Monday, February 13, 2012

Who needs love when you've got chocolate?

This Valentine's Day is the TWENTIETH (!!!) that Kevin and I will be celebrating together. And although this commercialized holiday may not resonate well with some, I think it's the perfect excuse to make, and eat ganache.

Dark Chocolate-Cherry Ganache Bars
Adapted from The New York Times

  • 150 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 90 grams confectioners’ sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 26 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 52 grams cherry jam (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 340 grams bittersweet chocolate, at least 62 percent, chopped (12 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons kirsch, rum, brandy or other spirit
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel, for sprinkling

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and fine sea salt. Pulse in the butter and vanilla until the mixture just comes together into a smooth mass. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment or wax paper. Press the dough into the pan. Prick all over with a fork. Chill for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 days.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Bake the shortbread until firm to the touch and just beginning to pull away from the sides, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack. Brush jam over shortbread’s surface and let cool thoroughly.

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the kirsch. Spread over shortbread. Sprinkle fleur de sel on. Cool to room temperature; cover and chill until firm. Slice and serve. Yields: 18 bars.