Saturday, 4 August 2012

walnut and pear chocolate tart

Chocolate overkill. A sliver of this tart is sure to satisfy even the most demanding chocoholic.

The chocolate filling is a sort of crazy rich chocolate custard with plenty of eggs to set its silken self. Instead of LCB's recommendation of the use of a savory pate brisee to offset the sweetness of the chocolate, I used a walnutty pate sucree. Personally, I don't find the chocolate filling that sweet , only rich, so this tiny bit of sweetness from the pastry is a nice relief. It may all have become too bitter with the walnuts otherwise. The pastry is also incredibly tender, what with a quarter of the flour substituted out for ground walnuts and its high butter content, which I also find preferable to the pate brisee. I added a little extra salt for the nuts. As a result, it is also extremely delicate to roll out and quite a challenge these hot balmy days.

There is a layer of Williams pears over the pastry base (no, it isn't a super thick soggy base...). Much as I dote on chocolate, it would be a little much to receive an inch-thick worth of the stuff. The pears were poached in vanilla and orange zest infused simple syrup and the base was egg washed to minimise sogginess. It did just about managed to retain some crumble but it was in the edges of the tart where the true shortness of the pastry shone.

(Starting to see greengages and gooseberries in the market now. Whoot!!! Wait up for a greengage pithivier!!!)

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