Plate by Plate: Starring, Chocolate

2015.Jun.04 Thursday · 0 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

Chocolate Star Anise Tart

Crust: 150 gm pastry flour, 120 gm butter, 90 gm sugar (5:4:3, a ratio I learned years ago), pinch of salt – all rubbed together until it’s the texture of crumbly, slightly wet sand. Add 1 egg yolk and knead briefly, just long enough to get it to come together. Chill for 30 minutes and then roll out to cover the base of a springform or tart pan and just about 1 cm up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes (you can use pie weights or dried beans to help it keep its shape if you like, but I find that with the low sides it makes little difference), until it’s just barely starting to color.

Filling: Bring 360 ml heavy cream to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl break up 210 gm dark chocolate and add 1 Tb ground star anise (another option which we’ve done is Chinese five-spice powder), and a ¼ tsp of sea salt. Pour simmering cream over it and let sit for about five minutes. Then whisk together until it’s nice and smooth. Leave for about 10-15 minutes to cool down a bit and then whisk in one large egg. Pour into tart shell and continue baking until set, about 30 minutes.

Let tart cool, dust with cocoa powder.

Berries: Fresh blueberries macerated in raw sugar and Pineral, a local liqueur.

Syrup: Okay, here’s the one that’ll have you scratching your head. You probably won’t remember, but way back I reviewed HG restaurant when it was open and talked about a syrup that Hernan Gipponi made by melting Tic-Tacs in sugar syrup. I’ve played with that idea a couple of times. This one goes in the same direction, but, I used “mora-lyptus” Hall’s (I assume they exist outside of Argentina and are called something like “blackberry-eucalyptus”. Melted them into sugar syrup, which resulted in a sort of muddy grey-purple, so I added a little blue and red food coloring paste to get a more vibrant purple. The flavor – an intense blackberry and eucalyptus – a perfect accompaniment for this tart.

Wine: Caelum “Appassito” Malbec 2012, Mendoza



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