>> Monday, June 1, 2009
This is my eldest's favourite tart. My children are quite choosy regarding food and as they don't appreciate very much my cooking, I feel very happy when they like some of my dishes. Mothers are this idi... I mean, we're so nice! And yes, he does eat portions as shown in the picture. The original recipe calls for only one kind of chocolate, dark chocolate, from the book Coffee & Espresso, which doesn't seem to be translated into English. Well, the thing is that no one in the family is a great lover of dark bitter chocolate... Therefore I substitute half white chocolate and half milk chocolate for the dark one. And I think the tart looks more beautiful that way too. And all chocolate purists will come and burn me at the stake... just dare!
It's a very easy and good-looking tart, perfect for impressing all those people you wished they envy you. To the point. Take into account that it is better made the day before you're going to eat them, to give it time to set properly in the fridge. Here goes the original recipe:
Chocolate and almond cookies tart
And here goes the recipe I use. The base doesn't resemble the one in the recipe at all, mine is healthier and non-sugar. I learnt how to make this type of base in a course on raw sweets:
For the ladyfingers base, mash the cake and the cookies, mix with the melted butter and lay on the base of a removable base mold (mine is 20 cm). Press to pack and even the mixture all over the base and put it in the fridge while you make the filling. For the almonds and dates base, grind the almonds first and then the dates or apricots. Mix them and add the salt. If you think the mixture is too crumbly, add a little melted butter (it happened to me last time, I think my dates left from Christmas sweets are getting a bit too dry), I added 2 tablespoons. Lay the mixture on the mold base, pack and put it in the fridge. I strongly recommend you to make this base, it's non-sugar, a lot more nutritious than the cookies base and it adds a very interesting crunch to the tart.
The filling couldn't be easier: whip the cream until stiff. Meanwhile melt the chocolates in two separate bowls. I do it in the microwave oven, and it works out beautifully, but you've got to watch it. You must not overheat it. Do it in a double boiler if you prefer.
Once you have the cream whipped, divide it in two and pour it in different bowls. Pour each melted chocolate in one of the bowls, don't be afraid that the cream loses some stiffness, it's not important. When everything is thoroughly mixed, take the base out of the fridge (you mean it was not there? Shame on you!) and pour the color you prefer. I always put the darker color first, seemingly for no reason. Smooth the surface and put it in the fridge again, at least for a quarter of an hour so that it sets partially for it to bear the weight of the second chocolate-cream mixture. Both colors must be clearly separated. When the first half is set enough (touch it with your finger), pour the rest of the chocolate-cream. Smooth the surface with a spatula as much as you can and put it in the fridge overnight.
The original recipe uses cocoa powder dusted on top and some whipped cream with almond cookies, but I like mine with cocoa powder only. It makes a nice contrast with the white chocolate layer.
The tart is very soft with these chocolate flavours, my guests have always loved it. The dark chocolate option is completely different of course. Try both! Some day I've got to try and make a 3-chocolate tart: dark, milk and white... yummy.
The weather here gets warmer everyday, so it's nice to sit outside and have a refreshing tart al fresco...