RECIPE: I decided it was time to learn how to temper chocolate. The tart shells were made up from leftover cinnamon pastry from my Apple Mousse Crumble. They are filled with chocolate ganache and topped with tempered chocolate.
COMPONENTS: I’ll take a moment here to discuss baking pans. The cinnamon tart shells were baked in a perforated pan, which helps hold the pastry in place, and then bakes it more evenly, avoiding ‘soggy bottoms’. It works really well, but does leave nubs on your pastry. I haven’t bought perforated tart rings yet because of the dimpled finish they leave on the outside of the tart pastry, but I’ve noticed there are plenty of top chefs that use them. I’m undecided and haven’t been able to find much discussion about this issue online. The ganache is very simple. For a tart you can use a ratio of 1:1 of cream and chocolate; for increased firmness you add more chocolate and for a runnier ganache you add more cream. I only had 11 small tart shells, so I brought 75mL of cream to the boil then stirred in 85g chocolate until it melted in the cream. This mix was immediately spooned into the tart shells and the tarts were put in the fridge to set. They set very quickly (minutes not hours). To temper the chocolate I followed the instructions on BBC Good Food. I was using dark chocolate (70%) and hit the first temperature exactly, setting aside one third and adding the remainder of the unmelted chocolate to bring the temperature down. I’m not sure whether it was a result of the small quantity I was using (100g total), but it was really hard to bring it down to 28-29 degrees. By the time I got there the chocolate was starting to get a bit thick. I added the warmer portion back in and got it back to the recommended temperature for that step. I didn’t go so well spreading it on my plastic sheet. You need to work a lot more quickly than I expected, so the finish wasn’t smooth. I did get it spread out to a fairly even thickness though, and then once it had set I broke it up – splattering it with some gold dust. I added a dob of melted chocolate to the top of the tart to hold the tempered chocolate in place.
IMPRESSION: I didn’t get the shine I wanted on my tempered chocolate, but I did get the snap, so I suppose I’m halfway there. so lots more practice required. The ganache was perfect and the chocolate worked really well with the cinnamon in the pastry. Nice little tart.