Ganache Tart with a Black Walnut Amaranth Crust
My friends are extraordinarily happy that I decided to feature seeds for the Wild Things foraging recipe challenge this month. It isn't often that I bake, and I'm not much inclined to eat the resulting dessert treats when I do. This has meant that my loved ones have scored a whole lot of sweet goodness this month.
Most of the people who took home slices of this tart are die-hard chocolate lovers, so I expected that they'd enjoy the velvety ganache center, with its richness set off by an undercurrent of bay and high notes of orange. I was surprised and quite pleased to hear that several people were most struck by the crust on this tart, which is entirely gluten-free. Wild amaranth flour and bits of foraged black walnuts come together in this recipe to make a crumbly, salty, shortbread-like bed for the ganache. Because I've used melted butter in this crust, it is far less fussy to get perfectly pressed into a tart pan than the variety which uses cold cubed butter.
Black Walnut Amaranth Tart Crust
3/4 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1/4 c. wild amaranth flour
1/4 c. black walnuts
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. melted butter
1. Finely chop the black walnuts. Ideally, they'll end up in small pieces, not be completely crushed into nut meal.
2. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the three flours, walnuts, brown sugar, and salt.
3. Pour in the melted butter, and use the fork to evenly combine the ingredients until they resemble wet sand.
4. Use your fingers to press the crust into a 10" tart pan. Use a flat bottomed drinking glass or measuring cup to smooth and even out the crust.
5. Bake the crust at 375 degrees (F) for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
6. Cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Tart Filling Infused with Orange and Bay
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
zest from one orange
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. light olive oil
pinch of salt
1. In a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat, let the cream, orange zest, and bay leaf steep together for 30 minutes.
2. Fish out the zest and bay leaves, then turn up the heat on the cream, and let it barely come to a boil.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the chocolate, oil, and salt, and stir, stir, stir. At first the ganache will look broken and grainy. But as you continue to stir, it will come back together and look glossy.
4. When the ganache looks completely smooth and silky, pour it into the prepared tart crust.
5. Let the ganache set for two hours. Serve it at room temperature with whipped cream.