When it comes to dessert, I’m in the minority: I’ve found that most people, the kids in Paziols included, are in the chocolate camp. I, meanwhile, could just as easily forgo chocolate entirely, but when it comes to a fruit-based (especially lemon) dessert, watch out, I’m likely going to eat the whole thing.
Still, I know that most people prefer chocolate, and since I’m a born people-pleaser, when it comes to dessert, I’m often browsing recipes for things heavy in cocoa, not in fruit, like this chocolate tart that was a huge hit with everyone in Paziols.
The recipe comes from one of my favorite French food blogs, Eryn et sa folle cuisine. I edited it a bit to make larger tarts instead of the tartelettes she calls for, but everyone enjoyed licking the dishes clean of the chocolate filling, and I enjoyed the “effet miroir” or mirror effect that the finished product had.
But while chocolate is fun, I still gravitate towards my favorite fruit desserts, especially in summer. A summer staple in France is clafoutis, and with apricots raining from the skies in July, clafoutis it was.
I especially loved this dessert because of how easy it was. Case in point: I stood by and watched as our two youngest campers assembled this dessert almost entirely on their own. (I still opened the oven. I believe in seven-year-olds, but not at the peril of their tiny fingertips).
As for which dessert people preferred, who can say? All I know is both times, the tart pans were licked clean, and that’s enough of a “thank you” for me.
Tarte Noisette et Cacao en Miroir (Translated and adapted from Eryn folle cuisine)
120 grams flour
40 grams ground hazelnuts
30 grams butter, diced
30 grams sugar
150 grams sugar
12 cl water
10 cl heavy cream
50 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
10 grams gelatine
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Prepare the dough: cream the butter and the sugar. Add the cream and mix to combine. Add the flour, egg and hazelnuts, and work into a ball of dough.
Butter and flour your tart pan, then roll out the dough and place it in the pan. Using pie weights or dried beans, bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and bake another 5 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool.
While the crust cools, prepare the filling. Sift the cocoa into a bowl. In another small bowl, allow the gelatine to dissolve in cold water for 10 minutes.
In a saucepan, heat the sugar, water and cream, mixing all the while, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cocoa and mix to combine. Bring to a boil for 1 minute over high heat.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool five minutes, then add the gelatine and mix well. Allow to cool completely.
Pour the filling into the crust, then refrigerate at least 4 hours. (You can also cool in the freezer for 1 hour and then another hour in the fridge, if you’re in a rush, but don’t forget it!
Apricot Clafoutis (adapted from Chez LouLou)
12 ounces fresh apricots, pitted and halved
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Butter and lightly flour a 9½ inch round tart pan or baking dish with deep sides.
Place the apricots in the tart pan.
Combine the flour and the salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
Add 1 cup of the milk and whisk until completely smooth, then add the eggs, one by one, whisking briefly after each addition.
Whisk in the vanilla sugar, the vanilla extract and the remaining 1 cup of milk.
Pour the batter over the apricots and dot with the butter pieces.
Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.
Let cool completely before serving,