WEST INDIES CHOCOLATE TART
The Caribbean is one of my favourite holiday destinations. Grenada is called the Spice Island and it grows some amazing spices as well as cacao. In this recipe I’ve combined these fabulous local ingredients. It’s a decadent exotic dessert with a crunch! Serves 8 Prep time: 20 mins, plus chilling time Cooking time: 20 mins 250ml single cream 50g glucose syrup 1 vanilla pod, split 1 star anise 1 cinnamon stick 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces 75g unsalted butter 1 blind-baked chocolate shortcrust pastry case (22 x 22cm and 3cm deep)
FOR THE NOUGATINE 50ml milk 125g unsalted butter, chopped 50g glucose 150g golden caster sugar 75g flaked almonds, toasted 25g coffee beans, crushed
TO DECORATE cinnamon sticks, star anise and cocoa powder
1Put cream, glucose, vanilla pod and spices into a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse for 10 mins.
2Place chocolate in a large bowl. Pour the infused cream through a sieve over the chocolate. While the mixture is warm, add butter and stir very gently using a wooden spoon until blended – it should melt in the residual heat. Don’t stir too much. Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry case and leave to set in the fridge.
3Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C) and line a baking tray with silicone paper.
4To make the nougatine, put milk, butter and glucose into a clean pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Increase the heat until you have a thick syrup, but not a caramel (106°C on a sugar thermometer, if you have one). Remove from heat and stir in almonds and crushed coffee beans. Pour the mixture on to the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 12-15 mins, or until the nougatine has turned a nice caramel colour.
5Leave the nougatine to cool until brittle. Break into large pieces and decorate the tart by pushing pieces of nougatine into the set filling.
6Finish decoration with cinnamon sticks, star anise and finally with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. A rich crème anglaise flavoured with vanilla would be the perfect accompaniment for this indulgent dessert.