I was thinking of using a recipe for chocolate tart from when I worked with my Chef Jean-Michel Bergounoux at Restaurant Raphael for a party coming up. His version was a hazelnut sable with a piped in sort of chocolate hazelnut appareil that is baked until just cooked and finished with a very loose ganache then put back into the oven for a shiny finish, wonderful, no intoxicating flavor! Being somewhat curious and wanting to change rather than reach back for the obvious old favorite I opted to make instead a chocolate dough filled with some dulce de leche and covered with a dark chocolate ganache infused with cayenne pepper and topped with some caramelized pear, sort of a Poire belle Helene slant? The taste was deep chocolate, I used valrhona cocoa powder for the dough and it is a rich flavor indeed! Blind baked for 15 minutes, then when still warm filled with a bit of dulce de leche that I had made from condensed milk boiled in a pot for about 2 hours, not a method preferred by David Lebovitz for fear of exploding cans, but who has time for stirring sugar and milk for hours like my mother in-law used to do in a copper kettle! Finally the ganache was poured and chilled in the fridge till set.
340g A.P. Flour
113g Confectioners sugar
225g soft butter
1 pinch salt
Beat sugar and butter in mixer till airy, add egg mix and scrape sides of the bowl.Continue mixing till egg is fully incorporated add in dry ingredients, mix until dough forms, remove and cover in plastic wrap until chilled for one hour.
340g Heavy cream
pinch of chili
Heat cream, add chili and cover chocolate. Give small swirls from center out till chocolate and cream are mixed through finally adding in the butter till incorporated.
Dulce de Leche:
1 can condensed milk
Put can in a deep pot covered in water and bring to boil, lower heat to a gentle rolling boil for 2 hours. Remove let cool for several hours, open can with can opener.
4 Pears (peeled and cored)
1/4 cup of sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
Put butter and sugar along with pears into a pan cut side up. Roast for about 10-15 minutes until they begin to caramelize, turning and finishing on the cut side till soft when pierced with a knife, cool.
Roll dough about a quarter of an inch thick with a rolling pin, fill into tart rings dock and blind bake for about 10 minutes with weights. Remove weights (I used beans and a little aluminum foil) and return to oven until dough is baked through. Add dulce de lechem, about a teaspoon or two full into still war shells. Smooth out filling until even. Cover with ganache set in refrigerator the and cut a sliver of cooled roasted pear on top for garnish.