Heaven-On-Earth Cocoa Tarte Tatin
Theme 4: Love
Cookbook Used: Chocolate A Love Story
Author: Max Brenner & Artwork by Yonatan Factor
Last year for TCC love theme I cooked Hamsley and I a Valentine’s meal, complete with love heart shaped pasta and cupcakes. This year I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to express my love for chocolate and apples… at the same time. I am a chocoholic and I love anything with apples (including toiletries). My parents bought me the Max Brenner cookbook a few Christmases ago, but I’ve never cooked from it. It does have some of the most fantastic artwork instead of photographs. There are some photos, but as a designer who only likes cookbooks with pictures, I found the quirky graphics as a great substitute (you can see some examples here).
I’ve loved the Max Brenner chocolate cafes since they opened. My favourite drink would have to be the hot chocolate with crunchy magic waffle balls; although they have recently taken the word “magic” out of it; it still tastes awesome, just has a less cool name. I love the chocolate pizza, chocolate fondue, and chocolate babka. I haven’t been for a while now, probably since I took my chocoholic Grandma there for a chocolate fix. I really need to make my way through the menu.
So chocolate and apples, together; what would that taste like?
I was a bit hesitant as I made the dough. I was still hesitant when the dough was baked. But once I tasted the dough and mushy caramel apples together, I wished I didn’t doubt that it wouldn’t work. I served my tarte tatin with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream instead of the suggested topping and it was the perfect afternoon tea, and the perfect combination for two of my favorite ingredients. Will I make it again…. hells yes I will! The cocoa taste isn’t overpowering, so if you are expecting an intense chocolate hit, you won’t. The apples are lovely, soft and sweet and go perfectly on the doughy base.
Heaven-On-Earth Cocoa Tarte Tatin
1.5 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caster (granulated) sugar
113g (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons ice water
86g (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup caster (granulated) sugar
4 to 5 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and tossed with fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon amaretto
1/2 cup thick Greek-style yoghurt
Crushed walnuts, for sprinkling
1. Make the crust. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together. Mix in the granulated sugar. Add the cold butter cubes and, using your thumb and forefinger or two knives, “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until you achieve a sandy texture.
2. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour the egg into the well and incorporate the surrounding flour, adding ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until you achieve a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
3. Preheat the oven to 205°C / 400°F.
4. Make the filling. Melt the butter in a 30cm (12-inch) oven-safe skillet over medium heat (I cooked the apples butter and sugar in a frying pan as described then transferred to a cake tin then rolled the dough over as my oven is too small to put in a skillet pan!). Add the granulated sugar and let caramelize until golden brown. Add the apples in a single layer, cored side up, and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Roll the dough into a 30cm (12-inch) round about 1.9cm (3/4 inch) thick. Lay the dough over the softened apples, covering the fruit. Place pan, apples, dough, and all, in the oven and bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 175°C (350°F) and bake 15 minutes longer. Let cool about 5 minutes, then carefully invert over a serving platter.
6. Make the topping. Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and amaretto into firm peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the yoghurt. Serve the tarte tatin immediately with generous dollops of the yoghurt topping and sprinkles of crushed walnuts.