During my recent travels to Europe, I was really inspired by their ingredients and food. One culture that I’d really like to dive into is France. There is so much romance that surrounds French cuisine. From the cheese to the wine, there is nothing I don’t love.
One of my favorite things to do, especially in the Fall season is spending time with my friends and family. Sometimes you just need some wine, cheese and girl talk – you know what I mean? It’s a French themed dinner if you ask me! We decided to go with some Bordeaux wine and some P’tit Basque cheese. A sheep’s milk cheese with a smooth sweet flavor and a nutty finish. This cheese pulls you in and doesn’t let go – I could not stop myself from eating this! It pairs perfectly with the wine and some crackers.
Now, what’s a party without dessert?! After all, aren’t the French are known for being skilled in the pastry department? I decided to make a chocolate tart using the Valrhona baking bag of chocolate. This is actually referred to as a ‘blonde’ chocolate because of its light color. It almost tastes nutty, like you’re eating a cookie. It’s not as intense as a dark or even milk chocolate, it’s closer to a white.
I made the crust using President unsalted butter , which comes from the region of Normandy along with some cacao powder, salt, & sugar. It’s a lot like a chocolate shortbread cookie. Mixed with the soft blonde chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of pistachios – this blonde tart is to die for. It’s perfect to bring to Fall gatherings and share with family and friends. Even though France may seem like a world away, we can purchase so many of their amazing products right here in America.
- FOR THE CRUST
- 1 Stick President Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Plus 2Tbs White Granulated Sugar
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 1/4 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbs Un-sweetened Cacao Powder
- 1/4 Tsp sea salt or more if you're like me 😉
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 10 oz Valrhona Orelys 35% Blonde Chocolate Baking Bag
- 3/4 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Pistachios (I prefer salted but you can buy unsalted if you please!)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until it becomes pale.
- Beat in the egg yolks
- In a separate medium bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, salt, cacao powder) and incorporate into egg mixture until combined
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface or a sheet of plastic wrap and mold into a ball
- Place in refrigerator for 1 hour
- Take the dough out of the fridge and let sit for 10 minutes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Press dough into a 13x4 inch rectangular tart pan or a 9 inch round tart pan saving about an inch worth of dough
- Poke the bottom of the dough with a fork (so it doesn't puff up)
- Place the tart shell into the oven and bake for 15 minutes (you can watch it and poke it down if it puffs up)
- Use reserved dough to press into any big holes
- Let tart shell cool completely
- In a medium pot over medium heat, bring 1-2 inches of water to a simmer. Set a medium het proof bowl on top of the pot (make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water in the pot)
- Add cream and chocolate to the bowl and cook stirring frequently with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted and glossy
- Remove the bowl and set it aside
- Temper the whipped egg by adding a tbsp of chocolate into its bowl and whisking together
- Add egg mixture into chocolate mixture
- Stir in vanilla and sea salt
- Pour into prepared tart shell and let refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Looking for more fun? Try this Date Night In Meal!