Chocolate praline tart, by Joanne Todd

 

Chocolate sweet pastry

 

100 g unsalted butter

75 g icing sugar, sifted

Pinch salt

40 g egg (one egg)

50 g flour, plain or T45, sifted

20 g cocoa powder (Cacao Barry extra brute)

120 g flour, plain or T45, sifted

Mix the butter, icing sugar until creamed together, add eggs and then cocoa powder, salt and 50 g flour until the mixture is smooth. Finally add the remaining flour and mix gently until just combined, this ensures the flour is not over mixed and the pastry will not shrink. Rest in the fridge for a few hours, then roll until ca. 3mm thick.

Grease & Line a 22cm tart case or ring; the simplest way is to cut a disk for the base, then a strip for the edge, then pressing the edge together to join. Trim off any excess pastry from the top of the ring. This again is to ensure you are not stretching the paste too much which prevents shrinking when baking.

Rest again in the fridge, for ca. 20 minutes then blind bake (line with cling film or foil and place baking beans or rice inside) bake at 160 degrees celsius for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is cooked. Remove from the oven and brush with melted dark chocolate or egg yolks to seal the pastry. If using egg yolks, return to the oven for 3 minutes to seal and cook the layer.

 

Chocolate praline tart mix

 

300 g high quality milk chocolate couverture such as Cacao Barry Alunga, and 50 g crushed caramelised hazelnuts or praline paste

100 g dark chocolate with approx 70% cocoa solids, such as Cacao Barry Origins Venezuela 72% which has a nut and caramel in its taste profile

500 g double cream

225 g milk

150 g (3) eggs

Boil the cream and milk. Melt the chocolates gently in a bain marie or microwave. Pour the cream mix in stages onto the chocolate and mix well between each addition, until all combined and smooth. Then beat in the eggs.

Pour into the tart shell and bake in the oven at 120 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes, until the mix is just set (with a slight wobble) remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Glaze is optional.

 

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Chocolate – hazelnut creme

 

200 g dark chocolate with approx 70% cocoa solids, such as Cacao Barry Origins Venezuela 72% which has a nut and caramel in it’s taste profile

200 g double cream

90 g milk

50 g egg yolks

25 g caster sugar

25 g blanched/skinned hazelnuts, toasted.

Make a creme anglaise by mixing the egg yolk and sugar together, then heating the milk & cream to boiling point. Pour the cream into the egg mix, whisking gently until combined, then return to the pan and on a low heat cook out the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is smooth, thick and coats the back of a spoon. (Ca.82 degrees celsius) it is important not to heat too much or boil the mix or it will split or scramble. Remove immediately from the pan and strain through a fine sieve.

Pour the creme anglaise onto the melted chocolate in stages, mixing between each addition, try not to incorporate too much air, as the mix needs to be smooth and velvety. Chill the mixture for at least 4 hours to crystallise.

Next place the 25 g sugar in a small dry pan and heat gently until it starts to melt, increase the heat to medium and gently stir with a Wooden spoon, the sugar will start to caramelise, continue to heat until completely golden and there are no sugar crystals visible. Be very careful as the sugar will be at least 160 degrees!)Remove from the heat and quickly mix in the toasted nuts, pour out onto baking paper and allow to cool.

Crush the caramelised nuts with the end of a rolling pin until they are broken into small pieces. Once the chocolate cream has crystallised, sprinkle the nuts on top and quenelle or scoop the mixture on top of the cake.

 

Almond cocoa crumble

 

50 g ground almonds

50 g unsalted butter

50 g caster sugar

50 g plain flour T45

20 g cocoa powder

Rub the ingredients together to form breadcrumbs, sprinkle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake in the oven set to 160 degrees celsius for ca. 8-10 minutes until cooked.

 

To assemble

 

Decorate your tart with quenelles of the chocolate cream, sprinkles of caramelised nuts and the cocoa crumble. If you wish you can make this more elaborate you can add caramel sugar garnishes, tempered chocolate decorations, or gold leaf like in the photograph.

Serve at room temperature, with a scoop of creme fraiche (I love the Neal’s yard dairy one) or a scoop of ice cream – I am addicted to Jude’s salted caramel ice cream with this (if you are not making your own).

To help you choose the best chocolate for pairing with flavours in your desserts, Cacao Barry have designed an excellent food pairing tool on their website.

You can also have a look at the interview with Joanne Todd here.

More about Joanne: http://www.joannetodd.co.uk/

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