What do you do when you have leftover chocolate custard and chocolate ganache? Make a chocolate tart of course!
I had some chocolate filling and icing left from the chocolate eclairs I blogged about last week, and I was determined to not let anything go to waste. I had also saved up some vanilla and lemon-flavored almond cream from another recipe. Inspired by a recipe that I had tried a few years ago from the lovely book by Chocolate and Zucchini, I whipped up a simple caramel sauce, re-made the pasta frolla from the pizza rustica recipe and layered everything to create this tasty tart.
Since I just kind of threw everything together, the chocolate ganache doesn’t really have that smooth texture typical of more traditional chocolate tarts* (and perhaps the purist would fault this tart for it). The chocolate ganache bubbled up in the oven, the caramel sauce oozed a little but that didn’t prevent tasters from ooh-ing at it.
Last weekend, I crossed my first item off my 30 Before 30 list. It felt like a true accomplishment. The recipe for eclairs looked deceptively simple but required much more effort than expected. It’s not just the time needed for each component of the recipe (the dough, the filling, the icing) but also the mental exhaustion from thinking and overthinking about each step. Is my pâte à choux going to rise and puff? Is my crème pâtissière sweet enough, too sweet? Am I putting enough chocolate in the glaçage?
Ever since I started this whole baking experience, my respect for bakers and pastry chefs has been growing by leaps and bounds. With savory cooking you can usually taste and adjust as you go along but with baking and pâtisserie you can’t exactly always do that. I suppose experienced bakers have a feel for what things are meant to look like, and for proportions of sugar to flour to eggs. But as a less experienced baker, there’s only so much you can control and sometimes you just have to trust the recipe, your instincts, your oven.