Thursday, 17 January 2013

HONEY ALMOND BUTTER TART with CHOCOLATE GANACHE

I know, I know, it's the middle of January.  The month after the Month of Unapologetic Gastronomic Overindulgence.  The month where everyone is trying to eat lighter, healthier, to get 'back on track'.  I'm sure you're all thinking, "Really?  Is she seriously posting a ridiculously decadent tart recipe right now?  Give me kale!  Give me beets!"  Well, I hate to break it to you, but I am.  Partly because I made this tart back in December, when eating such things was not only acceptable but expected.  And partly because I simply cannot wait to share it with you any longer. 

Now, a word about this tart.  Some meals or dishes are special because they're ridiculously delicious.  Others are special because of the people you made or shared them with.  This tart is both.  It is so delicious, it begs to be made and shared with people you love.




While the many separate elements required to construct this creamy, crunchy and truly decadent dessert may seem daunting, it is actually rather simple to make.  Don't let the time requirement deter you.  Yet do leave yourself plenty of time; in addition to the various stages of assembly, the tart also needs to chill in the fridge before serving.

My version of this tart has been adapted from the wonderful Joy the Baker, who originally made it with a shortbread crust.  While I'm not a particular fan of shortbread, I was also interested in adapting the crust to include whole grains and omit the butter and sugar.  I have absolutely no problem with these ingredients in certain recipes, but I felt that the filling of this tart would be well complimented by a heartier, nuttier crust.  (And, ultimately, I'm interested in experimenting with and substituting whole foods for processed ones wherever possible.)  The crust I made instead of Joy's shortbread worked like a dream, delicious in its own right and the perfect match for the smooth almond butter and cream filling and hardened, dark chocolate it held.


Whether or not you make this tart in January (which apparently is National Staying Healthy Month) is totally your call.  Regardless, put the recipe in your back pocket, your bookmarks folder, your obsessively-organized digital recipe archive, wherever you like to put these things, and pull it out when you want to make something with love for people you love.





Honey Almond Butter Tart with Chocolate Ganache
Crust from Megan B. via My New Roots
Filling from Joy the Baker
Serves eight

Ingredients

For the Crust (to be made in a 9" removable bottom tart pan):
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans
75 g (between 1/2 and 2/3 cup) whole grain flour (I used spelt flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vanilla


For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup almond butter (unsweetened)
1/2 cup honey
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache:
6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
handful toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
sea salt, for garnish

Directions
Make the crust:
1.  In a food processor, blend oats and pecans until relatively finely crumbled.
2.  Add flour, salt and cinnamon and pulse a few times, until combined.
3.  Add the remaining wet ingredients and pulse until a coarse meal is formed.
4.  Grease a 9" removable bottom tart pan with coconut oil.  
5.  Place the crust mixture into the pan and, using your fingers, press the mixture evenly across the bottom and along all the sides.
6.  Pierce the bottom a few times with a fork.
7.  Put crust in freezer and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
8.  When ready to bake crust, preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C / Gas 7.
9.  Remove crust from freezer and press a sheet of aluminum foil on top, covering the surface.
10.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove the foil.  Bake for another 7 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.  Remove and let cool.

Make the Filling:
1.  In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside.
2.  Using either an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand-held electric mixer and a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, almond butter and honey until creamy and fully incorporated.  Beat in salt and vanilla extract.
3.  Stir in 1/3 of the whipped heavy cream until combined.  In two rounds, lightly fold in the remainder of the heavy cream.  Filling should be light and voluminous, like a heavy mousse.  Store in fridge until the tart crust has cooled completely and you're ready to fill it.

Make the Ganache (once you have filled the crust--still in the tart pan--with the mousse filling):
1.  Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
2.  Heat heavy cream in the microwave until steaming hot (about one minute).  
3.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and let rest for 30 seconds.
4.  Stir the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is fully melted and completely smooth.
5.  Stir in vanilla.

Finish the Tart:
1.  Pour the ganache over the filled tart and smooth to edges.
2.  Sprinkle toasted almonds and sea salt on top of the ganache.
3.  Let sit in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.

3 comments:

  1. sounds absolutely delicious :)

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  2. Words cannot describe. I was going to a high tea for lunch the following day and told myself in the morning, "You are going to high tea this afternoon, you will be having tons of sweets, you cannot have the leftovers of this tart for breakfast." I actually managed to have a proper breakfast...and then I had this tart. It is so worth the effort. I hope you make it!

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  3. Yum!! Can't wait to try this!
    Jolleen

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