Need a chocolate fix?

So I’ve been travelling since early October 2011 because I’ve decided to share an adventure with a man, who is slowly making his way into becoming a fellow Michelin Star chef. Not tomorrow, but I’m guessing that with his talent, it won’t take more than six years. In the meantime, I’ve been keeping busy by surfing the net, doing some contract work here and there, reading girly novels I never dreamed of picking up (maybe after all I have a really girly side I just can’t ignore, or maybe it’s just because I’m missing the girl drama), and testing out the coffee in Roanne, Lyon, Paris, the Aachen train station (that’s in Germany), Barcelona, Sant Celoni, and Montreal…

My diet/exercise routine has gone completely down the drain, as I’ve been eating on average 8 course meals once a week (which clearly explains packing on 5 extra pounds….) And the thought has recently dawned on me to baptize this year as a Master’s degree in “Refining the pallet”. Thinking that it’s actually a very good idea! But a little bit more on that later 🙂

Speaking with one of my best friends yesterday (thank god for the internet and eliminating the distance between people around the world) reminded me that I miss their presence, and the time we spend together… Whether it’s talking while drinking tea, hiking up some little mountain and trying to raft down it, getting ridiculously drunk and almost getting egged, or dancing to our favorite song (we might have more than one a week, but it’s our FAVORITE SONG!!!). I know Montreal’s had a brutal snow storm, (haha! I’m under the spanish sun, enjoying the 15 degrees celsius weather, jealous much?!?), and what better to make a girl smile than a chocolate fix! So invite your gals over and spend some quality time bingeing and gossiping; the only excuse you really need is: “Just because!”

The first recipe is a basic chocolate ganache tart. But for the ones who feel like getting a little fancier and spending some extra time in the kitchen, and really impressing your guests,  below is my famous choco-pear tart which we invented during a cook-off we had with friends in Roanne. Oh and PS: Don’t complicate your life, just buy the ready-made and frozen pie crust!

Chocolate ganache tart:

What you’ll need:

  • Pie-crust
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 250 g heavy cream
  • 250 g chocolate

Preheat oven to 350F and insert your pie crust. Follow the instructions on the box (i.e let it cook for the time they recommend). In a saucepan, heat up one cup of 35% cooking cream on medium-low. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 250 g of your favorite color chocolate (dark, 70% or more… do white chocolate if it floats your boat, but no sugar in that case…If you’re feeling extra naughty, use Toblerone), until melted. Set aside to cool. Remove your crust from the oven and let it cool. Pour in your warm ganache mixture. Place in refrigerator and let it cool until it sets (about 2 hours). Enjoy!

Choco-pear tart:

What you’ll need:

  • Pie-crust
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 4 pears
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1 litre of water
  • 250 g heavy cream
  • 250 g chocolate

Cook your crust and let it cool! Peal the skin off of your pears and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring 1 L of water to boil, with 300 g of sugar and the vanilla bean (this is a “sirop simple”). Reduce heat to medium-low, add in pears and cook them for about 45 minutes. Once your pears are cooked, remove them, let them cool and cut into slices.

For your chocolate ganache, follow the steps as indicated above.

Place your pear slices in your crust and pour the ganache over. Place in fridge and let it set (again about 2 hours). Voilà!

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