Cheat-time Treat – Chocolate and Fennel Pollen Tarts:-
The cheat is that I was sent a packet of Asda finest sweet pastry shells to use and they made the base for these Chocolate and Fennel Pollen tarts. So there really wasn’t much cooking involved. You could of course make your own pastry cases. I think these would be rather nice with a sweet wholemeal pastry, which would add a nutty taste. Or even with pate brise, if you are feeling ambitious
I’ve been plotting what sweet dish to make with the Fennel Pollen kindly sent to me by Global Harvest . I had intended making almond and fennel pollen tuiles. But, for whatever reason, my tuiles were very sweet and I thought they wouldn’t make a good base for the fennel pollen, which is delicate and floral. So, given it’s far too hot to bake and that I had the pastry cases anyway, I thought I’d just make a simple ganache filling and add a little flavouring.
I’m slightly embarrassed to report that they looked so pretty I managed to eat one before the ganache was set…and very lovely it was too;) a heady mix of chocolate, orange, fennel and aniseed notes.
Here’s the recipe to fill four small pastry cases.
- 100 g Dark Chocolate I used 70% chocolate with orange. You could get the same effect with a little orange zest added to the melted chocolate
- 100 ml Double Cream
- 1 teaspoon Pastis
- 1 pinch Fennel Pollen
- 4 Individual sweet pastry cases
- Break the chocolate into small chunks and melt. A purist would do this over a bain marie. I cheat and use the microwave, just heating for 20 second bursts and stirring till it's nearly completely melted, then leaving the last little bits to dissolve
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan till it is just about to boil. Don't let it boil and don't stir it.
- Pour the chocolate into the cream and stir gently but constantly till you get a thick gloopy chocolate mixture with all the cream incorporated
- Stir in the Pastis if you are using it.
- Let the ganache cool for 5 minutes or so, then pour or spoon into the pastry cases.
- Sprinkle the fennel pollen on top
- Chill in the fridge till the ganache is set.
- An hour or so before you want to serve, take these out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature.
- Serve with cream, icecream or creme fraiche