Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
I’m a shitty baker.
Baking is so much harder than cooking; measurements have to be precise, you gotta put the thing in the right place in the oven to ensure it bakes evenly, you have to mold the crust properly to make it neat and stuff… so much skill and effort is involved, and I’m just terrible at all of it… but that’s probably why I keep doing it.
So pomegranates are my favourite fruit and chocolate is something I crave on a daily basis. Why not put them together? Problem is; I’m a shitty baker. Follow a recipe right?
Nope. Fuck that. I’ll never not be a shitty baker if I just do the cooking by the book all the time without doing some experimenting of my own. I came up with this chocolate pomegranate tart idea, didn’t mold the crust properly, didn’t chill it in the fridge, it came out burnt and shrunk after prebaking, I had a breakdown like Minnie did when she burnt the cookies, pulled myself together, poured my ganache filling into the half-burnt tart shell, baked on a lower temperature, chilled in the fridge overnight, topped with my pomegranate seeds and SAVED THE GOD DAMN TART.
And it came out
I… I did it…? ;-;
I mean originally I wanted to make a pomegranate glaze for the top by reducing fresh pomie-juice with sugar into a syrup, but that was before I realised the seeds of 1 pomegranate yields less than 1/4 cup of juice… No wonder pomegranate juice is so god damn expensive. But still, it came out really tasty regardless, and I’m pretty happy about that…
1. Chill tart shell in the fridge before AND after you mold it to your tart pan.
2. Do not include egg whites in the filling; they’ll cook on top of the tart and you’ll have a tart with cooked egg whites. Use just the yolks.
3. Learn how to properly mold the raw shell to the pan so it doesn’t shrink when you prebake it.
4. Don’t prebake a shortcrust pastry shell at 400F.
5. Don’t plan a pomegranate syrup glaze unless you’re willing to use store-bought pomegranate juice.
6. Rum in the ganache was a great idea. Do it every time. (´･ω･`)
So even though this recipe was a semi-failure, I’ll tell you what I did, just for the record. I came up with the ingredients myself after looking at literally millions of other similar tart recipes as a reference guide. I’m not sure what each ingredient does, but in the notes I’ll add what I think they do, and perhaps a more experienced baker will leave a comment telling me I was right, or wrong:
Ingredients (makes about 12 slices in an 11-inch tart pan)
For the shell:
1&1/2 cups (195g) flour
1/2 cup (113g) butter
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
Chocolate ganache filling:
8 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup dark rum*
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp flour**
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp granulated sugar***
2 eggs (bad idea, use just the yolks next time?)****
1. Make pie shell; add chilled chopped butter with flour to food processor, mix until you get coarse crumbs. Add salt, sugar, process a little, then add your egg and process until it forms into a big clump.
2. Mold it into a ball, wrap it up with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
3. Roll it out until it’s slightly larger than your tart pan, and mold it onto the tart pan.
4. (What I didn’t do, but should’ve done) push the pastry down from the top of the sides so the sides are nice and thick and less likely to shrink when you prebake it.
5. (What I didn’t do, but should’ve done) Chill pastry again in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
6. Poke holes into bottom of pastry with a fork, prebake at 375F (I did 400F, which was a mistake) for 20 minutes or so. Let it cool for a few minutes before adding your ganache filling.
7. Make ganache; melt your chopped up chocolate with your rum and cream on low heat in a saucepan until all the chocolate is melted and the colour of your ganache is uniform, while the consistency is rich, smooth, creamy… chocolatey goodness… Remove from heat.
8. Add your sugar, salt, flour, and eggs (I probably shouldn’t have included the egg whites though). Mix it all together thoroughly and pour it into your prebaked tart shell. Give it a good tap & tilt to ensure no air bubbles, the usual.
9. Reduce oven temperature to 350F, then add your tart bake into the oven for 15-20 minutes.
10. Chill at room temperature, then cover and continue to chill in the fridge until the filling thickens.
11. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, slice, serve!
*I once baked Julia Child’s Queen of Sheba cake, which involved melting chocolate in rum. Since I really like rum, I wanted to do it again. The chocolate filling had a very rummy flavour as a result. I loved it! ＼(^ω^＼)
**I figured this would help the filling stick together a little bit, perhaps adding a bit of softness and something of a bready texture to the filling so it won’t be like biting into thickened chocolate sauce.
***I started with 2 tablespoons, tasted, decided it needed more, added another one, tasted again, felt like it needed just a little more, resisted, and when it baked it came out with a perfect sweetness. Perhaps it’s harder to taste for sugar when the ganache is still hot and the flavours haven’t really developed? Let me know please.
****This is especially what I’m curious about. Did I just not mix in the egg whites properly? When I really think about it, only the yolks should be needed to give the filling that richness and mouth feel it needed… Please, tell me the science behind this…
If any more experienced bakers would like to give me some comments on my recipe/ingredients/measurements as well as offer any tips/suggestions for my next tart/pie, please let me know.
I WILL stop being a shitty baker one day!