chocolate + orange tart

Happy Sunday lovely people! It’s been quite an exciting week! As a second year Biology student I have to go on a field course; the applications got sent in weeks ago and on Wednesday I found out I’M GOING TO COSTA RICA 😀 I’m a little bit excited
There’s going to be around 20 of us going, for a week in the Easter holidays. We’re primarily there to study bats, as well as looking at tropical rainforest ecology and possibly aquatic mammals. It’s going to be awesome!

As well as that exciting piece of news, my parents have been in town visiting – it’s been lovely to see them and show them around now that I know the city so much better. We’ve actually had six sets of families come to visit in the past week; ‘Parent Watch’ got set up on the whiteboard in the kitchen just so we could keep track of them all 😛

Mum very kindly brought down my tart tin from home so I could give this recipe a go. It comes courtesy of Mary Berry and the Bake Off Masterclass (sounds like it should be the title of a kids book?!) My challenge to recreate the perfect chocolate tart has been on the back burner since this attempt. This one is much closer to the one I used to love at school – it’s custard-based so it’s a bit lighter and I like the marbled spiderweb effect on top (quite appropriate for Halloween, too!) – but it’s not quite the same. The quest continues….

The pastry took me a couple of attempts. The first tart shell was way too thin, and had lots of holes in the sides. I rolled it out between two sheets of greaseproof paper; removing the first sheet was fine, then I flipped it into the tin (paper side up) and then just couldn’t get the second sheet out without putting holes in the pastry. So I sort of gave up on trying to get it out, tipped in the baking beans and put it in the oven anyway. The second try was better. I rolled it out between layers of clingfilm which was marginally easier to remove. I still had a few holes, but managed to patch them up with the excess. Unfortunately I was rushing at this point and forgot to put it in the fridge before baking it, but it still turned out OK. Lots more practice needed!

Ingredients:

Pastry:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 50g cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cold water

Dark chocolate filling:

  • 115g dark chocolate
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 55g plain flour
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 0.25 tsp orange blossom extract*

White chocolate + orange swirl:

  • 50g white chocolate
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 25g plain flour
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 egg yolks
*this is totally optional – I bought some on a whim and wanted to test it out. It’s not quite what I expected in terms of flavour, so next time I think I might add a little orange juice instead. NB. the original recipe doesn’t add any orange flavour to the dark chocolate bit.

Method:

Weigh out the plain flour and icing sugar for the pastry in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the dry ingredients, until you have small ‘breadcrumbs’. Mix the egg yolk and water together and add to the breadcrumbs. Combine with your hands until you get a ball of dough. Wrap it in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (180 fan-forced) and grease a tart tin with a little butter. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out between two pieces of cling film (dusting with a little plain flour at this point stops it sticking quite so much). Use the tin as a guide – you want the pastry to be a 3-4 cm wider than it is. Remove the cling film carefully and put the pastry into the tin.
{I did as Mary Berry did in the masterclass: if the tart tin has a loose bottom, move the pastry on top of it and then fold up the bits that hang off into the centre. Move the bottom back into the tin and put the folded bits back where they should be – now on the sides of the tin}

Press the pastry into all the little crimps, and trim off any excess – you can use it to fill any holes. Use a fork to poke holes in the base and put into the fridge for 15 minutes or so.
Remove from the fridge and use some greaseproof paper to line the pastry case. Add baking beans or lentils/rice and put into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for another 6-7 (until golden brown). If the bottom puffs up, poke it with a fork.
Ok, now for the filling! Melt together the dark chocolate and butter over a saucepan of simmering water; once melted, take off the heat and mix in the flour and sugar. Beat the eggs in, one by one. You should have a smooth, glossy mixture.
In a separate bowl, melt together the white chocolate and butter. Take off the heat and add the flour, sugar and zest. Finally, add the egg yolks and mix well to form a thick paste. Pour this mixture into a piping bag/sandwich bag. 
Pour the dark chocolate mixture into the tart case (you may not need all of it). Pipe the white choc mixture in a spiral pattern onto the dark chocolate. For the marbled effect, drag a skewer from the centre out to the edge. 
Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes. Mine took around 15, but our oven continues to mystify me! The aim is to take it out whilst the centre still has a slight wobble; residual heat will do the rest. 
Once cooled slightly, you can serve it. Phew!

Did you do much for Halloween, or were you not really bothered? 

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