An easy recipe for chocolate lovers with only three tablespoons of sugar added.
We are spending some time at our cabin in the Sierras and my sister-in-law and her family are coming to dinner. My husband is barbecuing his famous rack of lamb. Usually, I make my stuffed tomatoes with them, but as we were driving up the mountain, we bought fresh corn at a food stand. It had just been picked. So the menu changed, and we are now having corn and tiny potatoes with the rack of lamb. Everything is barbecued by the Grillmeister (master of grilling) himself. That leaves me in charge of the salad and dessert. Early this morning, the woodpecker woke me up (he thinks our cabin tastes yummy). This time of the day is the best for getting halfway decent cell phone reception, so I looked for some recipes involving raspberries. I had brought some beautiful organic ones up the mountains and even after an occasional nibble, I had some left. I came upon an old Gourmet magazine that I used as a reference. I did use their tart crust recipe, but thought it could be improved. The ganache was outstanding; I used orange chocolate and my orange marmalade. The original recipe called for Kahlua or coffee-flavored liqueur, but I used creme cassis instead. Everybody loved it and ate a lot. The mountains give you a healthy appetite.
Fast forward and I'm home again. This time, instead of using a 9-inch tart form, I made individual tarts. I also used a different crust recipe. This was simpler and less sugary. I think it complements the chocolate flavor. This is not a sweet dessert. The whole recipe has only two tablespoons of sugar in the crust, as well as the sugar that was added to the chocolate. What it does have is a strong, full chocolate flavor. It is divine! If you are a chocolate lover, this recipe Is for you. It is important that you use very good-quality chocolate. I love to cook with Lindt chocolate and I found an orange dark chocolate called theo at Whole Foods. This chocolate and my orange marmalade add a citrus taste to the chocolate ganache.
Two weeks later, and I'm still not happy with my crust. Everybody liked it, but I'm on the search for the perfect crust. It’s the German in me. The second crust recipe was very easy to make, a little bit more flaky and complemented the strong chocolate flavor. I made the second crust one more time using the food processor and cooling the dough a little more before baking. Voila! I had a winner. I ran out of orange marmalade and used plum jam instead, and for the chocolate I used cherry-flavored chocolate with tiny pieces of almonds in them—very nice with a wonderful flavor and the tart is delicious without the raspberries. I just like to have a little nibble when I have a cup of tea. You will be able to make this tart in no time, yes it is easy to make.
In the old days, when you waited for an appointment at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser, you read magazines that were nicely stacked on tables. Today, there are just a few left and you wonder about germs and almost everybody is holding their electric devices playing Words with Friends or whatever. I miss those trashy magazines and still look at them if they are available, but I also play Scrabble and Words with Friends. Years ago, I found this recipe in one of those magazines and since it was an advertisement for a Sonoma wine, I ripped out the page. Normally, I ask someone to make me a copy. I found many recipes like this that are part of my cooking repertoire. Personally, I would have never thought of this recipe and the combination of ingredients. It is delicious and has a wonderful flavor with an Asian twist to it. The water chestnuts give it a nice crunch and the ginger goes well with the pork and the shiitake mushrooms. What is there not to like?! The shiitakes act as a little bowl for the pork and is a culinary delight at any party or gathering as an appetizer. Serve it on top of salad with some crusty bread, and you have a delicious lunch or light dinner.
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