For someone saying she doesn’t like chocolate that much anymore, I do post a fair lot of chocolate dessert recipes. But look at this chocolate Amaretto tart! It’s so pretty and packed with textures and flavor! The crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth tart shell, the rich almond frangipane soaked in Amaretto, the dense dark chocolate ganache and the airy chocolate chantilly are a match made in heaven!
The story behind this recipe is pure curiosity of trying out new recipes, of getting better at making tart shells, of seeing what recipes work best for my classes, of experimenting and also tasting new flavors or mixes of flavors. It’s what I love the most about pastry, it’s what motivates me the most in this world of pastry – the capacity of being on my own, with my own thoughts, my own knowledge, trying and experimenting, having fun and relaxing, trusting my taste buds and senses. That is what I call fun.. and work at the same time! I think that is the best combo of not needing anything else in your life! And family, of course, without whom I would not have balance or limits. Having no limits in work is great for production, except that it often leads to burnout. So keep in mind – balance is the key! Give a lot for pastry, invest time, money, effort and energy, but remember that there is life beyond the whisk and the oven. Plus, you know what’s funny?! That even when I am away from my tools or my books and notebooks, I always find inspiration in something – it might be a shape, it might be a flavor, an ingredient, someone’s words, my son’s favorite dessert or something that we both come up with. Sometimes ideas come easy, other times they change during the production, other times they have to be set from the very beginning so everyone knows their purpose during a class for instance.
There’s a question that I always get asked at the end of a class: Olguta, how do you even have the courage to cut into this beautiful cake?! And I always say that if we don’t cut into it we cannot see the work we’ve done, what we put so much effort into, but we can’t make another cake either. It is the life of a cake: work to produce it 2 days and eat it in 5 minutes. Bittersweet, isn’t it?! But taste is the most important part!
The secret of a good tart and even more of this chocolate Amaretto tart is definitely the shell. It has to be crisp, but still melt in your mouth with every bite, it has to keep its shape well and hold the best filling ever! Because let’s face it, we love the shell, but we long for the filling. So a balance between the two of them is ideal for a successful dessert.
- 125 g butter chilled and cubed
- 270 g white flour sifted
- 1 g salt
- 60 g powdered sugar sifted
- 30 g almond flour
- 50 g whole eggs
- 2 g vanilla extract
- 50 g butter softened
- 50 g powdered sugar
- 50 g whole eggs
- 50 g almond flour
- 10 g white flour
- 1 g vanilla extract
- 50 g Amaretto for soaking
- 120 g dark chocolate 60-70% melted
- 95 g heavy cream
- 30 g liquid glucose
- 20 g butter softened
- White chocolate chantilly:
- 350 g heavy cream hot
- 3 g gelatin + 15g cold water*
- 125 g white chocolate
- 5 g vanilla extract
- Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer.
- Add the butter and mix until the mixture looks sandy and the butter is broken into very small pieces.
- Add the egg and vanilla, all at once and mix just until the dough comes together.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Once chilled, transfer on a floured working surface and roll it into a 2mm thick sheet. Place the dough in your tart ring and press it lightly to line the ring well.
- Puncture the bottom of the tart with a fork to allow steams to escape then freeze for at least 10 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Allow to cool down.
- Mix the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add the egg and mix well then stir in the rest of the ingredients.
- Spoon into a pastry bag then fill the tart crust halfway with the frangipane.
- Bake 10-15 more minutes or until the frangipane is slightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool down then use the 50g of Amaretto to brush over the frangipane, soaking it in this delicious liquor.
- Combine the cream and glucose and heat them until the boiling point.
- Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes then mix well.
- Add the butter and give it a good mix.
- Pour the ganache over the frangipane in the tart shell and refrigerate.
White chocolate chantilly:
- Bloom the gelatin in cold water. Once it is bloomed, add it into the hot cream.
- Pour the mixture over the chocolate.
- Blend well with an immersion blender, then add the vanilla.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at last 8 hours.
- Once chilled, whip until stiff peaks form then use it to decorate the tart.
- Finish the tart with your desired decoration – I used caramelized pecans, hazelnuts and corn flakes.
* As long as the gelatin has the same bloom – power to set – you can use either gelatin sheets or powder gelatin. The only thing that changes is the way you hydrate it in water and the quantity of water you add.