Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chocolate Tart

Sometimes you need a bit of chocolate tart in your life. I know I do. At Easter I made one of my staple recipes, a dark chocolate tart and served it with burnt caramel ice cream and raspberries. I like the idea of toasting some pistachios and placing them on the bottom of the tart, or cooking the raspberries in the tart. Or you can just have it plain. Either way it's going to be winning. This is rich and dense chocolate, the kind you only need a small slice of. It's very good slightly warm but it works as breakfast too.


Dark Chocolate Tart
For the Pastry Base:
375g flour
250g butter, unsalted, soft
125g caster sugar
1 egg

For the Filling:
350ml milk
150ml double cream
400g dark chocolate (70%)
2 eggs
Handful of raspberries

To make the base:
Grease either a round tart tin or a rectangular tart tin. Cream the butter and sugar together until white. Add in the egg followed by the flour. Beat slowly until the mixture starts to come together. At this point, use your hands to knead it into a smooth dough. Form into a flat disc and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for half an hour. Roll the dough into the shape you require (ie: oval for the round tin). You want it quite thin - so you can see the counter underneath (roughly 1/2cm thick). Line the tart tin, making sure it's totally covered and there are no holes around the edges. You should have extra dough left over - form into a disc and freeze until needed again. Refrigerate the tart for another half hour. Preheat your oven to 180C. Line the tart shell with baking paper and fill with rice or baking beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes until the tart has started to colour at the edges and the base looks dry. Remove the beans/rice and paper and place the tart back in the oven for 5 minutes. Brush the tart with the white of one egg, just lightly, to seal the base and ensure crispness. Keep aside until necessary. Don't skip the blind baking. The filling doesn't cook at a temperature that can cook both the base and the filling. You'll end up with raw base if you don't blind bake.

To make the filling:
Preheat the oven to 160C. Heat the milk and cream to scalding point. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute before stirring until smooth. Whisk the eggs together in another bowl and then add to the chocolate mixture. The mixture will get thick. Strain this into a jug. If you're using raspberries or pistachios, place them onto the bottom of the tart case now. Pour this mixture carefully into your tart base. If you like, place the tart base on an oven tray lined with baking paper, slide this partway into the oven and then pour in the mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tart is set but slightly wobbly at the centre. It should rise up ever so slightly at the edges. The tart will continue cooking whilst it cools. Allow to cool before removing from the tin and serving. 

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