Want to make your own delicious and decadent rich chocolate tart? You’ll find out exactly how do to it in this post. It’s one of the recipe’s in Lorraine Pascale’s cookbook, How to be a Better Cook. And it’s a good one.
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How To Be A Better Cook Review
For those of you who’ve been watching Lorraine Pascale’s latest cookery series on BBC2, How to be a Better Cook, this new cookbook will come as no surprise. Whether you’ve seen the series or not, Lorraine’s easy style makes this an accessible book for both beginners and those wanting to expand their range of techniques. The more advanced cook may also find it useful for inspiration.
Lorraine carries us through the recipes with characteristic grace and modesty. The cover states, “100 quick and easy recipes”, a statement that grabbed my attention. Time is at a premium for most of us these days, so any help we can get to enable us to produce tasty and nutritious food that also looks good and is simple to prepare has got to be a good thing.
Published by HarperCollins, with a cover price of £25, this hardback edition of How to be a Better Cook is very similar in style to her last one, A Lighter Way to Bake. The recipes are for simple every day food and are not too excessive when it comes to the use of fats and other such “naughty” ingredients.
Chocolate tart I hear you cry? Well yes, there is a chapter on desserts, cakes and treats. What cookbook is really complete without one? But even the tart is made with more milk than cream. Similarly her recipes for panna cotta, ice-cream and Bircher muesli use yogurt to replace some or all of the cream associated with these dishes. Now wondering if she’s taken tips from my blog.
This is not a book aimed at vegans and vegetarians and I could wish there was a little more in it for me. However, despite the three chapters devoted to meat and fish, a few recipes caught my eye. You can easily adapt many of the meat dishes to include vegetarian alternatives. And there are chapters for canapés & cocktails, starters, snacks & soups, salads, vegetables & sides which also contain many vegetable dishes.
It’s been a long time since I tried making harissa but Lorraine’s recipe has me inspired once again. She is a self-confessed harissa junky and uses it in all sorts of ways. Homemade definitely beats shop bought.
I keep meaning to unearth my slow cooker from the back of the cupboard, but it’s a bit of a faff, so it tends to stay put. However, this is about to change as I’m now really keen to make slow cooker lentil, sweet potato and cumin soup with ginger and coriander. I can just imagine how good that tastes.
As some of you may know, I’m a fan of incorporating vegetables into sweet bakes, thus trying to make them a little more nutritious. I was pleased, therefore, to see a recipe for pumpkin, brown sugar and pecan cake with cream cheese icing. And very nice it looked too.
Lorraine also incorporates wholemeal flour in some stem ginger and apricot biscotti, an addition which I obviously heartily approve of.
With Halloween and Bonfire Night just a few days away, it’s useful to find that Lorraine has these covered. Ghostly black-eyed meringues, lighter chocolate muffin spiders, s’mores pops and toffee apple slice pops are great fun to make. With or without the children.
Lorraine gives tips and tricks throughout the book, but also includes a few pages at the end detailing her store cupboard essentials, kitchen equipment essentials, how to look after knives and how best to store food.
How To Be A Better Cook: Style
Whilst I like the recipes, I have a few issues with the general style of the book. The pages are shiny which makes them a little difficult to read in certain light. I also found the photographs to be rather hard and a bit stark.
There are plenty of them in the book and many are of Lorraine. As a former model, this is perhaps not surprising. But much as I like Lorraine, I prefer my recipe books to show pictures of the food rather than the author.
But all is not lost, however. I like the stylish use of colour running through the book. A picture of something on a green plate, for example, is matched by green text on the opposite page. A recipe for chargrilled green bean, sugar snap and courgette salad with poppy seed dressing printed in pink, has pink forks shown in the accompanying photo.
Rich Chocolate Tart
As soon as I saw the recipe for Ridiculously Rich Chocolate Tart, I knew that was the one I was going to make for this cookbook review.
As per usual, I changed things around a little. I had some goat’s butter from St Helen’s Farm that I was keen to try out in the pastry and some goat’s milk in need of using up.
I also wanted to give the tart a bit of a salted caramel edge. To do this, I used a pinch of salt and 100g of Cacao Barry caramel milk chocolate and 165g of 72% dark chocolate. This included one of the Seed and Bean bars I reviewed a while back. I also made the pastry with half wholemeal flour and half white.
Apart from faffing around with pastry, which is never my most fun activity in the kitchen, this tart was a breeze to make. If you’re in a rush, Lorraine allows for a nice easy get out clause: buy the pastry. But that’s not my way.
The only problem I experienced, other than trying not to eat it before it set, was getting the tart into the oven without spilling the filling. Needless to say, I didn’t achieve this. Lorraine suggests pouring the filling into the tart case once it’s actually on the oven shelf. My oven and kitchen preclude this, so I didn’t quite get the nice clean edges I’d have liked.
I also found, I had more pastry and filling than I needed, so I made three ten centimetre tartlets as well.
