Nick Nairn’s Chocolate Tart recipe: serves 1 or 10, depending on your mood

When it's raining inside, there is only one way to spend the time inside. By eating chocolate tart of course. And not just any old chocolate tart, but Nick Nairn's divine recipe.  To celebrate the Summer of Inspiration and the Kitchen and Dining week over on the ACHICA Facebook page, we've been learning how to make this delicious dessert. It serves from 8 to 10, or just one, depending on what kind of mood you're in. Follow Nick Nairn's impressive recipe here...


Nick Nairn's Chocolate Tart

'I’ve gone extra chocolately for dessert here – with my chocolate tart, a truly extravagant eating experience, and perfect with cool crème fraiche,' says Nick. 'Don’t be tempted to put this one in the fridge, it’s best served at room temperature to ensure a lovely bit of give in the texture.'

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

For the sweet shortcrust pastry

Makes enough for a 25cm tart

125g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar

pinch of salt

250g plain flour

1 medium egg yolk

For the filling

680g dark chocolate, min 55% cocoa solids, broken into pieces

4 eggs

200ml whipping cream

160ml evaporated milk

To garnish

dark chocolate for the curls

icing sugar

crème fraîche

Method

First make the pastry. Cream the butter, sugar and salt at a medium speed in the bowl of a food mixer. When light and fluffy, add 50g flour. With the mixer on a lower speed, add the egg yolk and the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time. When the flour is fully incorporated, add 1 tablespoon of cold water and mix for a further 15 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, tip out the dough on to a floured worktop and, with floured hands, gently knead the dough 3 or 4 times until it comes together. Wrap it in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours before you roll it out.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and place it on a floured worktop. Roll out the pastry using a floured rolling pin. Roll the pastry over the rolling pin away from you and lift gently onto the tart case. Carefully lift and push the edges into the tin and press down into the sides of the tin, but leave the edges untrimmed. Prick the pastry base with a fork to prevent it rising. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Next, line the pastry with cling film (not the non-cling or low PVC varieties) or, if you prefer, use foil or greaseproof paper, and fill it with baking beans (we use dried peas or butter beans). Place on a baking sheet before baking in the oven for 11 minutes.

Take it from the oven, remove the cling film, foil or paper and the beans and then place it back in the oven. Bake it for a further 9 minutes until the pastry is lightly browned. Remove, neatly trim away the overhanging pastry and leave to cool.

To remove the tart from the tin, place the cooled tin on an upturned bowl and gently push the ring downwards and off the pastry. It should fall away leaving the pastry intact and resting on the base. Gently slide the case off the base. When completely cool, it’s ready to be used.

For the filling, first place the broken chocolate into a metal or china bowl and set over a pan of just-boiled water. Leave to melt for 5 minutes then stir.

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Pour the cream and evaporated milk into a saucepan and heat to about 50 degrees, ie hot to the touch, but not boiling. Pour this onto the eggs and whisk together. Strain the milk and egg mixture over the chocolate and mix well.

Pour this into the blind-baked tart case. Sit the tart on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 9 minutes and then turn the oven off and leave the tart to sit in the cooling oven for 15-25 minutes, until it has started to set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 1½ hours). Do not refrigerate as the tart filling will set solid. Sprinkle liberally with icing sugar and shave chocolate curls on top using a sharp knife or potato peeler. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Mise en place: Make earlier in the day, avoiding the temptation to refrigerate it.



Nick Nairn is a brand ambassador for Falcon

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor