Chocolate orange tart, with a flaky crust and smooth chocolate-orange filling. It’s perfect as-is, but top it with gingered whipped cream and candied orange peel and you have a truly decadent and elegant dessert!
If the Bacon Slayer could attest to just two things about me as of late, it would be that:
- I’ve been devouring new cookbooks as if the pages themselves were a form of bodily sustenance.
- I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with baking pies.
Which is kind of perfect because one of my more recent acquisitions is the Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson. My friend Carrie insisted that I needed to snag a copy as soon as possible because I would adore it. I Amazon’ed the book solely on Carrie’s recommendation, and she was absolutely right. I do adore the cookbook, which is chock-full of recipes that are sure to grace our table in the not-so-distant future.
However, what I enjoy most about it is reading Joy’s voice in the book. She’s funny, charming, and incredibly engaging. Being that Joy is an award winning food blogger, I feel a little silly not having read her before now. I’m glad Carrie turned me on to Joy because anyone who celebrates butter and sugar is my kind of people.
Carrie also mentioned a group of bloggers that participate in a little something called Sundays with Joy, in which every couple of weeks more than 140 of them cook the same recipe from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.
Comfortably Domestic Confession #1: For someone who reads cookbooks like novels, I don’t often cook from their pages.
While I scour cookbooks for interesting information, new techniques, and culinary inspiration, when I’m cooking I tend to just wing-it and scribble down recipes as I go along. Since I began sharing our family’s favorite recipes on Comfortably Domestic, I’ve inadvertently immersed myself in a hyper-recipe-development mode.
I scribble furiously in notebooks as I work in the kitchen. My free time spent testing recipes or researching the science behind future recipe ideas. Sleep is lost over why something isn’t working in a recipe that I’m working on. Developing recipes is part of who I am–I enjoy it.. The development process can be very exciting but it also requires a lot of thought. To be honest, sometimes I lose sight of the simple joy that comes from creating something in the kitchen without worrying over whether or not it is Blog Worthy.
One of my personal commitments this year is to relax in the kitchen.
So, this year I vowed to follow more recipes from my stacks of cookbooks, in order to recapture some of that unhindered excitement that comes with cooking for recreation. I joined Carrie’s Sundays with Joy group to give myself a built-in day off. A day to cook from a book without any self-imposed guilt that I should be doing more. Being involved with a forum of fantastic and supportive bakers to gab with is a wonderful bonus! I’m thrilled that the group would have me, because I need to recapture a little more Joy. 🙂
As this is my inaugural week, I was really excited to follow a recipe for what would eventually become chocolate orange tart!
This week’s Sundays with Joy assignment was her dark chocolate tart with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries. I love a good and creamy chocolate ganache, but being that all of the berry brambles here on the 45th Parallel are currently frozen under several feet of snow, I opted for giving the tart an orange-ginger slant. I may have also taken a few liberties with the printed ingredient measurements. And maybe changed up the method just a tad…but other than that, I followed the recipe to the letter.
What can I say? I can’t seem to leave well enough alone, but I’m working on it.
Here’s what I changed when making my chocolate orange tart:
I made the tart dough in the food processor à la my go-to pie dough recipe, cut back on the flour called for, skipped the cinnamon, increased the ginger, then added a little half & half for it to all come together.
Comfortably Domestic Confession #2: Whenever I blind bake a tart or pie dough, it usually ends up as a gloppy, melted mess of dough at the bottom of the plate with me resisting the urge to hurl it out the window. Sometimes the lure of defenestration is hard to resist.
Given my tenuous blind baking history, I followed my friend Jenni’s advice and froze the unbaked tart shell overnight rather than for just an hour. Jenni is a real-live pastry chef with awesome tutorials, so when she suggests an overnight freeze, I listen.
For the filling, I used semi-sweet baking chocolate rather than dark chocolate, also adding a hefty splash of my new love: King Arthur Flour’s Fiori di Sicilia (orange) extract. Since I hate doing dishes, I made the ganache in the microwave rather than messing with the whole bowl-over-a-simmering-pot-of-water thing.
I candied some orange peels, promptly eating half of them before I finished the chocolate orange tart.
I saved the orange syrup created as a byproduct of candying said orange peels and tossed it into a big pitcher of iced tea.
The iced tea has nothing to do with the recipe, but I just thought I’d give you an idea for what to do with that wonderful syrup.
While the assembled tart was chilling, I chopped up crystallized ginger for the whipped cream.
Crystallized ginger root (also called candied ginger) is just ginger that has been softened and coated in sugar. It is similar to the candied orange peels, above.
Even with the alterations, baking for Sundays with Joy brought a smile to my face. Also smiling was my neighbor, to whom I gave half of the tart as he walked his dog by my house.
See? Joy abounds!