Here in Britain we are coming to the tail-end of National chocolate Week and I thought it would be rather nice to cap it off with one of my favourite recipes. I love the contrast between the crust and the filling – the crust is very crisp, while the filling is as smooth as truffle. It is also an incredibly simple tart to make since the crust isn’t made of pastry and the filling has very few ingredients. This really is the perfect way to see off such a fantastic, yet underappreciated, week – enjoy!
My love for cooking was germinated by the flair with which one is able to approach a main meal. Yet, since I made my incredibly popular Tarte au Citron I’ve really enjoyed and have been fascinated by the delicacy and exactitude required in the process of making a tart. This got me thinking that perhaps it wasn’t the recklessness of cooking that really drew me in; rather it was the end result. To make the perfect tart it is necessary for one to be precise down to the smallest detail; by doing this it is possible to have a positive result – therefore I enjoy it.
However, I have also realised very recently that reflection isn’t necessarily the route down which one must venture if one is to write a successful blog entry. With that in mind I shall breach once more the rather delicious topic of flavour. Since the filling of this tart contains no sweeteners it is advised that one uses a chocolate which contains 50%-65% cocoa solids. Milk chocolate will not do since it is good for nothing except a spot of mastication; anything above 65% isn’t much better, unless sweetened of course. Though you may disagree with me on my last two points, which really are nothing but conjecture, please adhere to my suggestion of variety of chocolate – it’s for the best, I think.
• 150g digestive biscuits, finely crushed – for you Americans Graham crackers would work just as well
• 70g butter, melted
• 2 tbsp caster sugar
• 1 tbsp cocoa powder
• 200g plain chocolate, finely chopped
• 300ml double cream
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• A pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Mix together the melted butter, digestive biscuits, sugar and cocoa powder and press firmly, but evenly, into and up the sides of a 9-inch tart tin. Bake this for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
2. While the casing is cooling bring the cream to the boil and pour it over the chocolate, leave time for the chocolate to melt and stir until smooth. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and a pinch of salt before pouring them into the chocolate mixture. Combine the two and then pour into the tart case. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the filling is just set.
Cost: The entire tart, not including energy bills, should come to around £2.30 which is less than any self-respecting café would charge for a single slice. You see, this is why I don’t tend to buy cakes when I go for coffee – shrewd!
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