Une histoire de tarte au chocolat et oranges sanguines

[A story of chocolate tart and blood oranges]

chocolate tart orange

The story of this chocolate tart is a simple one. It all started when a friend asked me to show him how to make one.

So we mixed butter and sugar. Added eggs and flour and cocoa powder. And of course salt, because a chocolate tart can never be perfect without salt. We lined an entremet ring (this is the only way I like my tarts these days: allowing way more control over the height of the filling) with the dough and blind-baked it until the shiny pâte sucrée became matte and crisp. We lowered the oven temperature and got on with the chocolate crémeux. Cream and milk (and salt) brought to the boil and poured over milk and dark chocolate, which magically turned into a beautiful ganache. And eggs, just so.

chocolate tart naked

We had a slice. And with just a few other elements, we turned it into a du jour dessert.

That was months ago. And really, I knew that as soon as the first blood oranges would be around, this tart would have to come back. Just so I could show you.

Just like its story, it is a very simple dessert. One that could be made at home, for a birthday or a little unofficial dinner party.
In fact, you could make the tart alone. A Sunday afternoon sort of indulgence. Or the confit, for a glorious breakfast made of crêpes generously layered with the slightly bitter jam-ish.

In any case, here is the recipe. A celebration of an often overlook January. The Monday of the months, some even say. Well, I only have one thing to answer: blood oranges. Everywhere.

chocolate tart orange-2

Tarte au chocolat et oranges sanguines
This dessert might be simple but it has become a favourite with its good balance of rich and light, sour and sweet, creamy and sharp.

chocolate-tart-diagram

It has a few elements:
– the chocolate tart
– the blood orange confit
– the compote
– the blood orange segments
– the hazelnut streusel
– the salted hazelnuts
– the vanilla ice-cream

As I’ve just told you, you could make the tart alone. Perhaps serve it with segments and a scoop of ice-cream. Maybe you would have some tempered chocolate decors or a piece of cocoa nib nougatine. Just consider it as a blueprint for your own dessert.

I do realise, however, that it can seem a bit exhausting to make so many components at home. But really, many of them can be done well in advance (up to a month as I suggest below), and on the day when you want to serve the tart it will just be a matter of assembling.

chocolate tart case

The chocolate pâte sucrée: the dough is made, cut and frozen. Later that day, you can line your ring with the dough and keep it frozen until needed. The hazelnut streusel can be made and frozen; and the salted hazelnuts will keep for weeks in an airtight container.
The blood orange confit can be made and kept in the fridge for a good week. And the vanilla ice-cream, if you choose to make it (a high-quality ice-cream from the shop would do just fine too) can keep in the freezer for almost-ever.

chocolate-tart-before-and-after

So really, on the day you’ll just have to:
– blind-bake the tart case.
– make the chocolate crémeux and bake it.
– allow to the tart to cool down to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, then slice it using a knife dipped in hot water and dried with a cloth.
– bake the hazelnut streusel.
– cut the salted hazelnuts in half.
– make the blood orange compote, although this is barely necessary, I’ve offered two recipes: one with pectine NH nappage which can be a bit difficult to source and one with agar agar.
– segment a few oranges.

Tarte au chocolat et oranges sanguines

serves 16

up to a month ahead

for the chocolate pâte sucrée
125 g butter, at room temperature
125 g icing sugar
5 g salt
one egg
one egg yolk
250 g plain flour
50 g cocoa powder

Cream the butter, icing sugar and salt. Add the eggs and yolks. Finally add the flour. Roll in between two sheets of feuille guitare to around 4mm thick. Using your ring, cut out a 24cm wide disk. And 3 long strips, 3cm wide. Place in the freezer for at least a couple of hours.
Later that day, take the dough out from the freezer. Butter a 24cm ring, place it on a tray lined with paper and arrange the dough strips on the sides of the ring. Pressing slightly where two ends meet to close the dough in a perfect cylinder.
Trim the disk of dough slightly, perhaps a few mm around so that it fits in the ring. Don’t worry if you’ve cut too much as you can always push the dough so that it meets the edges. Run your finger around the corner to seal the case. Place it back in the freezer until ready to use.

for the hazelnut streusel
100 g plain flour
50 g ground almonds
50 g ground hazelnuts
100 g butter
75 g caster sugar
25 g demerara sugar
5 g salt
50 g chopped blanched hazelnuts

Mix all the ingredients together in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until it just starts to form a dough. Grate using a rack and freeze.

for the salted hazelnuts
500 g water
20 g coarse salt
250 g whole blanched hazelnuts

Bring the water and salt to the boil. Add the hazelnuts and simmer for 20 minutes. Roast at 150°C for around 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

trait

up to a week ahead

for the blood orange confit
250 g blood oranges
120 g caster sugar
100 g blood orange juice
25 g glucose syrup
one vanilla pod
, sliced in half
20 g Grand Marnier

