I think my first trip to Laduree in Paris was what really got me interested in baking and pastry making. That first macaron was different from anything I had ever tasted, and I stood on the street just dying over how good they were.
When I found that they had a cookbook, I was thrilled. I got it a few years ago and I’ve made this tart twice because it’s so rich and delicious. And I’m not kidding when I say it’s rich, a sliver is all you need for all this chocolatey goodness. The majority of the tart is straight chocolate ganache, so you know you’re in for a treat.
In terms of the crust, I’ve found that this recipe makes enough for two (one 8 inch tart pan and a 9 inch cake pan). The recipe calls for a 9.5 inch pan with 2 cm depth. Try with whatever you have on hand, but know that if you butter and flour a regular cake pan sufficiently, it works beautifully.
- 1 2/3 cups cake flour, plus more for work surface
- 2/3 cups icing sugar
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 2 1/4 tbsp cocoa powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup very cold butter cut into very small pieces, plus more for pan
- 1 egg
Flourless Chocolate Sponge Cake
- 1.5 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 10 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
- 7 tbsp softened butter
- 1 chocolate bar
- Cocoa powder
Start by making your dough. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the small pieces of chilled butter and using your hands, work the butter into the dough until it looks like sand. A few larger pieces are okay (see below).
Add the egg and combine until just homogenous and the dough sticks together, do not overwork the dough. If it is too dry, add a teaspoon of milk and work it into the dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour (you can also do this the day before).
Butter and flour your pan. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 2-3mm thick. Fold in half and carefully set into pan, unfolding to meet the other half of the pan. Allow to rest for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 340F and remove shell from fridge. Prick all over with a fork, then carefully line the shell with parchment paper, pressing into the corners and sides. Place dried beans, rice or pie weights evenly around the parchment (this ensures the shell doesn’t shrink while baking). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper and allow to cool on a rack.
To make the sponge cake, melt chocolate over a pan of gently simmering water. Set aside. Separate egg whites and yolks and in a large bowl, mix yolks with 3 tbsp sugar and beat until frothy, as below. In a separate clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites to a foam (as below), add 2 tbsp sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Pour 1/4 of the whites into the yolks and add melted chocolate. Fold together until incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites and fold until incorporated, careful not to overmix.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and transfer batter to a piping bag with a 1/4-1/3 inch plain tip. Pipe batter into a circle from the inside out into a circle 2 cm smaller than the tart shell. Bake at 340F for 15 minutes until slightly dry. Remove from oven and slide parchment onto cooling rack to cool.
To make the ganache, finely chop chocolate and place in large bowl. Bowl cream and pour half of it over chocolate, whisk until emulsified. Add remaining boiled cream and repeat until smooth.
Add butter in small pieces and stir ganache with a spatula until smooth.
Assemble immediately by removing the tart shell from its pan onto a plate. Pour a thin layer of ganache into the shell and spread evenly to 2-3mm thickness. Place the disk of sponge cake on top, pressing down gently. Fill to the top with remaining ganache and allow to set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Decorate the top with chocolate shavings by scraping the side of the chocolate bar with the back of a chef’s knife to make fine shavings, sprinkling over the tart. Dust lightly with cocoa powder, sifting directly over the tart.
Voila! You’re basically French.
Recipe from Laduree Sucre – The Recipes