g dark chocolate, chopped ( I use Valrhona 55%)
candied citrus peel for garnish (optional)
1. Remove the peel from the orange in thick strips. Use a paring knife to remove the pith (white parts) from the peel, leaving the zest.
2. Place the cream into a pot and heat it until about 50 degrees celcius. Place the orange zest in and allow it to infuse for about 30 -45 minutes. This can be done ahead of time.
3. Place the pot back on the stove and add in the glucose before bringing the cream to a boil.
4. Add in Grand Marnier liqueur then pour the cream (straining the orange zest) over the chopped chocolate. Stir with a spatula until well-incorporated.
5. Fill tart shells and refrigerate until set.
6. Top your dark chocolate orange tarts with candied citrus peel before serving.