The tarts are sublime. They have a crisp, buttery, flaky pastry which melts in the mouth. Not a soggy bottom in sight. The filling is rich and creamy and has the hint of salted caramel I was looking for. It also has a subtle goaty tang which did a good job of reinforcing the robust flavour of the chocolate and added another welcome dimension.
Other Chocolate Tart Recipes You Might Like
- Chocolate & salted caramel tart
- Chocolate tarts with lime curd & mascarpone
- Fennel & ginger chocolate tarts
- Goat’s cheese & chocolate tarts
- Nutella & banana tarts
- Raspberry & white chocolate tarts
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this rich chocolate tart, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more pastry recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious and nutritious, of course.
Rich Chocolate Tarts. PIN IT.
Rich Chocolate Tart – The Recipe
In case you’d like to try Lorraine’s recipe out rather than my slightly adapted version, I’m taking an unusual step. I’m giving you a more or less exact copy, with kind permission of HarperCollins.
Ridiculously Rich Chocolate Tart
- 125 g butter – plus extra for greasing softened and diced
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 pinch salt but only if your butter is unsalted
- 250 g plain flour – plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 100 ml single or double cream
- 250 ml whole milk
- 175 g dark chocolate minimum 70% cocoa solids
- 75 g milk chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 1 orange finely grated zest only
- Grease a 20cm straight-edged tart tin well with a little butter and set aside on a baking sheet.
- I prefer to make this pastry using a food processor. Put the butter, sugar and salt in the processor and blitz for about 10 seconds. Then add the flour and pulse a few times until everything is nicely mixed up. Tip in the egg and pulse a few times again, scraping the sides of the food processor if need be.125 g butter – plus extra for greasing, 100 g caster sugar, 1 pinch salt, 250 g plain flour – plus extra for dusting, 1 egg
- Lay a large piece of cling film on the work surface, tip the pastry mix on to it, squidge the pastry together in a ball and then wrap it up in the cling film. Place it in the fridge and leave it to rest for a good hour or hour and a half.
- To make this the traditional way by hand, tip the flour onto a clean work surface, then make a well in the centre of the flour about 30cm wide. Put the butter and the sugar and salt in the centre of the well (they should not touch the flour at this time). Use your hand to mix the butter, sugar and salt together; it is kind of messy, but great to make it the way it should be made! Then bring in the flour. I use a pastry scraper to flick the flour over the butter and the sugar, and then I kind of chop it together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make another well in the centre of the pastry mix and crack the egg into it. Then, using your fingertips, mix it all together; again messy, but I find it kind of fun. Once the mixture is all mixed up and together, wrap the pastry ball in cling film and pop it in the fridge for an hour or hour and a half to rest. The pastry needs to rest to relax the protein strands, which could cause it to be too stretchy when you roll it. This will also help make the pastry more tender.125 g butter – plus extra for greasing, 100 g caster sugar, 1 pinch salt, 250 g plain flour – plus extra for dusting, 1 egg
- Once the pastry is rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to about a 25cm circle, roughly 5mm in thickness. I then put a rolling pin across the centre of the dough and flip half of the pastry over the rolling pin. Pick it up on the rolling pin and lay the pastry over the tart tin before removing the rolling pin. Gently press the pastry down into the tin, making sure that the pastry goes right into the ‘corners’, and then pop it in the fridge for an hour to rest again (rolling it out works the proteins in the pastry again, so it needs to have another rest in the fridge).
- Once the pastry has been in the fridge for 40 minutes, turn the oven on to preheat to 200°C, (fan 180°C), 400°F, Gas Mark 6 with the middle shelf at the ready.
- After the pastry case has had an hour in the fridge and the oven is ready, line it with a circle of baking parchment slightly larger than the size of the tart case and tip in ceramic baking beans (or you can use dried beans for this, which are cheaper and work really well). Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp, golden and almost cooked through.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the filling, put the cream and milk in a medium pan and bring it almost to the boil, then immediately remove it from the heat. Snap in the dark and milk chocolates and leave it aside to melt. Once the chocolate has softened and melted, mix it all together and add the eggs and the orange zest. Mix together again and then set this aside.100 ml single or double cream, 250 ml whole milk, 175 g dark chocolate, 75 g milk chocolate, 3 eggs, 1 orange
- Remove the pastry case from the oven and leave the oven open to cool down a bit, turning the temperature down to 180°C, (fan 160°C), 350°F, Gas Mark 4. Carefully lift the bean-filled baking parchment from the pastry case.
- Once the oven has reached temperature (which will be indicated by the thermostat light coming back on), close the door. Pour the chocolate mix into the pastry case. I like to pour the last bit of filling into the case once it is safely resting on the oven shelf, that way it avoids any spillover. Then very carefully place the pastry case back into the oven for 20–25 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a bit. Then carefully push the tart out of the tin, remove the base, place on a plate or cake stand and serve.
I’m sending the tarts over to Lucy at SuperGolden Bakes for her weekly event #CookBlogShare.
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