This month for Daring Bakers the challenge was to make a crostata. A crostata is basically just the Italian version of pie. It can be made in a tart pan or made free-form. The filling was up to us but the host showed versions filled with jam and with pastry cream. Well for me either of those sound fantastic - especially the pastry cream version. Problem was the timing meant this would be a perfect dessert to make for my wife's birthday and she has pretty much the opposite taste of me when it comes to dessert.
I decided to compromise. I would attempt to make a chocolate and pastry cream version. I
made half of the pastry cream recipe in the challange and poured it in the bottom and poured some chocolate ganache on the top. I made the crust, ganache, and
pastry cream all with a little bit of orange zest added since I think orange goes well with chocolate. I wasn't really sure how it would work baking the ganache but it turned out incredibly. The chocolate was just the right consistency and the pastry cream helped offset the strong chocolate flavor just enough. My wife and I both loved it.
This months challenge was hosted by Simona at briciole. Simona has an Italian cooking blog ( she is an Italian woman living in California) that looks fantastic. An interesting thing that I have not seen before - her blog posts all include an MP3 of her pronouncing all the Italian words in the blog. Cool idea for people trying to learn Italian or just if you want
to sound better ordering Italian food.
If you want to try your own crostata here is the challange we used with the recipe for the crust and the pastry cream -Daring Bakers' Crostata Challange.