This dessert was made for a fellow with a Dickensian name who requested something very chocolatey for pudding. He thoroughly approved.
- Sweet pastry – 275g plain flour
- 25g ground almonds
- 50g icing sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
- 175g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon iced water
- Chocolate Filling – 300 ml double cream
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- pinch of fine sea salt
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 200g 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 50ml whole milk
- sea salt flakes and crème fraîche, to serve
- Pulse the flour, ground almonds, icing sugar and salt together in a food processor to combine. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the flour mixture.
- Pulse the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs – it’s ok to have a few lumps.
- Mix the egg yolk and the iced water and add to the mixture, pulsing until the dough just starts to come together. Add a little more water if the dough is not coming together.
- Knead the dough lightly until uniform on your work surface. Shape into 2 discs and wrap in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Lightly grease eight 10cm individual tart tins and set aside. Remove the chilled pastry from the fridge and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Lightly flour the work surface and the rolling pin and roll out the pastry until 3 – 4mm thick. Cut out rounds of pastry about 14cm in diameter and gently press into the tins. Trim off the excess pastry and chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
- After chilling the tart shells, line with baking paper and baking beads or rice and blind bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the shells are golden brown and do not have a soggy bottom in sight. This is the only time you will bake the shells, so make sure they are well cooked.
- Put the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove as soon as the mixture boils up. Off the heat, add the butter and chocolate. Stir until blended.
- Next, stir in the milk. Keep stirring until the mixture is glossy. Pour into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours to set. If your kitchen is warm, set in the fridge.
- Sprinkle salt flakes lightly all over, and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and perhaps some berries if you fancy. The tang of the creme fraiche cuts through the richness of the chocolate. A perfect combination.