Warm Dark Chocolate Tart | Clotted Cream

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Why These Flavors Work

This dessert warrants an explanation, since the first impression is that it is just melted chocolate with caramel, shortbread, and some cream. Here’s what makes it special: The chocolate used is a very high-fat, high-viscosity, low-fluidity chocolate that does not run when it is melted, but rather holds its shape. Therefore one gets the impression that the chocolate is incredibly shiny, but it is in fact melted. It also gives the textural impression of a ganache, but again, it is just chocolate. The salted caramel adds Maillard flavor but also salt, which enhances all flavors involved. Chocolate and caramel are frequently seen together, since their flavors play off each other quite well. The shortbread contributes additional Maillard flavors, but more important, a crunchy texture to an otherwise soft dessert. The real flavor contrast is with the clotted cream, which has a very intense, rich dairy flavor that complements the chocolate. It also has a second and equally important role, and that is to slightly set the melted chocolate when it is in your mouth. How is this? Well, the chocolate is warm, the cream is cold, and therefore the cold cream will momentarily harden the chocolate in the mouth; the chocolate will soon after soften again, creating a ganache of sorts. The atomized chocolate is the third chocolate component, and its role is really just to keep the cream in place.

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Ingredients

Components

Method

Plating Procedure

  1. Turn a dehydrator on and set it to 35°C/95°F. Place a solid 650-g/22.9-oz block of Peter’s chocolate (see Resources) in a half hotel pan inside the dehydrator. It should be in there at least 30 minutes before service so that it softens completely.
  2. Spoon 60 g/2.12 oz of the softened chocolate on a plate.
  3. Spoon 20 g/.7 oz of the salted caramel on top of the chocolate.
  4. Spoon 20 g/.7 oz of the shortbread crumbs on top of the caramel.
  5. Spoon a 35-g/1.23-oz quenelle of clotted cream next to the soft chocolate.
  6. Place a tile of chocolate on top of the previous components to cover them completely. Serve immediately.

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