The latest edition of Sugar High Friday is hosted by Toronto-based blogger Ruth of Once Upon A Feast. It's been a while since I took part at SHF, but this time I couldn't resist because of the theme: ginger. You see, couple of months ago I discovered dark chocolate coated candied ginger from the Edinburgh flagship department store, Jenners. Granted, I had seen them there and elsewhere before, but somehow the combination didn't really appeal to me. I love chocolate (but prefer milk chocolate to dark for nibbling) and I do like my ginger - in savoury dishes, that is. Yet, I couldn't really see how ginger pieces in dark chocolate could be nice. Until I tried them, that is. They are seriously addictive - the warm heat of the candied ginger balances the sweet bitterness of dark chocolate perfectly. The burst of flavours exploding on your tongue is so intense that it lingers there for a while, making you eat less chocolate in the first place.
The recipe below is a very slight modification of Clotilde's. I wanted to make these tartlets even more gingery by using the Organic Ginger chocolate from Green & Black - hence the OTT in the title of this post. I also used demerara sugar in the pastry, as this results in somewhat crunchier cases and I find that the slight caramel flavour of demerara complements ginger well. As Clotilde says, chocolate and ginger are a match made in heaven - and as an additional benefit, they are both acknowledged aphrodisiacs. What's not to like!?
Chocolate and Ginger Tartlets
Based on Clotilde's recipe for Tartelettes au Chocolat et Gingembre Confit
50 grams salted butter, cubed
50 grams demerara sugar
100 grams plain flour, sifted
2-3 Tbsp of cold water
Ginger chocolate ganache filling:
150 ml double cream
100 grams Green&Black's bittersweet dark chocolate with crystallised ginger pieces (or equivalent)
50 grams butter, room temperature, diced
crystallised ginger pieces to decorate (I used Buderim Ginger Nibbles, available in the UK from Lakeland Ltd)
Mix sugar and flour in a bowl, add cold butter cubes and mix with a knife (and then pinching with your fingertips) until you have fine crumbs. Add couple of spoonfuls (one by one, as you may need less) of cold water to bring the dough together with your hands.
Roll out the dough thinly on a slightly floured worktop, then cut into 6 discs and use these to line 6 non-stick individual tartlet tins (about 8-10 cm in diametre). Put the lined pastry cases into a freezer for 20 minutes or so (this reduces the shrinkage during baking). Prick the bases with a fork and bake in the middle of 180-200C oven until golden brown.
Let them cool in the tins for about 15 minutes, then tap gently out of the tin and leave to cool on a metal rack (click on the photo on the right).
Now prepare the chocolate ganache. Break the chocolate into small pieces, cut the butter into cubes. Heat the double cream in a small saucepan until quiet simmer on a very low heat. Add chocolate and butter and stir gently (still on a very low heat!) until combined. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Spoon the ganache into cooled pastry cases*, decorate with a piece (or couple) of candied ginger and leave to cool in a cool place. If you are patient or organised These are even better on the following day, as the ginger flavour has infused better and the tiny candied ginger pieces in chocolate have regained their bite.
* If you have any ganache left over, then pour into small shot glasses and decorate with candied ginger for a simple, yet luscious, dessert.
Ruth's round-up of all the entries is available here.
UPDATE: Barrett has included this post in this week's Too Many Chefs Posts of the Week. This is the second time Barrett has done this - my Simple tart with tomatoes, courgettes and Roquefort was also also featured back in September 2005. Thank you;)