Welcome to our very first recipe blog post. My name is Jolene Kolk, owner of Old Coal, and I wanted to start this blog series to share stories and recipes with you. You may not know this, but years back I went to Culinary School at SAIT, not specifically for chocolate, but for Baking and Pastry Arts. It was an incredible experience learning about everything from sourdough breads, to traditional french pastries and modern desserts. I now work mostly with chocolate as you know, but what can I say, I also love baking and making ALL kinds of food! This blog will focus on recipes including some element of chocolate, but who knows, one day I may branch out into a savory foodie blog as well.
Anyways, lets kick off this blog with the first recipe. To be totally honest, I originally planned to do a Dark Chocolate & Sea Buckthorn Berry tart for this post, but the bushes I was planning on picking fresh berries from, at my families farm, didn’t produce very much this year. And birds got to the few berries that were there. I guess there is always next year!
I adore the fall season and growing up it was always used to pick and preserve our fruits from the year. As a child one of my favorite things was helping my mom pick apples and make apples sauce. Needless to say, fall to me, means apples! So in lei of freshly harvested, in season, local berries I opted for apples! Who doesn’t like a good apple dessert?
This recipe I created is partially inspired by a traditional french apple tart, but with a few twists, like a cocoa crust. I also like to use granny smith apples for this, and for any baking really, they keep there texture, do not go mushy and have that lovely tartness.
Lets get to it!
Apple Tart w/ Cocoa Crust & Milk Chocolate Chantilly
1 cup Flour (white unbleached)
1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
3 Tbs Icing Sugar
1 – 2 Tbs Cold Water
Pinch Sea Salt
4 – 6 Granny Smith Apples
2 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Warm Water
65 grams Milk Chocolate
1 & 1/3 cup Cream (35%)
Chop the butter in small cubes, and set aside to soften slightly at room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and sugar. Sift of whisk to ensure there are no clumps.
Take the chopped butter and start to combine into the flour mixture. (This can be done by hand, or a pastry blender.)
Once the mixture looks crumbly stop and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, water and salt together. (Why salt? The salt actually helps break down the texture and membrane in the egg to make one a smoother liquid.)
Now pour that egg mixture over the flour and mix in with a fork. Kneed the dough slightly until just combined. Do not over mix. Wrap the dough and chill.
Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
Thinly slice the apples, leaving the peel on, then lay them out onto a sheet tray with parchment. Place in the over for approx 10-15 minutes, until shot and slightly browned. (Depending on the size of apples, the amount will vary, but with small apples it will be about 6.)
This step is to ensures the apples are pliable enough to create the ‘rose’ shape, and starts the cooking/caramelizing process.
While the apples are softening, you can start rolling out the crust. I used a 9″ french pastry pan with fluted sides.
Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Gently press the dough into the pastry pan, ensuring the dough reaches all the way into the corners.
With a sharp pairing knife, cut off the access of dough hanging over the sides.
Now the fun begins! Start placing the cooled, softened apple slices around the outside edge of the crust, peel side up. Overlap each piece approx. halfway over the last piece. continue doing this and go around and around until you reach the center. (You can take one apple slice and curl it to fill the center gap.)
Place tart in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. While it is baking you can mix up the simple syrup and make the Chantilly. To make simple syrup, simply mix warm water with honey until dissolved. (Simple eh?) Set aside.
For the chantilly, chop up milk chocolate and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. (I used Valrhona Caramelia, but any high quality chocolate will work). Bring 1/3 cup of the cream to just a boil, them pour over the chocolate and cover. Wait about 5 minutes then still with spatula, all the chocolate should be melted and incorporated smoothly. Take 1 cup of cold cream and mix in with chocolate mixture. (If it is still hot, wait until it cools for this step.)
Place bowl on stand mixer, with whisk attachment and whip at low-medium speed until soft peaks form. Chill in fridge.
For tart, at about 30-35 minutes pull out and drizzle the apples with the honey simple syrup. Return to over for about 15 more minutes.
Cool, cut and serve with a dollop of milk chocolate chantilly.
(PS this recipes makes more then enough chantilly for one tart, but once you try it, I’m sure you can think of some creative way to use up the extra. Like in your morning coffee…. or on a spoon?)
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy this recipe.
Until next month,