I have a massive sweet tooth that is of epic proportions and it. is. relentless. No, it’s beyond relentless. It’s absolutely unstoppable. I am the keeper of the great, irrepressible sweet tooth.
During Lent this year I made the foolish assumption that I could go forty+ days without eating processed sugar. I’m not even Catholic, I just like a good challenge. However, life and that damned sweet tooth had other plans in store for me.
You see, my birthday falls on March 29th, and if you check your calendar you’ll see that March 29th is inconveniently placed during Lent. A true challenge.
Also if you check my mother’s credit card statement, you’ll see that she sent me a devil’s food cheesecake around the same time. So really, I never stood a chance.
By this point you are probably under the correct impression that this post is about sugar. However, it’s going to be more than just about sugar. It’s going to be about chocolate.
And tortes. Or are they tarts? Well, we’ll get into that in a bit.
Generally I allow myself to eat quantities of chocolate most would deem inappropriate. Obscene, even. See, I allow myself to eat so much chocolate because I have a god-given metabolism that allows me to eat bad-for-you things and not feel a hint of guilt. Also because I think it’s delicious and I’ll eat whatever I please, whenever I please thankyouverymuch.
My mild fondness for chocolate led me to make not one, but TWO chocolate tortes this week. The first being a white chocolate raspberry torte topped with chocolate ganache, and the second a chocolate torte topped with white chocolate ganache and dusted with cocoa framboise.
If this sounds decadent, it was. If this sounds indulgent, it was. And please stop LOOKING at me like that. Who gave YOU a license to judge with your big, dumb face anyway?
Did you know that a torte and a tart are completely different? Or at least I think they are. I’ve always assumed that tarts were fruity and, well, tarty, and that tortes were more chocolatey and decadent and less zingy in flavor. Turns out I was wrong.
Upon further investigation I learned that tortes need not even be sweet, which blew my mind! But since this is a post about sweets, I won’t go into this too much — but you’d better believe there will be some savory tortes making their way into my life and blog in the near future.
To begin this torte vs tart lesson, a tart typically consists of a pastry layer filled with delicious fruits and custards OR, as mentioned before, delicious meats, veggies, etcetera, and no crusty pie top.
A sweet torte is very similar to a tart as it, too, can be seen as a naked pie (or a flourless cake), and seems to usually be filled with mousse or a ganache-like center.
Or do I have that backwards?
Honestly, I could be misleading you with lies and I wouldn’t know the difference. The lines seem to blur beyond that and starts seeming like a big game of semantics and in the end, all I want to do is just eat the beautiful naked pies in their entirety, completely and totally fancy free.
If anyone is reading this (and I hope you are!), what is your favorite tart/torte/naked pie to gorge on?
CHOCOLATE “NAKED PIE” WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes total, including resting time
Serves: Just me.
For the crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped very finely
- 5 tbsp melted, unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp confectionery sugar
For the filling
- 9 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the white chocolate ganache topping
- 3 oz white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp honey
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine all ingredients for the crust and mix with a spoon until the melted butter is mostly incorporated. Then use your hands to ensure everything is well-mixed.
- Lightly butter your spring form or tart pan and then add the crust mixture, spreading evenly. Apply pressure throughout, making sure to push up on the sides to ensure a solid rim for the ganache. Once you have evenly spread and pressed the crust to the pan, place your pan in your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until hard.
- Put chopped semi-sweet chocolate into a large bowl and set aside. Over medium-high heat, bring the 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream to a boil and then immediately pour over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes then whisk together the chocolate and boiled heavy cream vigorously until well-mixed.
- Pour mixture into crust and bake in over for 45 minutes or until slightly firm.
- Remove from oven and let sit on cooling rack for one hour or until room temperature. You can also place into the fridge to cook more rapidly/thoroughly.
- Once your naked pie is cooled you can begin making the white chocolate topping. Bring your two tbsp of heavy cream to a boil and pour over the chopped white chocolate and wait 5 minutes. Whisk vigorously until well-mixed and then add the honey, continuing to whisk for another minute. Pour over the top of the tart and tilt the tart until it is completely covered with the white chocolate. Do not use any utensils to spread the ganache topping.
- Once the ganache has evenly spread across the top of the naked pie, place the naked pie into the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the ganache to thicken and solidify.
- Top with cocoa dust, chocolate pieces, nuts, or serve as is.