I feel pretty lucky. We have the greatest friends and neighbors. Whenever my husband talks about relocating to warmer climes, my response is always -- I could never leave all of our friends (or my kitchen!).
Case in point... yesterday a friend of ours who hunts morel mushrooms in the spring, and then dries them, made a huge pot of morel soup -- to share with us! He delivered it to our house in time for dinner, along with a loaf of bread from a local bakery. (See, aren't we lucky?) The soup was incredible and loaded with big slivers of morels -- a RARE treat.
To show my appreciation, I made two Chocolate-Orange Ganache Tarts -- one for us and one to send home with our friends. A little decadent dessert after big bowls of earthy, rich morel soup. The grated zest of one large blood orange was added to the ganache and segments of the orange topped the tart. I suggest using a 60% bittersweet chocolate. The chocolate I used had a much higher percentage of bittersweet, and I compensated by really sweetening my whipped cream with powdered sugar and coarse orange sugar by ZUK-ZAK.
FOR THE CRUST:
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
• 4 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE ( recipe: Martha Stewart)
• 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• Grated zest of 1 large orange, preferably organic
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold butter and pulse until the size of small peas. Slowly add the ice water to the flour while pulsing, just until the dough starts to clump and come together. If the dough does not hold together when squeezed between your fingers, add more ice water, drop by drop, until it does. Do not over-process. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk and wrap completely. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
2. Roll the dough between lightly-floured sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Transfer dough to a tart pan (I lined two 7-inch tart pans, but one 9- to 10-inch would substitute) and gently press into the pan without stretching the dough. Trim the edges and place in the freezer while preheating the oven.
3. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Remove tart pan from the freezer. Line the tart shell with foil and fill with dry beans or rice. Place pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans or rice and return tart pan to oven. Reduce heat to 325˚F. Continue to bake the tart shell until golden brown. Remove from oven. Keep oven heat at 325˚F.
TO MAKE THE GANACHE:
1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. Combine the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan; bring almost to a boil. Pour the liquid over the chocolate and let rest for 2 minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth and let rest another 10 minutes. Whisk the orange zest and beaten egg into the chocolate.
TO MAKE THE TART:
1. Place the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and pour the chocolate-orange ganache into the pre-baked tart shell. On the middle rack of the oven, bake the tart at 325˚F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, garnish tart with sweetened, whipped heavy cream and orange slices.
TAKE a LOOK: