The ultimate chocolate tart
Photograph © Clay McLachlan 2018
Extraordinarily chocolate tart
Serves 6 to 8
1 tart mould
1 kitchen thermometer
2 sheets baking paper
1 pastry brush
Almond shortcrust pastry
120g butter, room temperature
Scant ½ tsp salt
90g confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp ground blanched almonds
240g plain flour
Bittersweet chocolate ganache
350g bittersweet chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa
250ml whipping cream
1 tbsp acacia honey
50g butter, diced
A little melted chocolate to brush the tart shell
Prepare the almond shortcrust pastry. Soften the butter and combine it with the salt, confectioners’ sugar, ground almonds, egg, and 60g plain flour. As soon as the ingredients are mixed through, add the remaining flour and mix quickly, until just combined.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm between two sheets of baking paper. Place it, completely flat, in the freezer for 30 minutes.
When the dough has hardened, peel off the sheets and cut it out to the desired shape. Line your tart mould or pan with the dough and return it to the refrigerator for 30 minutes (so it retains its shape during baking), then preheat the oven to 150°C–160°C and bake until it turns a nice golden colour (about 15 minutes). Leave to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare the bittersweet chocolate ganache. Chop the chocolate and melt it slowly in a bain-marie or in the microwave oven (on “defrost” or at 500W maximum, stirring from time to time).
Bring the cream to the boil with the honey. Gradually pour one-third of the boiling cream over the melted chocolate. Using a flexible spatula, mix in energetically, drawing small circles to create an elastic, shiny ‘kernel’. Incorporate the second third of the cream-honey mixture, using the same procedure. Repeat with the last third.
When the temperature cools to 35°C–40°C, stir in the diced butter. Process for a few seconds using an immersion blender so that the mixture is smooth and perfectly emulsified.
At this stage, brush a fine layer of melted chocolate over the cooled tart shell to seal it. As soon as it has hardened, pour the ganache into the shell and chill for about two hours. Serve it at room temperature.
Be sure to eat this tart the day you make it if you want to enjoy the crisp pastry and creamy ganache at their best.
Extracted from ‘Encyclopedia of Chocolate’ by Frédéric Bau and École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona (£24.95, Flammarion)
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T&C tests: Hans Bar & Grill, Chelsea