There are times when I really wish I was fluent in a second language. For work, and life in Texas in general, Spanish would be the obvious choice. Through listening to some of my Spanish-speaking bankers, I've gotten to the point where I can at least understand some very basic banking terms. Through Gillian's fascination with Dora (and some faint memories of my one semester of Spanish in junior high), I know some numbers and colors and a few other words. But that's about it. Spanish just didn't appeal to me early on. So instead, I took four years of French in high school, and another year in college. I've never been that good at speaking it, though. My shyness and lack of self-confidence worked against me there. I have a really hard time opening my mouth unless I'm certain I know what I'm talking about. Not the best approach for learning to speak a foreign language.
While I wasn't that good at speaking, I could read and write somewhat competently. I've lost a lot of that now, since it's been....umm....over 20 years since I actively studied it... Eek. But some of it's starting to come back to me, since some of my blogging friends post in French, and it's fun to try to read their posts before resorting to a translation. And of course, French is used so much in cooking and baking. This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is a good example. Dharmagirl of bliss: towards a delicious life picked Tarte Noire for us to make this week. Noire, meaning black, refers to the dark color of this elegant chocolate tart.
It wasn't until I was talking with Nancy on Twitter that I realized that this tart recipe is quite similar to the Chocolate-Crunched Caramel Tart that we made last fall. It's just the ganache layer and crust, without any other distractions. Because of that, Dorie recommends using your favorite chocolate, since it will really stand out. I went with Scharffen Berger 62%, which I really enjoy eating plain (and I can get the 6oz packages for $4.50 at my grocery store, so the price isn't as outrageous as it could be). The filling is simple to make--cream, chocolate, and softened butter.
For the crust, I went out on my own. I've made Dorie's Sweet Tart Crust a number of times, and like it. But I couldn't resist making this tart with my new favorite crust. It's the one that Alice Medrich uses for most of the tarts in Pure Dessert, including the Lebni Tart I made recently. The recipe uses melted butter and the dough is simply pressed into the tart pan and baked, no fussing with chilling or pulling out the food processor. And it tastes fabulous. Once the tart crust was baked and cooled, I filled it with the ganache. I actually didn't refrigerate it at all, but the filling set up nicely at room temperature.
The verdict? Yum. This tart didn't last long around here. Unlike the chocolate caramel version, it was eagerly devoured by all the members of our household, since it didn't have nuts. In fact, I've already been asked by Brianna when I'm going to make it again. =) The great thing is, it's so easy to make, it probably will make an appearance again soon. It looks so elegant--I love the shiny surface of the tart. This would make an simple yet impressive dessert for guests (if I can find any willing to brave the mess that is my home).
Want to try this tart for yourself? Head on over to dharmagirl's blog for the recipe. The tart crust I used can be found in this recipe for Alice Medrich's Lebni Tart. To see what everyone else did this week, check out the TWD Leave Your Links page for this week.