Hope or Chocolate Tart?

Once, on a bus ride thru a big city, lost in thoughts and listening to music, my eyes caught a grafitti tag on a road sign that read "HOPE DIED LAST". This simple statement got me thinking, would that be true? Would hope be the last thing we hang on to in the end? Is being hopefull the very essence of being human?

If you came looking for answers, well let me tell you, this is not the place. I simply have none of them. But I believe that hope is a great power, that it moves us forward, gets us up in the morning and keeps us standing thru difficult times. And for being a helpless believer, I have had my hopes shattered more than once. I don't know if that makes me any less hopefull, but maybe just more carefull.

"Let's hope for the best" or "Get your hopes up" are expressions I want to embrace, even when I turn on the news and see hate and violence all over the world. Because after all, what else can we do? If the proverbial "all hope is lost" were to be true, how would we react? I think I'd rather not know.

But for any lost cause, I have the same answer: Chocolate! This chocolate and candied orange tart is yet an other proof, that I'm hopeless when it comes to staying away from chocolate! Why should I anyway...

Chocolate and Candied Orange Tart (based on a recipe from Petit Larousse Pâtissier)

For a 28cm Pie

120gr of Butter
2 Eggs
80gr Icing Sugar
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
220gr Flour
A pinch of Salt
30cl Cream
200gr Black Chocolate
50gr Milk Chocolate
3 Tablespoon of Candied Orange Peel

Cut the butter into small cubes. In a standing mixer, whisk the eggs and add the sugar, the almonds and the salt, keep whisking until it's well combine and light. Change to the paddle attachement and add all the flour at once, mix in slowly, than start adding the cubes of butter, one by one, until you have a shiny dough. Form a ball and cover it with cling film and leave it to rest at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Roll out you dough to fit you pie dish (I had some dough left). Prick the dough with a fork, than cover with parchement paper to put some weight on it (like dried beans) to bake your pastry blind for 12 minutes. Than (carefully) remove the beans and cook for 10 more minutes. Leave to cool.

To make the ganache, heat up the cream in a sauce pan. Break the chocolate into little pieces and place them in a bowl, pour over the hot cream and start mixing carefully with a spatula, just until it's smooth.

Dice the candied orange peel and place them in the pie crust, than carefully pour over the chocolate ganache, try to make it even and not have to much air bubbles (your can prick them with a knife). Place in the fridge until you serve it.

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