Chocolate Tarting it Up

Last week, as Cam and I were still housesitting, Alex decided that it would be fun to have drinks before going to town. Becca and I decided however, that it would be even more fun to have a little dinner party beforehand and she said that she would make dinner if I made dessert. Right after this conversation, we just happened to be looking through this recipe book that was lent to them by a family friend and I came across this magnificent chocolate tart. It looked so rich and superb, I decided that was exactly what I wanted to make for the dessert. Unfortunately being ultra rich came with a rather rich list of ingredients, but I probably made that harder on myself by buying not-so-cheap dark chocolate. For those who have Whittaker's in their country, I used nearly 3 blocks of dark ghana which was amazing and so rich, but it would actually work just as well with standard cheap chocolate chips, because you melt them anyway. With cream. So it's all good. If you're a chocolate lover then this one's for you, because it is amazing. The recipe is from Simon Wright. And for those of you who are interested, Becca made chicken lasagne for dinner and it was really yum!

French Chocolate Tart

175g butter
120g icing sugar
1 egg
1t lemon juice
300g plain flour

600g chocolate bits
675mL cream
225mL milk
100g sugar
2 eggs

Place the butter and icing sugar in a food processor and cream them. Add the egg and lemon juice, mix until fully combined, then add the flour and pulse the machine until the flour is only just incorporated. Which doesn't mean that it's all bitsy and everything, it should stick together in a ball, but have only just done that. Tip the pastry out of the food processor on to a work surface and knead until it forms a smoth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm tart/pie tin 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. Roll the pastry on to the rolling pin and drape over the tart case (the smart way) OR you could just pick it all up and drop it over the case and hope for the best. I like that way. Then you're supposed to gently ease the dough into the tart tin so that you don't rip it, but as long as you get it all pressed in to the corners, then you can use excess dough to fill in the gaps. Trim some of the excess dough from the tart tin but leave a good 5cm overlap (this helps prevent shrinkage when baking blind. Which I clearly didn't do, as you can see in the photos, but we had some serious time constraints. Mainly because of my bad organisation). Fill the tart with baking beans and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Place the tart tin 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 tin to the oven to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 110°C. 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. This is important!! It tastes much better when it is set. :)

Chocolate Filling:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Place the cream, milk and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour on to the chocolate and stir until the mixture becomes dark and glossy, about 5 minutes. Whisk the eggs together and stir into the chocolate mixture. Becca and I thought that this would cook the eggs so we did this part together, very cautiously, but it turned out fine. She poured in the eggs while I whisked furiously so no cooked eggs in our tart! Then pass the mixture through a chinois or your finest sieve. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart case...

This is a chinois:

And this is a cat + chinois:

It came up when I googled for a picture of a chinois and I thought it was very funny!
A final picture of the cut chocolate tart:

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