Happy New Year everyone! First of all, thank you so much for all of the support everyone has shown me--it has meant so much to me. Each comment, like and share was a little spark of light that I needed in that moment. 2017 was a roller coaster--full of sharp turns, exhilarating highs and unexpected drops that made my stomach flip for sure, but I'm so excited for everything that this new year has in store! I recently shared my thoughts in a podcast interview (my first!) with Slate's Represent.
I know that in life--and baking--it doesn't matter what happens, I've gotta keep my head in the game to reach the desired outcome. So, I'm putting my new motto use: Lemons to Lemon Curd! Actually, in this case--orange and chocolate... well, you get the idea! Orange and chocolate is a great pair--though far less popular than other fruit combos like... strawberries and chocolate. Or Oranges and cream. But sometimes the less likely pairs are the best--like.. lawyer-ing and baking :)
I love this tart. I love how elegant and slender it is. And I especially love how easy it is to make. This is a great recipe for experienced and beginner bakers alike. No matter if you're a novice or not, this tart has a sophisticated, nuanced flavor thanks to the orange zest and orange liqueur. And the silky chocolate filling is just divine and accented by flaky sea salt.
When I want to spend more time cozying up to the fireplace than to the oven, I take a few shortcuts with my baking. The crust is a festive blend of crushed gingersnaps and butter. Crushed oreos would also work just fine. Get fancy with the toppings. I added flaky sea salt--just a sprinkling on top. Raspberries are also a perfect match with anything chocolate or tart. A little dusting of cocoa powder will never steer you wrong, and this tart is no exception. Or, get real fancy and add some candied orange peel. Whatever you do, just have fun with it!
1 box gingersnaps (12 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted (1/2 cup)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I like Cointreau)
zest of one orange
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350F. In a food processor, pulse the cookies until pulverized and completely fine and broken down. Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are wet and sand-like. Remove from the food processor and press the crumbs evenly into a 14 x 4-inch rectangular tart pan, ideally with a removable bottom. (You will have leftover crumbs.) Bake at 350F for 9 minutes. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Reserve any leftover crumbs.
To make filling: Place ½ cup of the cream in a bowl with the 12 ounces of chocolate. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Whip the remaining 1 and ½ cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon orange liqueur and the orange zest. Fold in the chocolate-cream mixture until combined (if the chocolate is still hot it will melt the cream--make sure it's at least cooled to room temp). Spread mixture evenly in the tart pan (any leftovers can be spooned into glasses and topped with the leftover crumbs). Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from the pan and top with sea salt, orange peel, cocoa powder, or raspberries.