Wednesday, September 17, 2008


On a lark, I entered a recipe contest last month for a county magazine that I pick up in some of my favorite local restaurants. ORANGE MAGAZINE NY ( features local businesses, among them restaurants and food purveyors, and put out a call for recipes that include orange as an ingredient or flavor. There were 4 categories: appetizer, entree, dessert, and beverage. I submitted my recipe for Orange and Dark Chocolate Tart. Imagine my surprise when I returned home on Sunday to find a telephone message congratulating me for being a semi-finalist in this contest. The winner will be selected based on the total number of votes received via online voting. If you would like to vote--up to 5 times a day--please log on to the URL posted above.

I will be making this favorite very soon, but I'm posting the recipe here in case you'd like to do a "trial run" so that you can serve this at an upcoming holiday party. It's very rich and a little bit goes a long way.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 tbs orange liqueur

1 orange
1/4 cup sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Beat in the cocoa powder. Add the flour and beat until the dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm (at least 1 hour).

Roll out the dough between sheets of waxed paper to an 11 inch round. Peel off the paper and invert the dough over a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the pan, pressing the overhang to form double-thick sides. Pierce the dough all over with a fork, the refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the crust until the sides look dry and the bottom looks
bubbly (12-15 minutes). Transfer the crust to a rack and use the back of a spoon to press up the sides if they are falling. Cool completely.

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel in strips (be sure not to cut into the white pith, which is bitter). Cut the strips into matchstick sized pieces and place in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds, then drain. Rinse the saucepan and add 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbs water, and the peel. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer until the peel is translucent and the syrup is thick (20-30 minutes). Use the tines of a fork to carefully transfer the peel to a plate to cool. Cover and store at room temperature.

Toss the almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Chop all but 2 strips of the orange peel. Sprinkle chopped orange peel, then almond mixture, over the bottom of the prepared crust. Place cream in a heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until all the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Mix in the orange liqueur. Pour into crust and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Garnish with the remaining 2 slices of orange peel strips.

To serve, use a sharp knife and gently loosen the crust from the sides of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve cold.

When I was blog hopping yesterday, I visited one of my favorite site's, Jenn's THE LEFTOVER QUEEN. There I read about a wonderful blogging event that I'd like to share with you:

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the OFoods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:

Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;
If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you’ve made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.

We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.
1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and help spread the word!


  1. Congratulations, and YUM! I love orange and chocolate together :)

    Thanks for spreading the word!

  2. Arlene, that chocolate tart is divine. Sounds absolutely decadnet. I've got to try it. Great post.

  3. Thanks, Teresa. It is delicioso! Anything is good with ganache.

  4. Congrats! That is so exciting! :)

    This looks great! Thanks for getting the word out there!


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