I (or we) have just made the most incredible chocolate tart. From scratch. Pastry and all. My granny would be proud.
It got off to a bit of a flaky start. Literally. The pastry wasn’t sticking together and my boyfriend (he makes the ‘we’) started to panic… “I’m no good at pastry, let’s make something else!” After our first attempt, which did end in a crumby mess, I googled what to do when your pastry is too dry (for that, my granny wouldn’t have been proud). Add more water and don’t handle it too much. Oops..we had spent the last half an hour trying to squish it together.
I’m stubborn and wouldn’t give up. By adding a couple of teaspoons of water we managed to scrape the crumbs together and pull them into a ball shape. We shoved it in the freezer and tried to concentrate on how good it would be when it was finished; the worst case scenario being that we would just eat the chocolate filling for pudding. Not a bad back-up. After ten minutes, the pastry came out and, with a little patience, I managed to roll it out into an almost circular shape. Result. Though we had to use a fish slice, a spatula and two hands, the pastry made it into the tin, only a bit patchwork.
Next was the filling. Melted butter and dark chocolate (the good stuff- 70% cocoa or more) folded into sugar and eggs and whipped into double thickness. Simple, if you have an electric whisk, not so simple if you don’t. A small oversight which set us back 15 minutes but eventually the mix of eggs, more egg yolks and caster sugar doubled in size and went pale and creamy. Melting the chocolate and butter was a pleasure and much less demanding. Next came the folding of the buttery chocolate into the eggs. As I folded, the consistency changed and went from slightly runny to a bubbly thick marbled mousse.
The result was a thick chocolate sludge that looked light, dark and rich. We had to restrain ourselves from sticking our fingers into the bowl and eating it there and then. Next we poured the thick chocolatey fudge into the pastry case, which had been blind baked for 15 minutes and had came out looking like a rustic crown, and baked the tart whole for just 11 minutes. We had waited a long time making the damn thing but the countdown was on. As it was baking, the smell of rich buttery chocolate filled the kitchen and I wished that I had cleaned the oven door recently so that I could have seen it transform. And transform it did, into this:
Our first mouthfuls were like rich velvet which lead down towards a crisp crunch of pastry that turned buttery and soft as you ate it. The filling really was like mousse, rich, molten, yet bubbly and light and so chocolatey. With each mouthful the deep dark chocolate taste got richer until it was softened by the delicate pastry. We’d been greedy though, there were only two of us in the house but this tart could easily feed about 15 people!
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Recipe coming soon!