TARTE AU CHOCOLAT - Jacques Genin’s famous simple chocolate tart: The recipe

(Can't stop eating it (photo: Sharon Heinrich
The monsieur strains the hot cream into the silver bowl holdingthe chocolate. He waits a bit, letting the chocolate begin to soften into the cream before he sticks the spatula into the middle. With gentle circular movements and without pulling the spatula out, he mixes the chocolate. He does this slowly and gently, taking care not to let air bubbles get mixed into the ganache. His eyes don’t budge from the cream, which is gradually turning darker and darker with each movement of the spatula. After a few minutes of persistent stirring, the rich brown color takes over, and the bowl’s contents transform into smooth and glossy ganache.

This ganache is, in fact, the filling of Jacques Genin’s famous chocolate tart, which is representative of Genin’s pastry-making philosophy and practice. Not one for decorations, food coloring, or innovative techniques, he takes classics to the extreme, turning them into exquisite delicacies. Despite its simplicity, his chocolate tart is his greatest. It’s made up of superb flaky dough and rich chocolate ganache—no additives or extra layers or textures besides the delicate crackle of the golden pastry and the dense, soft layer of the dark chocolate ganache on top.

(So simple and so good (photo: Sharon Heinrich

Jacques Genin’s Tarte au Chocolat
Makes 2 rings (20 cm in diameter, 2-3 cm high)

Pastry Dough:
25 grams almond meal
100 grams confectioner’s sugar
2 grams salt
250 grams flour
140 grams cold butter, cubed
1 medium egg, lightly beaten

Dark Chocolate Ganache:
440 grams heavy whipping cream
400 grams dark chocolate (66% cocoa; Genin uses Valrhona’s Caraibe)

1 In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine almond meal, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and flour. 
2. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed, then add the butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal (sablage). You also can do this in a food processor or by hand, crumbling the butter into the flour mixture until coarse and sandy in texture.
3. Switch to the dough hook and add the egg. Mix until the ingredients come together into a ball of dough. Remove from the mixer bowl and knead briefly on your work surface until well combined.
4. Lightly sprinkle the top and bottom of the ball of dough with flour (be sure to flour both sides!), put it between two sheets of parchment paper, and lightly flatten it into a disk (don’t roll it out completely). Transfer the dough, with the paper, to the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.
5. Remove from the fridge, and roll out the dough to a thickness of 2 mm.
6. Line the rings with the dough, making sure that the sides are fully filled in and straight so that they don’t collapse during baking. Using a knife, gently trim the overhanging edges.
7. Freeze the dough-lined rings for about half an hour.
8. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius, and place the dough-lined rings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
9. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and using folded paper towels or a clean dishtowel, remove the air bubbles that formed on the crust’s base by pushing the dough down. Return to the oven for another 3 minutes. Take out andremove the ring molds. Place the crusts on a rack and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden-brown and no longer pale at all. This last step is very important as it allows the pastry to acquire that golden color Genin loves so much.
10. Remove the baked crusts from the oven and cool on a rack.
11. Put the chocolate in a large bowl.
12. In a medium pot, heat the cream until almost boiling. Remove from heat and strain the cream into the bowl with the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes before stirring.
13. Using a spatula, slowly and gently begin to stir together the chocolate and cream. Keep the spatula in the center of the bowl, touching the bottom, without lifting it out, so that air bubbles aren’t incorporated in. You should be stirring slowly and carefully for a few minutes, until you have a glossy ganache with no air bubbles.
14. Pour the ganache into the crusts, almost to the top of the edges. Cool to room temperature, and serve that same day. The tarts can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, but they’re best when fresh. 

(So are you going to bake it? (photo: Sharon Heinrich


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