DARK CHO­CO­LATE TART WITH BLACK­BER­RIES & HAZEL­NUT PRALINE

SERVES 12-14/ PREPA­RA­TION 35 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 24 MIN­UTES

Cuisine - - SARAH TUCK -

The magic com­bi­na­tion of dark, slightly bit­ter, in­tense cho­co­late and plump, ripe black­ber­ries sprin­kled with the crunch of hazel­nut praline is im­pos­si­ble to re­sist! This tart needs to set for at least six hours so start this recipe well in ad­vance of serv­ing.

FOR THE HAZEL­NUT PRALINE

1½ cups hazel­nuts 200g sugar Pre­heat the oven to 180˚C and put the hazel­nuts on a bak­ing tray. Put a square of bak­ing pa­per on a heat-safe bak­ing dish ready for the praline. Bake the hazel­nuts for 10 min­utes un­til fra­grant and col­ored. Re­move from the oven and rub the hazel­nuts be­tween a folded tea towel to re­move the bit­ter skins as much as pos­si­ble.

Heat the sugar and 3 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter to­gether in a medium-sized, heavy based saucepan. Whisk to com­bine then cook, with­out stir­ring, over medium heat un­til the sugar has dis­solved and caramelised, turn­ing a light golden colour. Keep an eye on the caramel so that you don’t miss the mag­i­cal point be­tween golden and rich and black and bit­ter.

As soon as you have a pale golden liq­uid, tip in the hazel­nuts and coat in caramel. Quickly pour onto the bak­ing pa­per and leave to set. Cau­tion: do not put your fin­gers any where near the caramel, it is vi­ciously hot!

Once the praline is cold, whiz in a blender or smash into chunks with the end of a rolling pin, de­pend­ing on whether you like your praline chunky or fine – I do half and half.

FOR THE PAS­TRY

bak­ing oil spray 1¾ cups flour 3 ta­ble­spoons dark co­coa pow­der (I use Equagold) pinch of salt ¼ cup ic­ing sugar 150g cold but­ter, chopped into cubes Spray the base of a 29cm re­mov­able base tart tin very lightly with bak­ing oil and use a pas­try brush to dis­trib­ute it evenly on the base and sides.

Put the flour, co­coa, salt, sugar and but­ter in a food pro­ces­sor and whiz un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles fine bread­crumbs. Slowly add 2-3 ta­ble­spoons iced wa­ter and pulse un­til the mix­ture forms big clumps. Tip onto the bench and squish to­gether. Wrap in plas­tic wrap and re­frig­er­ate for 20 min­utes.

Pre­heat the oven to 180˚C. Leave the pas­try to sit at room tem­per­a­ture for 5 min­utes then roll out be­tween two over­lapped sheets of bak­ing pa­per un­til 1cm larger than the tin. Line the base and sides of the tart tin with pas­try, patch­ing any tears as you go. Put the pas­try-lined tin in the freezer for 15 min­utes while the oven pre­heats to 180˚C.

Cut out a cir­cle of bak­ing pa­per slightly big­ger than the tart tin and put it in the pas­try case. Fill it with bak­ing beans or rice and cook for 12 min­utes, re­move the bak­ing pa­per and bak­ing beans and cook for 10-12 min­utes. Leave to cool at room tem­per­a­ture then re­move the case from the tin.

FOR THE FILL­ING

500ml cream 500g 70 per cent dark cho­co­late, chopped 100ml cham­bord (French black­berry liqueur) Heat the cream in a mi­crowave or in a saucepan over medium heat un­til sim­mer­ing. Add the cho­co­late, re­move from the heat and leave to sit for 3 min­utes, then whisk un­til smooth. It may need a tiny bit of ex­tra gen­tle heat­ing to melt fully.

Add the cham­bord, whisk to com­bine then cool for 15 min­utes be­fore pour­ing care­fully into the cooked pas­try shell.

Al­low the tart to set at room tem­per­a­ture for at least 6 hours be­fore serv­ing. If it’s hot or you want the tart to set as quickly as pos­si­ble, you can put it in the fridge, but re­move it from the fridge at least an hour be­fore serv­ing to bring back to room tem­per­a­ture.

TO SERVE

1½ cups fresh black­ber­ries 200ml cream, softly whipped When ready to serve, top the tart with the black­ber­ries and crum­bled praline and serve with whipped cream.

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