Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tarte au Chocolat


This recipe actually makes a little too much filling for the tart case if you use a tart tin the same size as mine, however, the filling can be poured into small ramekins to make delicious pot de chocolat, so I'm happy!

For this recipe you will need:
for the sweet pastry
200g of plain flour
100g of unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg yolk
40g of icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
just enough chilled water to bring together.

For the filling
600ml of double cream
150ml of milk
300g of good quality chocolate, such as Valrhona, minimum 70% coca solids
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
3 whole eggs plus an extra egg yolk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

begin by making the pastry, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of chilled water, bring the mass together to form a dough, if the mix looks a little dry, add a little more water but avoid adding too much, the result will be a tougher pastry. Leave the pastry for an hour to rest. My house despite it being April is still on  the chilly side so I don't rest the fridge but after I have rolled out the pastry and lined the tin (25cm diameter loose bottomed flan tin) I do pop it all in the fridge to chill.

Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepan, meanwhile break up the chocolate and place it in a large bowl with the syrup, salt and vanilla. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the eggs and extra yolk and set aside.
Bake the pastry shell blind (line with a crumpled up piece of baking parchment and fill with either ceramic baking beans or some rice or beans that you keep for blind baking) in a hot oven 200C for 10 minutes. I heat up a baking tray in the oven and place the tart tin on this, it helps to ensure heat distribution to the base of the pastry shell and makes manoeuvering the tart tin when it is filled, easier. Remove the baking parchment and baking beans and return the pastry shell to the oven having turned down the temperature to 140 for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the shell appears nicely cooked, a little golden brown and most importantly, dry all over the surface. Even though the tart will be returned to the oven, the extra time is not going to cook the pastry any further so do ensure the pastry is fully baked when you remove it. Carefully fill the baked shell with the chocolate mix; I usually pour the mix using a jug, up to about 3/4 the height of the shell and complete the filling when the tart has been returned to the oven. You will have enough filling left over if you use a 25cm tin to fill 3or 4  ramekins to make additional pot de chocolat. Fill the ramekins and bake in a tin with hot water poured up to half way up the sides of the ramekins to avoid over cooking. Bake for around 20 minutes or until the tart retains a slight wobble in the middle. The tart will firm up on cooling. Serve cold with a spoonful of creme fraiche.

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