Friday, March 23, 2012

Chocolate Orange Tart and Apartment Searching Woes

So anyone who's been reading this regularly knows that I am beyond excited to be moving into my own apartment. My own place, my own kitchen, my own cat! Ahh. So exciting. However, two days ago that all came crashing down as my roommate lost her cosigner (the last person she could have asked to help) and in turn we lost our seemingly perfect apartment that we had been all set to move into in exactly a week. I was absolutely devastated and commemorated the occasion by drinking too much wine and wailing to my friends about it.

The next morning my head was dizzy and I was still pretty depressed about the situation as a whole. Craigslist had turned up no options, and I was getting upset that we would never find a place in our price range. Then a friend asked me if we'd tried another complex, owned by a different management company. We had actually toured this complex before, and absolutely loved it, but had decided to go with this other complex that was slightly cheaper. I figured, what the hell? And called the apartment complex. I explained our situation, and how the outlandish income requirements of their competitor company had required us to have a co-signer when we couldn't find one--seriously, that place requires EACH leasee make three times the rent in income each month, WTF?--and that we loved the complex and were ready to move in ASAP.

They had an opening.

We didn't need a co-signer.

The price was steep, but just within our limit.

I put a deposit on it over the phone and faxed my info. My roommate did the same.

So, fingers crossed for us! If all goes according to plan, we can move in April 6th into a gorgeous apartment in a lovely complex close-ish to my work with a pool and fitness center and no animal restrictions! It would be SO NICE for the stress of this entire situation to just be over and for me to be able to relax. I'm trying not to get too excited, because I was so upset before when the place was ripped from our grasp. But if it's meant to be, hopefully it will happen.

I've had this orange tart bookmarked ever since seeing it on Delicious Dishings. It seemed like the perfect recipe to attempt as my first tart, and though it didn't come out as perfect and pretty as the original blogger's, it was mighty tasty. I love citrusy desserts, and this one tasted fresh but rich with the chocolate ganache topping.

Much thanks to my friend John for use of his lovely kitchen in this endeavor, and his mother for not murdering us for messing up her nice clean kitchen for the millionth time. We had a baking day where John, Emma and I all baked for the better part of the afternoon. The sloppy oreos of my previous post were a product of that day, as were homemade pretzels which I'll discuss in a future post. I love that I have friends who also love to cook and bake :) Last night we made homemade ravioli (at 11pm no less!) with homemade spicy sauce and I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera!

Chocolate Orange Ricotta Tart
(Recipe Adapted only slightly from Delicious Dishings)
Not really an "ingredients" picture as per usual, moreso an example
of the kind of mess we make in John's kitchen...
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest from one orange (I used 2 because my zesting abilities are seriously lacking and I was afraid I wouldn't have enough)
  • Zest from one lemon
  • Reserved juices from orange
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound ricotta (comes out to one small container or half of a large container of store-bought ricotta)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

-Combine flour, granulated sugar, half of orange and lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Add eggs and process until dough begins to come together.

-Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Divide dough in half, pat one-half into a disk, and wrap in plastic and freeze for another use (or, if you're like me, leave it on the counter and forget about it entirely until the next day. Oops!). Take remaining dough and roll out into 12-inch round.

The dough tastes amazing just on its own!

-If you are so talented, roll dough around rolling pan and unroll over 10 1/2-inch tart pan. Press dough gently into bottom and up sides of pan. If you are not so talented and your dough falls apart like mine did, just carefully press dough into the tart pan and try to be as uniform in thickness as possible. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick tart all over. Bake until edges are just beginning to turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool.

-Combine ricotta, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, remaining orange and lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in bowl, and stir with rubber spatula until combined. Add orange juice until it is flavored to your liking. I used about half of my juice. Spread mixture in tart shell. 

-Bake until filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, and let cool to room temperature. 

-In large measuring cup, combine chocolate and cocoa powder. Heat remaining 1 cup cream in small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles form around edges. Pour hot cream over chocolate, let sit 1 minute, then whisk until smooth.

*My chocolate did not melt sufficiently and I had lots of little chunks of semisweet chocolate morsels. Though the end result was still a little lumpy, I picked out the biggest chunks and microwaved them in 20 second intervals until smooth and added them back to the ganache mixture.

-Spread ganache mixture over ricotta filling, starting at center and stopping just short of crust. Tap lightly on countertop to smooth the top. Refrigerate tart at least 2 hours.


  1. I think the tart came out gorgeous! Good luck with the apartment!!

  2. Crossing my fingers for you on the apartment!

  3. Good luck on your apartment! I love chocolate/orange, this sounds grrrrrreat :)

  4. Yummy tart! Thanks for transferring this recipe to us!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your apartment problems. That has to be so frustrating! I wish you the best of luck with your new one!

    This tart sounds incredible. I really like the combo of orange and chocolate.

  6. I'll for sure be keeping my fingers crossed for that apartment! I hate all of the "politics" of apartment brother went through it last summer and it was awful!

    Mmm I need this tart in my life. Citrus chocolate ricotta heaven.

  7. Good luck with the apartment. I'm hoping this second one will work out for you! Love the flavors in this tart!

  8. I love chocolate and orange together (and basically any dessert that Meghan makes on her blog). You did a great job and I wish I had a slice of this right now! Good luck with the new apartment!

  9. Love chocolate and orange together! Your tart looks and sounds amazing!