Hey ya mates, seems all I’ve posted lately is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Thank goodness the recipes aren’t alike!
So, big dinner, a bunch of kids and a lot of things to prepare. If you’ve read Trippin’ with the Buddies, let me tell you now that this surpassed six people (and almost no chairs!). We’re talking about ten people or so, and as we’re only two hosts (me and my father), it’s important that we keep everything extremely organized since the beginning of the day. I think desserts should always be made before anything else. Unless it’s something that has to be served directly from the oven of course. As for our main-dish, some fabulous moules mariniére (or my father’s version of it, that I believe to be as good or even better than the original) with french fries. I wasn’t too optimistic about moules because of their peculiar texture, but I found out quite quickly that it’s something I really enjoy! Don’t worry, next time I invite my buddies that’s exactly what I’m going to make, and it will be posted!
Since we had children present, and I was somewhat apprehensive regarding the Chocolate Tart’s intensity, I thought it would be a great idea to include gelatin, something I consider to be side-dessert. I used the instant powder that you get in the supermarket and I have to admit that I like it, and so do children (and that’s exactly the point). To make it just a little more sophisticated, I added a mix of whole raspberries and blackberries. It gives fresh polish, and it doesn’t make it quite as boring as it inevitably is. I’m only going to write the recipe for the Chocolate Tart and it’s garnish, the Créme Anglaise. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the custard…but it’s probable that most people know what it looks like.
Simple baked Chocolate Tart (Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef)
1x25cm/10 inch flan or tart shell, baked blind*
140g butter, unsalted
150g best-quality chocolate (Valrhona, Lindt or Callebaut preferably)
8 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
small pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup (I think this is optional, really)
3 medium heaped tablespoons sour cream or créme fraiche
Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder ans salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed in. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, and then add the golden syrup and sour cream/créme fraiche. Stir your chocolate mixture into this mixture, scraping all the chocolate out with a spatula. Once you’ve mixed it well, pour it into the pastry shell. Place into a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes at 150ºC (300ºF). During cooking a beautiful crust will form on top.
Carefully remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a rack at least 45 minutes, during which time the skin will crack and the filling will shrink slightly.
*Flan Pastry (for about 480g)
250g plain flour
125g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
40ml cold water
Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well. Put the butter, egg, sugar and salt in the middle and cream s your fingertips.
Little by little, draw the flour into the centre and work the dough with your fingertips to form a grainy (crumbly) mixture. Add the cold water and mix it until the dough begins to hold together.
Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 4 or 5 times until it is smooth. Roll the pastry into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, and refrigerate at least 40 minutes before using.
It’s not as difficult as it is said. You just have to be patient! I’m going to translate this for american, as well as european cooks.
2 cups milk (475ml)
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (100g)
11/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan until it is very hot. Beat the egg yolks for about 3 minutes while slowly adding the sugar until it is a pale lemon color and thick. VERY slowly, pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly, until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat to just below the boiling point. You have to stir constantly until it is slightly thickened and the froth has disappeared. DO NOT boil or the sauce will curdle. Remove from the heat, quickly pouring into a bowl, and stir until cool. You really have to do this, or else the eggs will cook. When completely cool, add the vanilla and blend. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until used.