A food loving baker: Gontran Cherrier

Gontran Cherrier's Tart au Chocolat 4 29 12

Gontran Cherrier’s Tarte au Chocolat, Miel, et Noix

In researching The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris application for the iPhone, I kept returning again and again to baker Gontran Cherrier’s breads and pastries, all stand-outs, all delicious. This chocolat tart is totally decadent and totally delicious. A very slim wedge is truly satisfying.

8 ounce (250 g) all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen (see Note)

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces; 45 g) butter

1/2 cup (3 ounces; 90 g) brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 g) honey

3 tablespoons (45 g) maple syrup

2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely ground

2 tablespoons almonds, coarsely ground

2 tablespoons hazelnuts, coarsely ground

2 tablespoons dried apricots, preferably organic, minced

2 tablespoons dried figs, preferably organic, minced

2 tablespoons candied lemon or orange peel, preferably organic, minced

1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

8 ounces (250 g) bittersweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Guanaja 70%, broken into pieces

Equipment: A 9-inch (23 cm)  tart pan with a removable bottom.

Center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Arrange the pastry in the tart pan, trimming the edges so that the pastry neatly fits the pan.

In a saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar over low heat just until melted. Stir to blend. Stir in the salt, honey, and maple syrup. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the prepared pastry. Sprinkle with the nuts, and the dried and candied fruit.

Place in the center of the oven and bake the crust is dark golden and the topping is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the ganache topping. In a saucepan, heat the cream over moderate heat. Add the chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate. Stir to blend. Spread the ganache over the top of the tart. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving, cutting into very thin wedges.

16  servings

Note: In France we use Marie’s all-butter puff pastry. In the United States, we favor Dufour brand frozen puff pastry, available at most Whole Foods grocery stores.

Gontran Cherrier’s treats can be found at two locations in Paris:

GONTRAN CHERRIER, 22 rue Caulaincourt, Paris 18

Tel : +33 1 46 06 82 66

Métro : Lamarck-Caulaincourt

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 7.30am-8.30pm. Sunday 7.30am-7.30pm. Closed Wednesday



GONTRAN CHERRIER (Wagram), 8 rue Juliette-Lamber, Paris 17

Tel : +33 1 40 54 72 60

Métro: Pereire or Wagram

Open: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 7.30am-8.30pm. Sunday 7.30am-7.30pm. Closed Wednesday