The other night we watched a fascinating programme on PBS, Bugging Hitler’s Soldiers, about the thousands of documents which have been uncovered detailing the conversations of German officer prisoners being held in Britain, in fairly luxurious conditions, which included their discussions of the details of atrocities which they had witnessed or taken part in. This gave the British their first real insights into what was happening in the death camps. There were generals there who had been captured at the fall of North Africa and later other generals from other theatres of war, some of whom were very pro Hitler and some of whom were not. It was both interesting and horrifying to hear these conversations and what they revealed. Not just about atrocities, but details about the proposed rockets from Peenemunde which permitted the British to bomb the area and other innovations the German war machine had in hand. None of the officers involved were ever prosecuted for war crimes because the British wished to keep their method of acquiring such knowledge secret.
Another chocolate recipe, couldn’t resist it. I haven’t been able to post much in the way of chocolate for the last month. I just got a whole load of pecans brought up from Georgia.
Chocolate Pecan TartContributed by Lydie Marshall
Lydie Marshall's friend Heidi Trachtenburg, a born baker, helped me develop the recipe for this light, elegant version of the American classic. Unlike most pies, this tart is just as good when baked a day ahead as long as it is not refrigerated.
- 11-inch French Pastry Shell, frozen
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (1/2 pound)
- 1 1/2 ounces imported bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- Cocoa powder and confectioners' sugar
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Line the bottom and sides of the frozen pastry shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 3 minutes longer to dry out the bottom. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the shell cool to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and honey together over high heat. Add the brown and granulated sugars and stir until dissolved, then boil for 1 minute without stirring. Add 1/3 cup of the heavy cream and stir constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the mixture into the baked pastry shell. If necessary, spread the pecans to evenly distribute them over the bottom of the tart. Bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbles appear around the edges and the center is slightly firm. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring the remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Spread the chocolate evenly over the cooled tart.
- Decorate the tart. Cut out an 11-inch circle from a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Fold it in eights, then open it and cut out every other wedge, leaving 4 wedges held together at the center. Place it on top of the tart. Using a fine sieve, dust the cocoa over the exposed tart. Carefully lift the paper and shake off excess cocoa. Set the paper over the cocoa-dusted sections and sift confectioners' sugar over the tart. Carefully remove the paper. Remove the rim of the pan and transfer the tart to a serving platter. Place a cluster of mint sprigs in the center of the tart.
Have a great day