Sunday, 15 March 2009

Chocolate tart

A writer called Shakespeare (you may have heard of him, he enjoyed some success) once wrote, “What's in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet” and while I understand that, I can’t help feeling that calling this ‘chocolate tart’ undersells it somewhat. This is the smoothest, richest, scrummiest chocolate tart ever!

The filling is like a melt in the mouth, velvety smooth chocolate truffle. You can make the chocolate as bitter or mild as you like; I used two-thirds milk chocolate (Green and Blacks 34% cocoa) and one-third dark (Green and Blacks 70% cocoa) to strike a good balance.

The recipe is adapted from a wonderful book I recently came across called “Chocolate” by Sverre Saetre. I haven’t even looked through all the recipes yet but this one leapt out and demanded to be made; I can be very obedient when it suits me!

As I had some whipping cream left over I piped it around the edge of the tart. This not only gave a nice colour contrast, but also was a good accompaniment to the rich tart.

The tart is not difficult but does take a bit of time to make; however, the results are reason enough to tackle it. We all agreed that this tasted like professional patisserie, the sort of thing you see in the window of fancy cake shops.

For the pastry:
200g unsalted butter, cold
100g icing sugar
300g plain flour
1 egg

For the filling:
150g chocolate (I used 100g milk, 50g dark)
3 gelatine leaves
315ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod

Optional decoration: Whipped cream, raspberries, chocolate vermicelli

How to make:

- Start by making the pastry: place the butter, icing sugar and flour into a food processor and blitz until you have fine bread crumbs.
- Add the egg and blitz until the dough just starts to come together.
- Tip the dough out onto a sheet of clingfilm and bring together into a ball, handling as little as possible. The pastry is incredibly soft – more like a thick paste, than a dough.
- Flatten the pastry into a disk and wrap in clingfilm. Refrigerate for at least an hour, the longer the better.
- Butter a 22cm loose bottomed flan tin.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Roll the chilled pastry out so that it is about 2 inches bigger than the flan tin all the way around. As the pastry is so short and buttery, I rolled it out between two sheets of clingfilm; this prevents having to use any flour and changing the consistency of the pastry.
- Line the flan tin with the pasty and leave any overhanging pastry.
- Chill the pastry for a further 30 minutes. This will stop the pastry shrinking in the oven.
- Line the pastry case with a sheet of baking paper and fill with baking beans, or lentils, dried pulses etc
- Bake for 8 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Leave to cool.
- Chop up the chocolate into small, even pieces and melt in a large bowl (it has to be big enough to take the cream too) above a saucepan of simmering water. The heat should be low as you don’t want to overheat the chocolate and have it seize on you. Also make sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- In a bowl of cold water, soak the gelatine leaves so that they are soft.
- Slice the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds.
- In a saucepan bring the cream, vanilla pod and seeds to the boil. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the vanilla pod.
- Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and, one at a time, stir into the hot cream and ensure that they dissolve.
- Steadily pour the cream into the chocolate and stir with either a wooden spoon or spatula. This will ensure that you don’t create air bubbles that might spoil the finished look of the tart.
- Stir slowly and steadily for a few minutes. At first you’ll worry that the cream and chocolate won’t mix but eventually you will have a glossy and thick chocolate sauce.
- Pour into the cooled pastry case and refrigerate until set (approx 4 hours).
- Decorate as required – I used piped cream, raspberries and chocolate vermicelli.
- Remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes before required in order that the lovely chocolate flavour will be at its peak.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Elyse said...

Man, this tart looks delicious! Melt-in-your mouth truffle filling?! Yes, yes yes!! I can't wait to try out this recipe. You've totally sold me on it. And your pictures are divine!

April said...

yum, yum

April xx

Holler said...

That looks amazing CC, you truly are the Queen of Tarts :)

trashalou said...

Oh dear. While I love the idea of combining the two different types of chocolate do they have to be Green&Black's?

I recognise that I am outside the pale on not enjoying the stuff but it is just too dry for me. I prefer the Divine brand.

Will you still talk to me?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Trashalou

You must use the chocolate that makes you happy. I am not the Chocolate Police, I shall just sadly shake my head at your taste! On a more serious note I think the key here is the cocoa content rather than the brand; I only said what brand I used as I am an anorak!

Coleen's Recipes said...

Talk about a food photo making me salivate! This looks delicious. Your "Caked Crusader" title is So cute.

trashalou said...

Another good source for high level cocoa content at not a HUGE cost per gram is Lidl chocolate. I'm just sayin' is all ;-)

silverpebble said...

I'm in love - this is the single most beautiful thing I've seen in some time. I'm off to have a cup of G & B hot chocolate now - the closest I can get!

MH said...

Wow! This tart looks too good to be eaten! :)

Margaret said...

This chocolate tart looks as though it came from a patisserie it's so good.
The pastry and filling are both very good recipes.

A_and_N said...

Holy crap that looks AMAZING! I've been wanting to bake tarts badly. But I have to limit the size to very small ones. I cant seem to find tart pans with removable bottoms. Is it OK if I find small (say 4" X 5") ceramic tart pans with non-removable bottom for tarts? How do you remove the tarts when they are done? Any suggestions?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi A&N

It is always easier removing a tart if the tin is loose bottomed, but if that's not possible I'd recommend greasing the mould generously with butter and carefully running a knife around the edge before you try and turn out. Often just a bit of gentle encouragement will be enough to remove the tart, particularly when the pastry is as buttery as this one. The filling is quite solid so you could even tip the tin. I would recommend removing the tarts from your all-in-one rigid tins before you decorate.
Happy baking!

♥Rosie♥ said...

This choccie tart looks amazing CC! Beautiful photo's that make me drool.

Rosie x

♥Rosie♥ said...

Hi Again C.C. my little chef bear came from :0)

Rosie x

Emily said...

Gorgeous! This is my kind of dessert!

Y said...

Such a pretty chocolate tart - and you've decorated it just like a cake. Tart gateaux? Or is that overselling? ;P

Cakelaw said...

This tart looks magnificent! Love the chocolate chunks through it.

Maria said...

Gorgeous tart!!

Maria♥ said...

Oh wow, this looks absolutely delish!!


Anne said...

Ooh thats so pretty to look at! Bet it tastes great too!

The American Homemaker said...

I've never made a tart :)

Yours looks delicious!

Lisa said...

You have mad piping skills, that's for sure. What a beaut!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I am so glad that you Blog Name struck me as clever and funny and that I came to investigate. Wow! What beautiful cakes.

I agree. Cake is beautiful. Cake is good. Cake should never be altered to be lowfat. Just eat it, enjoy it, and share it-- less guilt.

I'll be back. Lots of great recipes!


Premyscakes said...

i have been looking at the tart for a while, cant really take my eyes off it. looks great.

Big Boys Oven said...

eyes are drooling now, yet this is the one, delicoius choclat tart! yum yum!

glamah16 said...

Gorgeous! I love it.

Canadian Bake-Tress said...

Can I just say that I've had dreams about this tart. I must make this.