thecookingchook

The personal stories and adventures of a nerdy food lover.

Sometimes you gotta make a tart

Sometimes I will see a recipe for a dessert so spectacularly wonderful that I just have to make it despite knowing that the process will be a continual uphill battle. This particular dessert that I am sharing with you today is a really good example. It’s in the middle of summer in Adelaide, and we are experiencing typical heatwave conditions where temperatures are up around the mid-40’s (close to 110˚F), so it’s reasonably hot. In weather conditions like this, there are certain things one should not make. Shortcrust pastry is one of those things. It was already 34˚C by 10am when I decided to roll out my pastry, so you can imagine the difficulties I had handling it and lining my tart tin with it. It was almost melting in my hands. Not in the mood to be defeated by Mother Nature, I pushed through the heat, made some adjustments to my technique of rolling the pastry and lining the tart tin, and managed to produce my desired dessert. But that wasn’t the only thing that was making my life difficult. As the mercury crept higher, there was still the task of baking the pastry shell and making the tart filling over a hot stove. By this point, I was sweating so much that I had to ask my DBF to take over making the tart filling so I could change out of my sweat soaked clothes – ewwwwww. When I pulled the tart out of the oven, I stood there staring at it, hoping that the couple of litres of fluid that I sweated out and the resulting hyperthermia was worth it. As I plunged my fork into a piece of the tart and hit the delightfully short pastry, a smile broke out on my face. This was looking good! When I tasted the soft and gooey filling, I squealed with happiness! It was amazing!!!! I’m so thankful that, after working through horrid baking conditions, the tart turned out wonderfully delicious. So, if you’re thinking of making this tart for yourself, don’t do what I did and make it whilst the fires of hell are burning outside. Wait for a more climatically appropriate day. This tart serves 8 to 10 people.

Melty hot chocolate tart soufflé
450g dark cooking chocolate, chopped
225g unsalted butter, chopped
3 eggs
6 egg yolks
150g caster sugar

Chocolate shortcrust pastry
125g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
1 egg
90g icing sugar, sifted
30g almond meal
150g plain flour, sifted
100g Dutch-process cocoa

The pastry needs to rest in the fridge overnight, so start this recipe a day before you want to serve it. To make the pastry, chuck the butter, egg, icing sugar and almond meal into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix until smooth and combined (I used setting 2 on the KitchenAid).

Mix butter, egg, icing sugar and almond meal

Sift together the flour and cocoa into a bowl and mix until combined. Add the flour a little at a time to the butter mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Stop mixing, and turn the pastry out onto some cling warp. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap it up and chuck into the fridge to rest overnight. Pull the pastry out of the fridge 30 minutes before rolling.

Gradually add flour and cocoa Shaped dough into disc and rest in fridge overnight

Roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper that has been lightly floured (this technique of rolling saved my butt in the heat), until it is about 4mm thick. Line the base and sides of a 3cm deep, 23cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with a removable base with pastry. Use a knife to trim the excess pastry. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and whack it back into the fridge to rest for another 30 minutes.

Roll pastry to 4mm thick

Preheat oven to 190˚C (fan-forced). Line the pastry shell with some baking paper and fill with baking weights (or whatever you usually use for blind baking, e.g. dried beans or rice), and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 180˚C (fan-forced), remove the weights from the pastry shell then bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the shell is dry.

Line tart tin base and sides with pastry

To make the filling, heat the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, otherwise the chocolate will burn! Stir every now and again until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Pull the bowl off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.

Melt chocolate and butter

In another heatproof bowl, add the eggs, yolks and caster sugar, and place the bowl over the saucepan of just simmering water. Once again, ensure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water, unless you want really sweet scrambled eggs! Whisk the mixture until it’s thick and holds a trail when you move the whisk through the mixture. Pull the bowl off the heat and gradually whisk in the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until well combined (you may need an extra pair of hands to help you with this step).

Whisk egg, yolks and sugar over simmering water Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture

Pour the chocolate mixture into the pastry shell. Pop it back into the oven and bake for about 18 minutes or until it has just set. The middle of the tart should be soft and gooey. Allow the tart to cool to room temperature before serving with a dollop of whipped cream.

Pour final chocolate mixture into tart pastry shell Bake until filling just set Rich gooey chocolatey goodness

Note: I haven’t made any changes to the original recipe, but if you would like to see the original recipe, it’s in the February 2014 issue of Taste.com.au which is currently on sale. If you do buy this issue, please note that the recipe does have an omission in the shortcrust pastry recipe – they forgot to include the cocoa. It was fortunate that I had Manu Feildel’s cookbook, Manu’s French Kitchen, whose tart recipe was featured in Taste.com.au, and I was able to get the details of the missing ingredient. Manu’s cookbook has a wonderful range of French recipes (a few I have tried already), so I highly recommend getting it if you love French Food!

Edit: I emailed the team at Taste.com.au and they have sent me the link to the recipe online which includes the missing ingredient. Click here for the complete recipe. Thanks Taste.com.au!

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15 thoughts on “Sometimes you gotta make a tart

  1. Yum! And I love your dedication to tasty desserts 🙂

  2. I love your chocolate pastry! And the filling looks soo lovely!!

  3. Susan, I admire your dedication to your craft! I, personally, could not think of anything worse than cooking on a putridly horrid day that was Adelaide yesterday.

  4. Hehe sometimes you’ve just got to make it right! And you’ve just got to eat it too when it looks this good! 😀

  5. Ooh this looks amazing….I might just have to make this, being a total and utter chocoholic!

  6. Oh my is that beautiful!

  7. Marianne on said:

    The egg mixture never got to the “holding a trail” stage and the mixture split when I mixed it with the cooled chocolate-butter mixture. Any ideas?

    • Hi Marianne! Thank you for stopping by my blog and trying this recipe! Sounds like the egg mixture didn’t thicken enough, which leads me to think maybe it wasn’t ‘cooked’ on a high enough heat for long enough. I would try this part of the recipe again with either a slightly higher heat and/or longer whisking time, but there is a fine line between an egg mixture that has thickened and scrambled eggs so keep an eye on the mixture! In regards to the egg/chocolate mixture splitting, this may be due to the chocolate mixture being to hot and cooking the egg mixture or you may not have stirred the combo mixture quickly enough when incorporating the two. You want to make sure the chocolate mixture is basically cooled to room temperature before adding the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Hope this helps 🙂

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