Last week I cooked a typical Vaudois lunch for some of my colleagues: saucisse aux choux (pork and cabbage sausage), papet vaudois (a mix of leeks and potatoes cooked in the fat of the sausages), and as dessert "carac".
Carac is a Vaudois (form canton de Vaud in Switzerland) pastry composed of a shortcrust pie filled with a rich chocolate ganache (mix of chocolate and cream) and covered with a green sugar icing. The chocolate ganache melts in your mouth while you crunch on the pie crust and get some sweetness from the icing. You can easily change the color of the icing but green to yellow-green is the standard color for this dessert.
Recipe for 2 medium Caracs (about 21 cm in diameter)
250 g flour
80 g sugar
2 pinches of salt
125 g butter
1 egg, mixed
2-3 tbsp milk
400 g dark chocolate (70%)
5 dl cream (35%, liquid)
250 g powder sugar
2-3 drops food coloring (green or blue+yellow)
2-3 tbsp water
First prepare the dough. In a bowl mix flour, sugar, salt. Add butter, mix by hand making crumbs. Add egg and milk, mix fast into a dough. Make a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 min.
Roll out the dough (about 4 mm thick) onto buttered + floured pie forms. Prick the dough with a fork. Bake 15 min at 200 C.
Chop up the chocolate and transfer to a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Mix with a spoon until all chocolate is melted. Here you should have a nice and shiny mix (ganache). Let it cool down for about 10-15 min then transfer the ganache onto the tarts). Refrigerate for about 1 hr until the chocolate ganache has set.
Mix powder sugar, water and coloring in a bowl until obtaining a green (should be a green like grass not a dark one) thick mix. Don't add too much water else the icing will have a hard time setting). Cover the chocolate tarts with the green icing and let dry for about 1hr.
Add a disc of melted dark chocolate in the center of each tart: you could either melt 25 g chocolate alone, or add 1 tbsp powder sugar and a few drops water. You can also just put an already made disc of chocolate or a bean of coffee.