Chocolate Lavender Tart

Chocolate Lavender Tart
Chocolate Lavender Tart
I love everything French. Crusty baguettes, rich foie gras, savoury galettes and even all kinds of stinky cheese. I could day dream all day about living in a tiny town in Provence, riding my bicycle to the morning market for groceries and returning home with a belly full of sampled jambon and sweet pâtisseries . It’s a shame that I’ve forgotten most of my high school level French, but some days I like to live vicariously through an imaginary French me, humming along to Francoise Hardy’s Comment te dire adieu? while rolling out perfect croissants in my tiny Parisian kitchen.

Chocolate Lavender Tart

Last fall Dan and I travelled to France, specifically Paris, Lyon and Avignon. For the 2 weeks that we were there I was in culinary heaven. Much to Dan’s dismay, I dragged him to every cookery store that was highlighted in The Food Lovers Guide to Paris. A visit to G. Detou was of course a must. I’m pretty sure I stood in the aisle staring in awe at all the brick-sized blocks of chocolate for quite some time until Dan’s impatient foot tap interrupted my baker’s fantasy. I would’ve purchased the entire shop if I could, but I was already testing the check-in limit with the 2 bottles of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. So alas, I escaped France with a bag of pearl sugar, jars of floral fleur de sel and a large tart pan that I thought would be perfect for the days I wanted to dream in French.

Chocolate Lavender Tart
Chocolate Lavender Tart

Yesterday was Bastille Day (Vive la France!) and although I’m nearly 3600 miles away from the Eiffel Tower; I still wanted to celebrate in my Bermuda kitchen by making tarte au chocolate with my souvenirs from Paris. A classic pastry of rich chocolate with a hint of lavender, a small sliver is all you need to make your day a little sweeter and perhaps you’ll even dream en francais!

Chocolate Lavender Tart

Pâte Sucrée
1/2 cup (1 stick/114 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 cup (195 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg

In a large bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed for a few minutes until mayonnaise constancy. Add flour and continue to beat at low speed until the flour mixes with the butter/sugar and looks like wet sand. Add the egg and mix on low for 30 seconds until the dough comes together.

Form the dough into a flat disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Sprinkle flour over the counter. Take the dough out of the Fridge and bang on it a few times to soften it up. Unwrap the dough and roll it out into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Carefully roll the dough onto the pin and then roll out onto a 9 or 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly; press the edges into the sides of the pan. It is important to press the dough evenly into every nook and corner of the ring. Use scraps to patch up any tears or missing areas.

Pierce the dough with a fork and place a piece of parchment paper over the centre of the shell and top with dried beans or pie weights. Place the tart shell in the fridge again for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven for 350°C and bake for 15 minutes, and then remove the beans or weights and bake again for another 15-20 minutes until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Chocolate Filling
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tbsp butter (1/4 cup)
2 egg
flaky sea salt
dried lavender

Preheat oven to 325°C

Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until slightly simmering and pour immediately over the chocolate. Mix well until the chocolate has melted. Beat eggs in a small bowl and add to the chocolate mixture and whisk until completely blended and glossy.

Carefully pour into the cooled tart shell. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set and surface remains glossy. Cool on a rack and sprinkle sea salt and dried lavender buds before serving.

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

January of last year, I packed my trusted pistachio coloured KitchenAid mixer into a suitcase lined with sweaters that were probably not going to be put to much use anymore. There was no way I was leaving that workhorse behind. I was taking the leap of love, moving 3000 miles away from my family and friends in Vancouver to Bermuda where my boyfriend Dan lived. Probably not the worst of places to move to considering it’s sunny 99% of the time, but there are drawbacks of living on a tropical island…well…you live on a tiny tropical island! While I welcomed with open arms freshly caught Wahoo, beautiful humid sunny weather, and breathtaking turquoise waters…I couldn’t deny that I would miss Vancouver’s rich culinary diversity. However, trading in hunter boots for year-round flip-flops was too good of a deal to pass up.  

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Now here I am, assimilated a year and a half later with great new friends, a healthy tan, and a penchant for baking artisan breads. Much of my free time is now occupied with attempting to master my way through Peter Reinhart ’s books and because of that, I have unassumingly upgraded Dan’s office status by sending him off to work with trays of test run recipes. 

Which brings me to this blog…the first post to have been written months ago. But I dragged my feet and made up excuse after excuse. Starting something new can be so daunting, the fear of complete utter failure can haunt anyone’s mind. But just like taking the leap of love 17 months ago, I’m diving head first into the world of food blogging. And sometimes a little liquid courage can help. 

One of Bermuda’s more known exports is Goslings Black Rum, a rich dark liquor with notes of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Mostly used to mix its famous Dark N’ Stormy cocktails, I decided to add a little bit into the glaze of these rolls. The ginger is a subtle touch in the brioche dough and the Goslings gives it the extra little spice. 

So without further ado, here is my very first recipe post. Bottoms up!

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Makes 12 small or 8 Large rolls

For the Dough:
3/4 cup of milk (185 g)
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one package)
1/4 cup of softened butter (57 grams)
1/3 cup of sugar (67 grams)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
2 teaspoon peeled Grated fresh ginger
4 cups of flour (plus more for dusting) (512 grams)
2 large eggs 

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons softened butter (85 grams) 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 table spoons dark rum
3 table spoons butter melted
a pinch of sea salt 

Heat milk and grated ginger in a microwave safe measuring cup for about 45 seconds. Stir in butter until melted. Cool to lukewarm or until below 115 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together half of the flour, yeast, ginger , sugar and salt. Add the eggs and milk mixture and beat well. or medium-low speed with the hook attachment. Add the other half of the flour gradually 1/2 cup at a time and continue to mix until the dough has pulled together. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead adding more flour as needed for 8 minutes until slightly tacky to the touch or 5 minutes in the mixer.

Cover the dough to let the gluten relax for 10 minutes. While the dough rests, mix the filling ingredients until it forms a paste.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough into a 10×14 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough making sure to reach all sides. Tightly roll the dough from the long side and pinch the seam to seal. Using a sharp knife or unflavoured dental floss, cut the roll into 9 pieces for a 9” pan or pie plate, or 12 rolls for a 9 x 12” pan. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the rolls from the fridge and let the dough rest on the counter to take the chill off for about an hour. When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown.

Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more melted butter (or rum!) to thin. When rolls have cooled to warm, pour glaze over and serve.