Recently at work, the department next to me had a week of pastry orders for external guests visiting the College. On one of the days, we had a whole batch of tomato pesto tartlets left over, and none of us really like it enough to finish them or bring it home. So came the great idea – let’s throw out the filling and recycle the tarts! (The tart was mostly clean as it was fresh tomatos at the bottom, topped with pesto)
So we did. I made ganache. And because the cream I had on hand smelled funky, I went ahead and made water ganache. Water and chocolate doesn’t seem like the best of friends, but if done right they can be ;) The next day we filled the tarts up and put them back in the fridge. About 6 hours later during our teabreak, we had a silky chocolate tart, with a filling that very much melted in your mouth and a tartlet base that tasted like… pesto. Eeps. One of my colleagues liked the texture enough to have 3, the rest of us had 1 and were raising our brows at strange slightly bitter aftertaste. Lesson learnt, if you want to recycle tarts crusts, if they are savoury from the start, make a savoury filling. Unless you’re adventurous enough to try things like chocolate pesto, which wasn’t thaaat bad actually.
150g chocolate, chopped
100g (rolled truffles) / 150g (for tart fillings) lukewarm water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coffee granulates (optional, personal preference :) I love adding coffee to chocolate to enhance the flavour)
1 tbsp liquor (optional)
1. Melt your chocolate and butter over a double broiler or in the microwave, whichever you prefer.
2. Once melted (your chocolate should be smooth and shiny), slowly add your water. What I usually do is add about 5 tsp and stir, add another 5 and stir… until all the water is gone and you’re left with a yummy chocolate soup.
3. Add your vanilla and liquor if using, and resist the urge to drink the chocolate!
4. At this stage, if making tarts you can fill your baked tart shells and put it into the fridge. It should take about 4-5 hours to set, depending on the size of your tart. You’ll know it’s ready when the top is slightly firm on top, and when you slice it, the insides remain firm and creamy, but not watery!
5. Alternatively, if you are making truffles, cling wrap your ganache in the bowl and leave it in the fridge to set. After about 4-5 hours, once the chocolate has set, scoop the chocolate out and roll them into balls. Coat them in chocolate or roll them in cocoa powder… or if you are like me, and your chocolate enrobing skills are not all that fantastic – roll them in chocolate and proceed to coat them in cocoa powder. And then attempt to try roll them into more perfect circles again. This is what you get.
There’s a whole egullet discussion about water ganache, if you like to find out more. I’ll be playing around a bit more with this recipe, to try it without the butter. Someone commented that the flavour of the chocolate is far more intense without the cream – I totally agree. But this works for me now… I’m even thinking of making a fudge cake just purely out of the this ganache, or layer it in between chocolate cake. Mmmm….