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Chocolate-Ginger Truffle Tart with
Pear-Caramel Sauce



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Chocolate-Ginger Truffle Tart with
Pear-Caramel Sauce

The Kitchen Sessions
with Charlie Trotter

by Charlie Trotter, 1999, Ten Speed Press

“This is what you might call an ‘adult’ chocolate dessert. It’s intense, certainly,
but notes of ginger and pear provide refined flavors that simultaneously tame
the chocolate and highlight it. A cookielike chocolate tart shell adds a delightful
and delicate texture. And an almost regal Pear-Caramel Sauce offers a simple,
fruity sweetness that reels in the chocolate, toning down its bittersweet flavor.
With just a few simple adjustments, this could become a white chocolate tart
or converted from a large tart to smaller individual servings.”

Serves 8

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder,
plus additional for dusting
1 cup flour
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peeled, chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Preserved
Ginger (recipe follows)
Pear-Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup ground Pecan Praline
(recipe follows)

To make the tart dough
: Cream 1/2 cup of the butter, the sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick on the lightly floured work surface. Line the inside of a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with the dough, discarding any extra dough that hangs over the sides of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork and bake at 375 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is set around
the edges. Cool completely and remove from the pan.
To make the truffle filling
:  Place the chocolate and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium bowl. Bring the cream and fresh ginger to
a boil, strain the mixture over the chocolate, and discard the ginger. Let
the chocolate mixture stand for 3 minutes and then whisk until smooth.
Fold in 1/2 cup of Preserved Ginger. Pour the mixture into the tart shell
and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Dust the tart with cocoa powder and cut into 8 slices. Place 1 slice in the
center of each plate and spoon the Pear-Caramel Sauce around the slices. Sprinkle the Pecan Praline and remaining Preserved Ginger around
the plates.

Preserved Ginger
Yield: About 3/4 cup

1 cup finely julienned ginger
1 1/2 cups Simple Syrup
[For about 2 cups Simple Syrup, bring 1 cup water and
1 cup sugar to a boil, remove from heat, and let cool.]

Blanch the ginger in simmering water for 3 minutes. Strain and repeat
the process 2 more times. Simmer the ginger in the simple syrup for
30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool in the syrup. Refrigerate
in the syrup until needed.

Pear-Caramel Sauce
Yield: about 2 cups

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice, hot
1/4 cup butter
Pulp of 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup heavy cream
10 forelle pears, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths

Cook the sugar over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until golden
brown and caramelized. Add the orange juice and stir until combined.
Add the butter, vanilla bean pulp, cream and pear pieces, and cook for
10 minutes, or until the sauce comes together.

Pecan Praline
Yield: 1 cup

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup toasted pecans

In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, combine the sugar and water
over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Swirl
the pan as necessary to distribute the caramel. Stir in the nuts. If any of
the sugar crystallizes, continue to cook over low heat to remelt. Pour the
nuts and caramel onto a lightly oiled nonstick sheet pan. Let cool and
coarsely chop. Store the praline in an airtight container at room
temperature until ready to use.

Wine Notes:  Ginger is complemented by the delicate spice flavors of
a younger style of Tawny Port. Graham’s 10-year-old tawny still has
much of its original fruit, making it perfect for the chocolate, and
enough acidity to pair well with the Pear-Caramel Sauce.

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