It was my friend’s birthday the other week so I made him a dessert. I wasn’t going to post the recipe, so I only took one photo of it. But when I posted it on Instagram, it got quite a few “likes”, over 400 actually. So I thought, well I might as well post the recipe since it is ridiculously easy and it never hurts to have another dessert recipe in ones’ arsenal. Since I don’t have many photos for this dessert, and my black & white photography class has just finished, I thought I would just add some of my street photography work instead. It’s my other love.
My favourite photographer for anyone into photography is Elliott Erwitt, who is in his eighties and still working! … I tried to add him as a friend on facebook but he hasn’t replied yet. (I’m not a stalker I promise. Just a nerdy fan!) I have also posted a “selfie”. Taken in Canada. In winter. On a boat. (Hence the sexy outerwear, and mullet-resembling hairstyle.) I am also a huge fan of Alex Webb and Nikos Economopoulos.
Anyway, about this recipe: it’s easy. In Cyprus, we don’t have ready-to-buy oreo crumbs. So I just bought a couple packs and spent twenty minutes scrapping the white filling into a bowl, and then blended the cookies to make my own! It’s worth it! I found when mixing the ganache together, it comes together easiest if you add little by little.
for the filling
283 grams excellent quality dark chocolate (I used Valrhona)
1 & 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 & 1/2 tbs Grand Marnier
1 cup fresh strawberries (and more for decorating)
for the crust
2 cups chocolate cookies crumbs (I used oreo cookies. I scrapped the filling out and then pulsed the cookies in a blender)
1/4 cup melted butter
1. Combine the chocolate cookies crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter together. (Mix with your hands if necessary so that the butter doesn’t clump together in patches.)
2. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9 & 1/2 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 190C and let it completely cool before moving onto the next step. (If you smell the tart starting to burn, remove it, as you will not be able to tell from a change in colour because the oreo cookie crumbs are so dark.)
3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and remove from the heat.
4. In a small pan, bring the whipping cream to a bare simmer. Slowly pour the heated whipping cream over the melted chocolate and gently stir until combined.
5. Stir in the softened butter and Grand Marnier. (Note that I originally added 2 tbs of Grand Marnier, but this was too alcoholic for me, so this is why I recommend adding only 1 & 1/2 tbs Grand Marnier. I imagine the taste will still be strong, so if you want a lighter feel, only add 1 tbs Grand Marnier.)
6. Chop the strawberries such that they will not protrude out of the top of the pan, if scattered over the bottom of the cooled chocolate crust. Then scatter the chopped strawberries over the bottom of the cooled chocolate crust. Add as many or as little as you wish – you do not need to use the full cup.
7. Pour the filling on top. Shake the pan gently to cover the strawberries completely.
8. Refrigerate the tart for 4 hours or until it is set. Once set, decorate the top of the tart as you wish. You can follow the design I used above – it’s very simple.
9. TIP: When serving, slice the tart with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry. Serve with whipped cream.