I'm just going to put it out there, chocolate week is my week. I was so excited to be let loose with a chocolate tart. The possibilities really were endless: peanut butter, chocolate bakewell and a cheesecake tart were a few of the ideas I'd had.
After my pastry disaster in week 6 I almost chickened out and bought shop-made pastry. I had to give myself a little pep talk and went with the idea that if it fell apart then at least I'd have something to write about.
The chocolate pastry wasn't so difficult to make after all, I used a Tom Kerridge recipe. I did roll it out too thin and it fell apart when trying to place it in the tin though. So instead I opted for the ultimate cheats method...whack a big lump of pastry in the middle of a tart tin and squidge it around the corners until it resembles a tart. To Kerridge's recipe, I added a base layer of salted caramel and a malteser and white chocolate drizzle topping.
It may not be as visually impressive as a chocolate sculpture show-stopper but this is the most decadent dessert you can possibly make.
For the best chocolate pastry, salted caramel and chocolate ganache, follow these tips:
- pastry can be made up to 3 days ahead and is the perfect opportunity to give it a good chill before rolling and shaping. Wrap well in clingfilm to keep dry. Once ready to use, leave out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until its soft enough to work with.
- alternatively, to freeze uncooked pastry, shape into a disc and wrap well. Store for up to one month in the freezer before leaving to thaw in the fridge for a day. Or to freeze an uncooked pastry tart that you've already shaped, freeze in the tin until firm enough to wrap.
- when rolling pastry and you've got some spare, flour your work surface with cocoa powder when making chocolate pastry.
- roll the pastry out to the thickness of a pound coin, rolling from the centre outwards and turning a quarter turn after each roll. This will ensure a nice even thickness and that the pastry doesn't stick to the work surface.
- use the rolling pin to gently drape the rolled pastry onto and lower onto the tart tin. Gently lift edges and ease into the corners with a rolled up ball of dough, you don't want to poke any holes with your nails.
- a good way to even out the top is to roll your rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to chop off any remaining pastry edges.
- chill for 30 minutes before blind baking. I like to be safe and prick the base of the tart with a fork a few times, then cover with cling film or baking paper and pour over some baking beans or uncooked rice. Yes, cling film can go in the oven!
- for the easiest guide to making salted caramel, Izy's guide has handy gifs.
- when making ganache I always think of Ashley's video, here.
And to see how I've gotten on with the rest of the challenges...