Dark Chocolate Orange Tarts with Orange Scented Sablé

There are some recipes that you always keep around, no matter where you go or what you do. It's your go-to recipe, the one that works, is easy, and tastes amazing. You've made it so many times that you don't even need to look at the recipe anymore. You can change it up to fit the occasion or the dish and it's still just as stellar as ever.

This chocolate custard tart recipe is one of my ultimate go-to recipes.

The original recipe was actually the third recipe ever posted on this blog. Looking back at the photos, I cringe a little. It's amazing to think that it's been almost been a year and a half since I started this blog. It's a very strange feeling for me. I'm a little embarrassed because, if we're being honest, those photos sucked. My technique was not that great, either. I had good intentions, but the execution wasn't exactly spot on.

But hey, that's what learning is all about. You make mistakes, you grow, you improve, you make more mistakes, rinse and repeat. I'm really proud of myself for starting this blog up, especially recently. It's amazing to look back and see how far I've come in terms of skill in baking as well as skill in photography. If someone showed me these photos a year and a half ago and told me that I was the photographer, I would never have believed it. 

You learn as you go. Our whole lives are based on learning as you go. You master the basics, then find little ways to improve on them over time. You learn what doesn't work, too. Making mistakes is an essential way to learn to do anything and everything. Don't ever beat yourself up about making mistakes, you know? I'm not really one to be preaching about that because let me tell you, I get angry when things don't work out. Just ask my boyfriend. If I'm in a bad mood, the first thing he asks is, "Did it not turn out right?". He knows me all too well.

To all you bakers out there, whether you're just starting out or you could school me in a second, keep on trucking. Keep on making those mistakes and keep on learning. That's the only way you're ever going to get better.

Dark Chocolate Orange Tarts with Orange Scented Sablé

Orange Scented Sablé Dough 
Recipe adapted from Elements of Dessert

145 g all-purpose flour
350 g cake flour
240 g butter, at room temperature
1/2 orange, zested
1/2 vanilla bean
3.5 g salt
180 g icing sugar
35 g almond flour
100 g eggs

Dark Chocolate and Orange Custard
Recipe adapted from Cook with Jamie

242 g heavy cream
106 g whole milk
20 g sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
1 orange, zested
177 g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Dehydrated Blood Orange Slices

2 blood oranges or other citrus fruit
3 tablespoons icing sugar

For the sablé, sift the all-purpose and cake flour together.

Cream the butter, orange zest, salt, icing sugar, and almond flour together on medium speed in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mix. Mix until a homogenous mass is obtained, about 2 minutes.

Stop the mixer, add the eggs and mix for a few seconds on low speed until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Stop the mixer, add the sifted flours, and mix for a few seconds, pulsing the mixer at first to keep the flour in the bowl. Mix just to obtain a homogenous mixture. 

Shape the dough into a flat square and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven 325 F.

Roll out the dough to 3mm, then chill again until slightly firm. Line your tart shell(s) by placing a piece of dough on top of each mold. Gently push the dough in with your fingertips until it conforms to the shape of the mold. Make sure that the dough is lined up with the hold. There will be some that protrudes from the rim of the mold. Do not cut it yet. Freeze the tart(s) until the dough hardens.

Once the dough is hard, use a paring knife to trim the excess off the top of the molds.

Dock the dough with a fork and, if the dough is still frozen, bake it; otherwise re-freeze it. Bake until dry, but has not developed colour yet, about 10 minutes.

For the filling, combine the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them to the pot and heat over medium heat.

Scald the milk mixture, remove from heat, and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk the mixture until the chocolate has melted and cooled slightly. Add the egg and whisk again to incorporated. Transfer to a pitcher or similar vessel.

Place your tart shell(s) in the oven and pull the rack out slightly. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into your shell(s) and slide the rack back in place, making sure not to spill the filling. 

Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until there is a slight jiggle in the middle of the custard. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

For the dehydrated blood orange slices, turn the oven down to 200 F. Slice your oranges to 1/8th of an inch thickness using a very sharp knife or a mandolin. Lay them on a silicone baking mat and dust a light coating of icing sugar over each one. 

Bake for 2 1/2 hours until the slices are dry. Cool on the sheet and then transfer to an airtight container.