Baked Chocolate Tart
Chocolate is one of those things that some people can’t be without – I can take it or leave it in its simple form, but I simply cannot imagine my life without a perfect chocolate tart. This recipe creates a short, delicate pastry that snaps under your dessert fork and provides a perfect contrast to the velvety smooth chocolate of the filling.
Flour for a short pastry must be low in protein so it does not become stretchy. Short pastry should be handled at an absolute minimum; the more you handle it, the more you will lengthen the gluten strands and the heavier the pastry will become. If you have never made pastry, this is a wonderful place to start. If you are not convinced, you can make a biscuit base instead and it is also delicious (this is a great option for Gluten Free – a batch of biscuit ground up and a little melted butter to hold it together).
I have often made this recipe using limes, instead of lemons. If I am using lime zest, I like adding a little lime juice instead of vanilla into the chocolate filling, once the eggs have been completely mixed in. I am also partial to a sprinkle of dutch cocoa on my tart, or some fresh berries to finish it off perfectly.
This recipe is the sort of thing that food memories are made of. If you want to make something stunning that people will remember, then this is the one. The one caution with it is that you must remember to turn your oven down once you have finished baking your tart base. Aside from that, this recipe is a keeper and once you have made it, everyone will want it again and again.
Kia makona, Mawera Karetai x
-Sweet Short pastry
175g cold butter, cubed
120g icing sugar
1 cold egg
1 tsp lemon juice
300g standard or plain flour
600g good dark chocolate
1tsp vanilla extract
Method1. For the pastry, add all pastry ingredients and pulse the machine until the flour is only just incorporated. If you have no food processor, you can use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter in to the flour. Tip the pastry out on to a work surface and gently bring together to form a disc shape. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm diameter tart case with a removable base with butter, and dust with flour. Remove the pastry from the fridge and knead gently to make the dough pliable. Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough out to about 3mm in thickness.
3. Roll the pastry on to the rolling pin and drape over the tart case. Using a small ball of excess dough, gently ease the dough into the tart case. (This allows you to press the dough into the tart case without tearing the dough; the heat from your hands can make the pastry delicate.) Trim some of the excess pastry from the tart case but leave a good 5cm overlap. (This will help prevent shrinkage when baking blind.) Place the prepared tart case on to a baking tray, line it with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Place the tart case in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the edges of the tart have started to colour. Remove from the oven, trim the excess pastry from around the edges and lift out the baking paper with the beans. Return the tart case to the oven to cook for a further 10–15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn down the oven to 110°C.
5 Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the cream, milk and sugar to the boil, pour on to the chocolate and stir until the mixture becomes dark and smooth; about 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs together, stir into the chocolate mixture – work quickly so you do not scramble your eggs. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared tart case.
6. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the tart has set around the outside but still has a slight wobble in the centre. Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for about 2 hours before cutting and serving. Can be made a day ahead.