I am officially, undeniably now thirty. As a mark of condolence my spontaneously wonderful husband booked us into the spectacularly tranquil Raymond Blanc hotel, Le Manoir.
As if this wasn’t sufficiently impressive as a surprise present, he went one further and enrolled me in an afternoon cookery course. Despite being more than slightly intimidated at the prospect it proved to be brilliant. The instructor, Mark, showed just how easy souffles are, how simple this particular chocolate ganache tart is as well as walking us through making our own frangipane tart. And we got to taste everything.
I might also add, the meal we had that evening was perfect, even though we ended up eating our dessert in our room because our eleven week old felt left out, having not being invited to join us. The venison was the most flavoursome and tender meat I may ever have eaten and the dessert…the dessert was chocolate mousse and icecream. Underwhelmed? Don’t be. I’ve almost run out of superlatives. It was lovely.
Now, the tart. Obviously Raymond and his team of Michelin star chefs gave me a fairly wonderful recipe but nonetheless I’ve changed one or two things. I’ve increased the chocolate cream filling by half because I’m a heifer and I’ve added a layer of raspberries to add another texture and something to lighten the chocolatiness.
It is pleasingly straightforward. All in, there is about 20mins of active tart making and then an overnight stay for the tart in the fridge.
This is how tasty this chocolate tart is.
Oven temperature 170 Celsius
Demerara sugar 75g
Ground almonds 25g
Plain flour 55g
Cocoa powder 20g
Fresh raspberries 125g
Dark chocolate 230g
Vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
Preheat the oven and place your largest baking tray, upside down into the oven. Now, a little tip Mark taught us. Use a bottomless cake ring. Seems so obvious now. I don’t have a fancy one just yet so I just used my standard 20cm round cake tin but without it’s base. I placed it on a piece of baking parchment on a chopping board. See the picture.
To make the crumble rub together all of the crumble ingredients till you get a coarse sandy texture. Again, look at the picture.
Tip this mix into the prepared tin and squish down, using your fingers, so the entire base is covered, all the way to the edges.
Carefully pull the baking parchment – with the crumbled tin on top – onto the upturned baking tray in the oven.
Bake for 8mins.
Once it’s done leave it to one side to cool down. You can hurry this up by placing it into the fridge (NOT on the hot baking tray) after about 5mins.
Now, on with the chocolate cream.
Put the cream and milk into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil.
In a separate bowl break up the chocolate.
In a second bowl break in the egg and whisk lightly together with the vanilla.
Once the milky cream has boiled, remove it from the heat and pour it slowly onto the egg, whisking all the time.
Now tip this newly eggy cream mix onto the chocolate and let it melt.
Take the cooled base out of the fridge and throw on the raspberries. Mine were quite large so I flattened them down so they’d be happily submerged in the chocolate cream.
Gently whisk the chocolatey cream till beautifully smooth then pour it carefully and slowly over the raspberries.
Put the tart in the fridge, preferably overnight.
To unmould; choose a nice plate, carefully peel off the baking parchment and place the tinned tart onto the plate. If you happen to own a blow torch then use it sparingly on the outside of the tin to melt just enough of the chocolate cream for the tin to slip off. Failing that, run a cloth under very hot water, squeeze out the excess water and sponge down the outside of the tin till you can remove it.
Garnish it as you will. Also, if you want fierce clean slice, heat your knife in hot water before slicing.
Hat’s off. That’s a fine tart.