Blanch the oranges three times for 3 minutes in boiling water, refreshing in iced water in between each. Place the oranges in the fridge overnight. Slice thinly, around 3 to 4mm thick, then cut each slice in half. Place in a pan along with the sugar, juice, glucose syrup and vanilla pod. Bring to the boil, and simmer until it reaches 103°C. Chill, then add the Grand Marnier.

for the vanilla ice-cream
860 g milk
275 g UHT cream
80 g skimmed milk powder
7 g sea salt
3 vanilla pods
140 g caster sugar
80 g dehydrated glucose
50 g dextrose
8 g stab 2000

Scrape the vanilla pods, then chop the pods into 5mm segments. Warm milk, cream and vanilla to 40°C. Mix all the dry ingredients together and whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 min. Handblend. Chill overnight and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Churn according to your ice-cream machine manufacturer’s instructions.

trait

on the morning

for the chocolate crémeux
270 g Valrhona Jivara 40%
230 g Valrhona Andoa 70%
300 g UHT whipping cream
200 g milk
5 g salt
150 g eggs
(around 3)

Blind bake the tart case at 160°C for 20 minutes, then remove the baking weight and add 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 90°C.

Place the chocolates in a large bowl. Bring the milk, cream and salt to the boil. Pour onto the chocolate in 3 times, emulsifying with a maryse. Handblend without incoporating any air. Add the eggs and handblend until smooth. Weigh out 1kg, and pour into the blindbaked case when it’s still hot. Bake at 90°C, fan 2 for around 55 minutes, until just set and barely jiggly. Allow the tart to cool down to room temperature and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up.

for the blood orange compote
250 g blood orange juice
20 g trimoline
10 g caster sugar
3 g pectine NH nappage

Bring the juice and trimoline to 40°C. Combine the caster sugar and pectine. Add to the juice and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. Chill.

or
250 g blood orange juice
10 g caster sugar
2.5 g agar agar

Bring the juice to 40°C. In a bowl, combine the sugar and agar agar. Add to the juice and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. And transfer into a plastic container to set. Once chilled, blitz in a blender until smooth.

trait

for the blood orange segments
3 blood oranges

Bake the streusel.
Bake at 155°C for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut the hazelnut in half.
Using the tip of a small paring knife, break the hazelnuts in half.

trait

to serve
Fill your sink with hot water and dip your knife in it for a few seconds. Wipe the blade clean making sure the sharp egde isn’t facing your fingers, and slice the tart in sixteen, rinsing and wiping your knife in between each slice. Ideally, keep the slices at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Smudge some compote onto a plate, then place a slice of tart on top. You might want to give the tart a quick flash with a blowtorch to make it shiny again.
Arrange some segments around the compote, then a few pieces of streusel and salted hazelnuts. Finally, arrange three of four strands of confit, and place a small quenelle of vanilla ice-cream onto crumbled streusel (so that the ice-cream won’t move around).

PS. Let me know if you enjoy this kind of articles, and I might tell you more dessert stories. x

16 comments

    1. Now if I had added wasabi to it all it might have been perfection :) But yes, I do agree, chocolate + blood orange = <3

  1. How we wouldn’t like it!?

    Your way or telling things (as with your croissant or the cinq minutes brioche :P) is great for losing the fear of making things soooo complicated at first sight.

    You give us all the steps, the timing, so perfect for a clumsy like me!!!
    But the best (well, not, the best is this tart!!) I had never used the blowtorch to shine chocolate!!!!! Genius!!

    You don’t come every week, but when you do it, every word, every photo, and every recipe is a pleasure!!

    PS: I’ve seen that 10th March is the turn for the German translation. I have fallen into the clutches of the presale before writing the comment :D :D

    1. Thank you so much Paula. I’m very happy you’ve learnt about the blowtorch trick. It is very handy! xx

  2. I love this – all the steps, the options to make ahead and freeze or pick your favourites. I really liked your grapefruit confit in the book too – will definitely try this.

    More stories please!

  3. Wow, Fanny! I love blood oranges too, and your confit seems just perfect (not too much sugar, to preserve the fruit taste). The “mise en place” is soo nice… Have you ever tried sicilian Avola almonds? Their taste is stronger than other almonds, especially when roasted. When i saw blood oranges and chocolate I instantly thought about Sicily (even because of Modica chocolate, but this is another history) :)

  4. Definitely more dessert stories please! This is just stunning – I love the contrast of the sharp citrus and richly chocolaty dessert plus bits of crunch? So beautiful.

  5. This dessert is absolutely beautiful! Love everything about it, the flavours (blood oranges and chocolate are perfect together!) and how it looks so simply chic on the plate :)))

  6. Je bosse dans un restaurant et j’imagine la tête des clients qui verraient arriver ce dessert, elle est juste magnifique ta tarte ! En plus, petite parenthèse, j’ai une copine pâtissière actuellement en Angleterre qui postule pour venir bosser sur Londres, c’est une ville géniale je comprends que ça vous donne envie de partir bosser en Angleterre ;-)