Happy chocolate tart

Happy 2014! I hope your Christmas was merry and bright, and your new year celebrations equally so. Our new year was a lovely, relaxed one, spent with friends in a cottage in Cumbria. We walked, ate, danced, played Pictionary, and revelled in the company of the newest little person we know.

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Our annual get-togethers have become something of a tradition, as has beginning the year on the blog with a new-to-me recipe. Last year was cheese straws, this year it’s a chocolate tart from The Hairy Biker’s Perfect Pies. When planning food for our trip, I was after a special sweet treat to feed ten people – something decadent, exciting and downright delicious.

And boy, those bikers really don’t mess around when it comes to chocolate. This tart is rich, dark and very powerful – perfect as a dessert with cream, or a mid-afternoon treat with coffee. What’s more, you can easily adapt it with gluten-free flour, like I did. The recipe involves white and dark chocolate, but you could add a third layer of milk chocolate in there too if you really wanted to wow your friends. And wowed they will be! What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to make. It does require a bit of preparation time to let the chocolate layers set, but it really is a doddle. The perfect dessert! Minimum effort for maximum impact. Chocolate tart, I salute you!

(The recipe below is a slightly modified one, as I used a larger flan dish than suggested. To make a smaller version (WHY!?) then simply halve the pastry ingredient quantities.)

Chocolate tart
from The Hairy Biker’s Perfect Pies

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Ingredients:
white chocolate filling
200g white chocolate, broken into squares
100ml double cream

dark chocolate filling
200g dark chocolate, broken into squares
150ml double cream

topping
50g white chocolate, broken into squares

sweet shortcrust pastry
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
230g cold butter, cut into cubes
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten

Large loose-based tart tin, greased

– To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the beaten egg and blend until the mixture begins to form a ball. Transfer to a floured work surface or large chopping board and roll the pastry out so it is about 4cm larger than your tart tin. Carefully roll the pastry over onto a rolling pin and use it to lift the pastry up and onto your tin.

– Press the pastry gently into the base and sides of the tin, leaving the excess overhanging the edge. Press any tears in the pastry together. Prick the base lightly with a fork and chill for one hour.

– Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas mark 6. Bake the pastry case blind for 20 minutes, then take it out of the oven and remove the paper and baking beans. Return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is cooked and very lightly browned. Trim away the excess pastry with a sharp knife.

– To make the white chocolate filling, melt the white chocolate with 50ml of the cream in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from the heat while there are still some lumps remaining and stir until smooth. Stir in the rest of the cream and pour onto the pastry base. Smooth the surface and chill for one hour until set. Make the dark chocolate filling in the same way and pour it onto the white chocolate filling. Smooth the surface and chill for one hour until set.

– Very carefully remove the tart from the tin and slide it onto a serving plate. To make the topping, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl as before and, while it is still warm, drizzle all over the tart with a teaspoon. Leave to set before serving.

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