Here’s hoping everyone’s having a great weekend! It’s raining hard right now, and I’m enjoying the sound of thunder rolling in the distance. Before I head out into the rain to have afternoon tea with my friend CC, here’s a follow-up from yesterday’s post. As promised, the recipes for Blood Orange Chocolate Tart, Candied Orange Peel and Candied Fennel:
Blood Orange Chocolate Tart
10 medium-large blood oranges
Zest four of the blood oranges and set aside for the blood orange curd (will yield approx 2 packed tbsp of orange zest). Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest of the remaining oranges in long strips, then julienne the strips and set aside for candied orange peel. Supreme the oranges over a large bowl, and squeeze any juice that remains after removing the sections into a measuring glass (you should get around 1 cup of juice).
Blood Orange Curd
Reserved juice from blood oranges (approx 1 cup)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, washed and dried
1 tsp cornstarch
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2-3 tbsp blood orange zest
In a saucepan, heat blood orange juice and cranberries, covered, until the berries pop and release their flavours into the juice. Remove from heat and strain. Return 3/4 cup of juice into the saucepan and, off heat, mix in cornstarch until it is dissolved.
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar until they are well combined, then pour into saucepan, whisking continuously until it is an even mixture.
Return the saucepan to medium heat and add the butter. Continue whisking until the mixture comes just to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the orange zest. Pour out into a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Give it a light stir to break up any skin that may be developing on the surface and cover with cling wrap, making sure the wrap comes into full contact with the surface of the curd. Let cool overnight in the fridge.
*If you like the idea of this tart, but don’t have time to make everything, do make this. It’s great spread on toast, sandwiched between cookies, eaten with a spoon, licked clean from the bowl…
1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (the specks in the above photo are because I used almonds instead and didn’t bother to grind them finely. Trust me, graham cracker crumbs are a better choice both for taste and texture)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/2″ cubes
2 tbsp ground ginger (not too much; you don’t want the ginger to overpower the orange and chocolate)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
raw rice / dried beans / ceramic weights for weighting the crust
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a food processor, process dry ingredients and butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix together egg and molasses, then add to the flour mixture and pulse again until the dough is well combined but still crumbly and loose. Pour into an 11” tart pan with a removable bottom, and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides.
Refrigerate the crust for 30 min, then prick holes in the bottom with a fork, line the inside with tin foil, and fill the tin foil with your choice of rice, beans or ceramic weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights, return to the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack.
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped coarsely (I used a combination of 4 dark and 2 bittersweet)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (I would have used Solerno blood orange liqueur, but sadly, I haven’t yet been able to acquire it)
Over a bain-marie or bowl set over a pot of water, melt the chocolate, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Stir in cream 1/4 cup at a time and add Grand Marnier, stirring until smooth and well combined.
While the chocolate ganache is still warm, pour out onto the baked crust, spreading evenly.
OPTIONAL: I sprinkled 1/4 cup of Skor toffee bits over the ganache at this point; it doesn’t add much but a touch of extra sweetness to the tart.
Chill in the fridge until the ganache has cooled, approx 15 minutes.
While the tart is in the fridge, dissolve 1/2 packet of gelatine into any remaining juice over low heat (there will be some left over from the curd, and some in the bottom of your bowl of orange sections); then mix in with your orange pieces. If you want to achieve the same gradation that I did, pre-arranging the oranges on a plate of similar size to your tart will save you some time.
Spread the orange curd evenly over the ganache, and then arrange the orange pieces on top. Chill for another 15 minutes, then remove the tart from its pan.
Candied Orange Peel
Reserved orange peel
1 cup granulated white sugar
Put the strips of orange peel into a small pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat; then strain out the water. Add 1.5 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar to the pot, and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water is almost completely evaporated. You’ll be left with perfect golden strands of candied orange peel.
Candied Fennel (optional)
1/2 bulb of fennel; stalks and leaves trimmed away
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Thinly slice the fennel (I used a mandoline, which made the job quick and easy) and put in a small pot. Add water and sugar, and bring to a boil on medium heat. When fennel has become translucent, remove it from the pot and allow the water and sugar to keep boiling until it is reduced to 1 1/2 cups in volume. Return the fennel to the pot and let it simmer for 3 min. Strain and cool, reserving the syrup for another use.