Chocolate Tart…an easy festive season treasure!

by Anna Buckley

IMG_6811[1]Chocolate pastry, chocolate filling and sweet summer berries. What’s not to love?

“Looks tricky?” I hear you say.

Nah…it’s so bloody easy. No rolling, no resting, no blind baking, no shrinkage. This pastry (and its sinfully rich filling) is so simple to make that I’m sure you too will add it to your dessert repertoire and be the star of your next dinner party!
My dessert posts have all been a bit tarty since discovering the original recipe for this easy short crust pastry in Cooks Illustrated about a year ago. Since then I’ve been on a mission to convert the pastry to whatever suits the mood…sweet, nutty, savoury, and today… chocolaty!

So let’s get baking!

CHOCOLATE TART
IMG_9594[1]Before you begin you will need a 28.5 cm (11 in.) removable base, flan tin. It’s larger than the standard but easily purchased on-line or from a specialist catering supply store.

Don’t worry if you only have the standard 23cm (9 in.) flan tin. You can still use it but be aware you’ll have an excess of pastry and filling (make a miniature version with the leftovers and stash it in the fridge as a treat for later). Not having the larger tin is no reason to miss out on making this spectacular dessert!

IMG_9597[1]CHOCOLATE  PASTRY

(turn oven to 180 c or 350 f)

INGREDIENTS-

1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour

1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder (standard Cadbury will do but it’s not as rich and dark)

1/3 cup icing (confectioners) sugar

140 grams (10 tablespoons) salted butter

IMG_9598[1]Start by placing butter in microwave proof bowl and zap for 30 seconds or until completely melted.

IMG_9599[1]Place flour, sugar and cocoa into mixing bowl.

IMG_9600[1] Mix dry ingredients till combined.

IMG_9601[1] Add melted butter.

IMG_9603[1] Mix till all ingredients come together in a crumbly dough.

IMG_9604[1] Tip dough onto flan tin. No need to grease pan. This pastry will NOT stick.

IMG_9605[1] Press pastry with fingers, from the centre, to the edges and finally up the sides till evenly spread over tin.

IMG_9607[1] To avoid a thick corner press a straight sided glass against base and side.

IMG_9609[1] Even out sides using your fingers.

IMG_9610[1]Rub off excess pastry from top, using your thumb, to create a smooth rim.

IMG_9611[1] Place flan on baking sheet or heat proof cake disc and bake for 15-20 minutes.

IMG_6791[1]Set cooked pastry aside while you make chocolate filling.

 

CHOCOLATE FILLING 

INGREDIENTS-

300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) dark eating chocolate

1/3 cup cream

1/4 cup caster sugar

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 punnet strawberries

1 punnet blueberries (frozen is fine)

1 jar Morello cherries (use fresh if you have a cherry pipper)

1/2 cup berry jam

Set oven to 170 c (330 f)

IMG_6792[1] Begin by placing cream and chocolate in microwave proof bowl and zap for 30 seconds or until chocolate melts. It’s better to be slightly underdone as chocolate will keep melting after you have taken it out of microwave. Don’t overdo it or chocolate will split and become a crumbly mess.

IMG_6794[1] Mix melted chocolate and cream together and set aside.

IMG_6795[1]Add egg yolks*, whole eggs, caster sugar and vanilla to mixing bowl.

*the leftover whites can be used to make meringues if you’re on a bit of a cooking roll…just saying!

IMG_6796[1] Beat on high speed.

IMG_6797[1] Till mix is light and fluffy and doubled in volume.

IMG_6798[1] Add chocolate/cream mixture.

IMG_6799[1] And fold together.

IMG_6800[1] Until mixture combined.

IMG_6801[1] Pour into pastry case.

IMG_6802[1] And bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes or until centre is firmly set. This time will vary with all ovens. I would begin checking at 30 minutes.

IMG_6804[1] Remove tart from oven and let it cool.

IMG_6806[1] In the meantime heat berry jam in micro wave till hot and runny. Sieve out pips.

IMG_6807[1] Brush 1/2 hot jam onto surface of tart.

IMG_6810[1]Then decorate using berries and finish off by brushing fruit with remaining jam*.

In this case I halved the strawberries, then built up concentric circles of fruit, remembering to leave one perfect strawberry to finish off centre.

*You can reheat or add a little boiled water if jam becomes too stiff.

See I told you it was easy!

What a gorgeous and delicious way to sweeten up this festive season.

Sweet dreams, Anna x

Anna Buckley Books

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