We cook the books - My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes And Stories features the best of Parisian dining alongside anecdotes from David's time in France. The photographs in the book are so beautiful they sell the Parisian lifestyle just as much as the food. Be prepared to start Googling 'how + much + house + Paris' by page 7.
Our editorial assistant Lydia impressed us all when she tackled one of the harder recipes from David's book:
Despite the fact I had completely over-indulged in chocolate before we'd even made it to Easter Sunday, I decided to make the dulce de leche chocolate tart. The ingredients list seemed slightly extensive and specific (I had to ask Google what kosher salt was) and the measurements were in a combination of ounces, grams and cups, which was a bit confusing.
David suggests making your own dulce de leche from scratch but I opted for the ready-made version (which is less exotically labeled 'caramel') – it was much less time consuming but equally indulgent.
The method was quite complex and involved using a lot of equipment. I made the tart base in a food processor like David suggests, but had a bit of trouble getting the dough to form. Eventually, with some patience (and a drop or two of water!), it finally formed into a rich, chocolaty dough, which I chilled before blind baking.
Making the chocolate filling involved cooking up a custard mix with chocolate, milk and egg yolks. This was the only other tricky part of the recipe; the rest was fairly straightforward.
I think I may have got slightly carried away with the caramel as when it was in the oven it bubbled up over the chocolate in places. It came out looking more or less like the picture in the book, only a little more 'homemade'. Once the tart had cooled, I served it with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
The end result was delicious. The bitterness of the dark chocolate was counteracted by the sweet dulce de leche and the base was perfect. The tart went down a storm with my family after our Easter roast, but, despite being a crowd pleaser, I do think that the method could have been simpler.
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes And Stories by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press, £28)
Chocolate–dulce de leche tart (taken from My Paris Kitchen)
- 6 tablespoons (85g) salted butter, at room temperature
- 35g powdered sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 140g all-purpose flour
- 35g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt
- FOR THE FILLING
- 230g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 310ml whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon dark rum
- 240g dulce de leche
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling over the tart
- To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on low speed just until smooth. Add the yolk, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until it’s fully incorporated.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Add them to the butter, mixing just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into a 9-inch (23cm) tart ring with a removable bottom, getting the bottom as flat as possible and pressing the dough up the sides of the pan until it reaches the rim.
- Sprinkle the salt over the bottom of the dough and press it into the pastry. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 400oF (200oC). Line the chilled tart crust with aluminum foil and cover with a layer of pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake the tart shell for 15 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights, and then bake for 5 minutes more, until the tart shell is browned. Remove from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 300oF (150o).
- While the tart is baking, make the chocolate filling. Melt the chocolate in a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and set a fine-mesh strainer over the top.
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Heat the milk in a saucepan, then gradually whisk the warm milk into the eggs.
- Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until it’s steamy and thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
- If it separates a bit, remove it from the heat, and whisk it vigorously to bring it back together. Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate. Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.
- Spread the dulce de leche over the hot tart shell in an even layer, being careful as you spread to make sure you don’t break the flaky bottom of the tart.
- If the dulce de leche is very thick, let it sit in the tart shell for a minute or so, to let the heat soften it, which will make it easier to spread.
- Pour the chocolate cus- tard over the dulce de leche, smooth the top, and add a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
- Bake the tart for 20 minutes, and then turn the heat off and leave the tart in the oven with the door closed to glide to a fin- ish, 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before servIng. Serve the tart with softly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or just as is.