If you’re looking for a bit of indulgence give this classic tarte au chocolat recipe a go. Super crispy sweet shortcrust pastry married with a rich and decadent chocolate ganache is simple but hard to beat.
This tarte au chocolat recipe will make one 22cm tart. There will be ample pastry but any leftover dough will freeze well.
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
100g butter (straight from fridge)
80g icing sugar (sieved)
1 egg (beaten)
½ teaspoon salt
For the chocolate ganache filling:
250g cream (go for crème fleurette or any cream with fat content – matière grasse – of over 30%)
190g dark chocolate
To make the sweet shortcrust pastry:
♥ Sieve the flour, salt and icing sugar into a bowl.
♥ Add the butter and mix until you have a mixture which resembles fine sand. You can do this by rubbing with cool fingertips or use a Kitchenaid type mixer with the ‘leaf’ blade.
♥ Add the egg and mix together with the blade or a wooden spoon until you have a homgenous dough.
♥ Once the pastry has come together, take it out the bowl and using the heel of your hand knead it on an unfloured surface by pushing it away from you, gathering it up again and repeat twice. This is a technique known as ‘fraiser’ in French.
♥ Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it in the fridge for at least half an hour before use.
♥ Roll the pastry out into a circle big enough to line a 22cm loose bottomed tin. You want a thickness of around 3mm.
♥ Prick the base all over with a fork and refrigerate again for about 15 mins. Put the oven on to heat while you wait.
♥ . Cook the pastry case at 180˚C for 10-15 minutes.
To make the chocolate ganache filling:
♥ Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl over simmering water to melt. Make sure the bowl is not touching the water. The French call this a bain-marie.
♥ Heat the butter and cream in a saucepan so that the butter melts but don’t let it boil.
♥ When the chocolate is melted and the cream mixture is hot pour the cream mixture into the chocolate and mix together with a spatula. You want to avoid getting bubbles in the mix so go gently and definitely no whisking.
♥ When you have a smooth, shiny chocolate mixture pour it into the cooked pastry case.
♥ Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Decorate as you wish – I like raspberries when in season but you can also use whipped cream, grated chocolate and/or nuts.
♥ To make your tarts more professional looking, and to banish soggy bottoms, invest in a pastry ring and a perforated baking tray. Cooking the tart on the tray (lined with greaseproof) makes for a really crispy pastry crust.
♥ To make an even more decadent tart, buy a jar of salted caramel (Lidl do a good one) and spread a layer over the cooled pastry case before adding the chocolate ganache.
♥ This ganache can also be used as a filling or icing for cakes, makes a great topping of ice cream or as a delicious dip for strawberries and other fruit.