Ink on my Apron: Coming round with a chocolate tart
Chocolate for chocolate’s sake is probably a philosophy I’ll never completely be sold on but executed with a certain amount of restraint as in the case of this recipe for a decadent chocolate torte with a gingernut base topped off with a dark cocoa, double cream, cinnamon, and coffee filling, I can get on board.
A twelve-inch glorious kunafeh cheesecake proved to be the rather unlikely elephant in the room at my thirtieth birthday a year ago. Truth be told, it served as a handy distraction from the larger issue at hand – a milestone party and all its accompanying pressures. While I’m no stranger to being subjected to the standard loosely veiled expressions of outrage, come the 16th of June every year, when I state a clear preference for anything but a chocolate-over-everything creation, my directions last year seemed especially hard to palate. After all, could anything sound more horrific than feeding a keen bunch of guests a slightly odd mash-up of an Arabic sweet and a western dessert that’s definitely an acquired taste?
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed blowing out my candles and having a slice of pretty much everything but the usual cocoa-laden suspects. From paper-thin layers of honey cake sandwiched with a delicate cream frosting to fluffy vanilla sponges with forest berries and even a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting – to some it might seem as though I’ve gone to great lengths to steer clear of the usual run-of-the-mill crowd-pleasers.
Eventually, I’ve learned to pick my battles, and although I’ve always managed to have my cake and eat it too, a pleasant compromise was reached for my thirtieth. So while I may have had my fair share of converts, the truth will never be known as my sister decided to settle the matter at hand - rather amicably - with a triple-tiered chocolate affair à la Magnolia Bakery that lured the better half of our guest list to the dark side.
This brings one to the natural question of – where does my chocolate condescension stem from? Contrary to popular belief, I enjoy sparing amounts of the stuff – as the star ingredient of a chewy brownie rounded off with some walnuts and a sprinkle of sea salt for good measure or featuring as one of the harmonious layers of a millionaire’s shortbread slice done right.
Chocolate for chocolate’s sake is probably a philosophy I’ll never completely be sold on but executed with a certain amount of restraint as in the case of this recipe for a decadent chocolate torte with a gingernut base topped off with a dark cocoa, double cream, cinnamon, and coffee filling, I can get on board. To up the elegance factor, do as I did, and decorate with sprigs of golden cape gooseberries and plump strawberries.
This no-bake recipe also emerges triumphant – now more than ever – as I’m embracing life in my matchbox of a kitchen without the reassuring warmth of an oven to succumb to.
All photographs courtesy of Jehan Nizar
Jehan Nizar is a lifestyle features writer and a food blogger at www.inkonmyapron.com.