I learned how to make ganache early last year. It was a relatively simple thing, this glorious amalgam of dark chocolate and fresh cream, but the rewards were great. I’ve used it for truffles, used it as cake frosting, fudge sauce over ice cream when fresh off the hob, even fondue.
French silk pie, on the other hand, is something I’ve been making for over a decade now, if somewhat sporadically. There is just something glorious about it, something incredibly satisfying – both in making it and eating it. However, my primary issue about French silk pie is that its a tad too rich even for an unrepentant glutton like myself. The recipe I’ve used for years involves a lot of eggs, butter, and sugar.
I think, however, that I’m going to start making it more often as I’ve hit on an idea that has definitely turned me into one seriously happy camper.
Think ganache – think ganache tart. Yes, with a shortbread crust, as a matter of fact!
While the tart shown above isn’t one of mine, it’s the usual thing that springs to mind when people talk about French silk pies: a thin, flaky, standard-issue shortcrust pastry base with a fudge filling. Mine, on the other hand, is a bit more decadent but isn’t as cloying as the original.
Seeing how I finished my online novel Puck and Ginger last week, I thought about doing a recipe that my main character Ginger Algarme would prepare in La Reinette, her patisserie. The end result was a scrumptious chocolate tart delicately scented with lavender in the crust and rose in the filling.
This dessert’s name was inspired by the name of Puck and Ginger’s band, Reckless Imprudence. Why? Well, if you get too recklessly generous with the helpings on this rich treat, it would definitely be an imprudent move. ;D
Reckless Imprudence Tart
For the Crust:
- 1 cup soft margarine
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup lavender sugar, sifted
- 1-3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender tincture
- 1 egg yolk
- 300 grams dark chocolate, broken up
- 3 tablespoons rose tincture or rosewater
- 250mL all-purpose cream
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees / Gas Mark 4. Grease a 9-inch pie plate or slip-bottomed tart pan; set aside.
Cream the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and lavender tincture; mix until well combined. Sift in the cornstarch, then the flour in 1/4 cup batches. Mix until a soft dough is achieved.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared pie plate, you might not need all of it, though. Trim the dough at the edges. Prick the sides and base of the crust. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before sliding onto a serving plate. Set aside.
Make the filling by combining the cream and chocolate in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly till the chocolate has all melted. Remove from heat and add the tincture or rosewater, stirring well. Pour into the baked crust and allow to cool completely.
Chill at least four hours or overnight prior to serving.
This is quite rich, so serve the tart in thin slices with a good, rich coffee.
Serves 12 – 14.