Passion… Fruit…

2008.Apr.15 Tuesday · 5 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

 I’d like to be a passion fruit. Not because it’s passionate, but because someone I know is mad about them and has got me onto them.”

– Joseph Fiennes, Actor

Buenos Aires – Private party. Birthday. No seafood. Maybe something vaguely mixed Latin American. A tasty causa topped with a chicken salad instead of tuna salad and a little salsa ocopa on the side, a slightly and strangely bitter cream soup of zucchini and zucchini flowers, simple but delicious empanadas made with homemade ricotta, loganiza sausage, and dried plums, and an ají de huacatay for dipping, pan-seared thick-cut pork chops, mashed yuca root with roasted garlic, and a salsa llajwa ladled around it. And then, there was, the passion fruit…

Bittersweet chocolate tart with passionfruit cream

If that photo, even as non-professional as it is, doesn’t just send you running for passion fruits or at least their juice, and some chocolate and cocoa, and flour, and… well… you simply shouldn’t be reading food blogs. Really. Just go read The Snuffalufagus Post and focus on politics. I can’t claim credit for this recipe – actually desserts not being my primary forté, many of them come from other sources, and I don’t experiment with them as much as other stuff. This one I caught sight of in a local magazine, and comes from chef Nelida Caneva, who teaches at a cooking school here in town. All I did was double the quantities and make it in one big springform pan rather than individual tarts, and, had to guess at the quantity of sugar in the filling, because it wasn’t in the list of ingredients and she hasn’t responded to e-mail requests to fill in the missing info. Since it’s already been published publicly, I’m happy to translate it here (it is in metric, deal with it) and just say, make this, and plan on spending several days in the gym afterwards because you will finish it off in one sitting…

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Passion Fruit Cream


260 gm pastry flour (or plain white flour)
40 gm bitter cocoa
200 gm cold butter
100 gm confectioner’s sugar
4 egg yolks

Cut the butter in small cubes and mix into the flour and cocoa until it’s evenly distributed and has a texture like slightly wet sand. Add the sugar and yolks and mix thoroughly. Press into the base of a springform pan, or make into individual tarts (my guess is this quantity will make a dozen or so, the quantity was conveniently, also left off the published recipe). The base should be about 1/2 cm thick, maybe slightly more, but make sure it goes up the sides a bit to hold in the filling. Bake in an oven for 10-15 minutes at 180°C (350°F) – it should be completely baked – not dried out, but clearly not wet anymore, because this is the only cooking this is going to have.


some number of passion fruits
(According to the author, when cut open and the juice and seeds are scooped out, and pressed through a strainer, 600 grams of passion fruits should yield just about 200 ml of juice, which is what you want to end up with – you can buy bottled passion fruit juice and according to the original recipe, it will make an “acceptable” substitute. Problem was, that I found each passion fruit to weigh in at about 150 grams, which would have meant four of them. It took twelve to get this amount of juice – I think it’s going to come down to how ripe they are, and how fully packed they are. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have extras around for just sweetening the juice and drinking it.)
2 lemons, juiced
100 gm sugar (this is my estimate, it wasn’t listed in the original recipe, but worked out – roughly half the amount of the juice)
4 eggs
300 gm butter

Beat the eggs and mix all the ingredients together. Put in a double boiler or bain marie and cook, stirring steadily, until the mixture thickens to the point where it’s still pourable and spreadable, but not liquid at all – a tough call, but you don’t want the eggs to start to curdle, and vice versa, you don’t want it to end up a runny mess in the inside of your tart. Pour into the tart shell, spreading to but not over the edge of the shell (it’s why I said to make sure the tart shell goes up the sides a bit. Let it cool a bit and then put it in the refrigerator and let it set for at least an hour or two – the filling will end up the texture of a pudding – which is more or less what it is.

Ganache Topping:

300 gm bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
300 gm heavy cream

Heat the cream until near but not quite boiling, and then pour over the chocolate in a bowl. Let it sit for five minutes, then whisk it together until it’s shiny and smooth and all evenly colored. Set it aside and let it cool until it’s roughly room temperature, then carefully pour it over the tart, covering the whole thing. Back into the refrigerator for at least another hour or two, until the whole thing is set – it will very conveniently pull away from the sides of the pan, making it very easy to remove. Slice, and serve. The orange slices were pure decoration and don’t really matter as you plow your way through this tart… they may very well even get in your way.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stovetop Traveler April 16, 2008 at 03:59

My single favorite chocolate indulgence in the world is a passionfruit truffle that I get in a chocolate shop in Victoria B.C. Chocolate and passionfruit are not an obvious combination, but once you try it you will be hooked. This looks amazing, thanks for posting the recipe.

dan April 16, 2008 at 09:09

You’re welcome. It also started me thinking about chocolate and lemon desserts, which I tend to like, and another non-obvious combination. I got on to thinking about the Lemon Kiss Pie that I’ve made a few times and which people love when they have it, and hmmm… what if I changed the bottom crust to this cocoa one, and topped the whole pie (perhaps a thinner layer of the lemon filling) with a layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache. It has me salivating thinking about it, and it might just fit into one of those “ultimate decadence” sort of things…

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