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IMG_5854What is better than a decadent slice of chocolate tart? Maybe a second slice? This is one of the easiest tarts I know and oh, so very good. It is difficult to stop at just one piece. I like to sprinkle some powdered sugar just before serving or you can serve with fresh berries, (makes me feel like I am at least eating something healthy and some of my daily fruit allowance – but maybe chocolate counts as a daily fruit or veg – if not, I think it really should, do you not agree?) Also feel free to add whipped cream or creme fraiche.

IMG_5853IMG_58511 sweet short crust pastry/ pate sucree (recipe below)

1 pound/500g chocolate, at least 55% cocoa, cut up in pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup/125ml heavy cream

4 large eggs

Makes 8 servings.

Preheat your oven to 350F/180C. Gently press the pastry dough into a 10inch/26cm removable bottom tart tin. Line it with a piece of parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove the weights and paper and return to the oven for about another 8 minutes, until it is a light golden colour. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the crust is baking, you can start on the filling.
Place the chocolate and the cream in a small saucepan over gentle heat and heat until all is melted, stir frequently.
Let it cool slightly.
Whisk the eggs in a medium-sized bowl.
Add the eggs to the cooled chocolate and cream mixture, stirring until it is well blended.
Pour the mixture into the baked pastry crust.
Place it on a baking sheet and bake until the filling is set, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool before removing the ring.

Sweet Short Crust Pastry/ Pate Sucree

1 3/4 cups/230g all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vanilla sugar

4 large egg yolks

8 Tablespoons/125g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)

Try to be confident and bring the pastry together as quickly as you can – don’t knead it too much or the heat from your hands will melt the butter. A good tip is to hold your hands under cold running water beforehand to make them as cold as possible. That way you’ll end up with a delicate, flaky pastry every time.

Sift the flour onto your work surface and make a well in the center. Add the salt, sugar and the egg yolks into your well and mix with your fingers until all incorporated. You can do this in a large bowl if you prefer. Add the butter and mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles large crumbs. When the dough is smooth, make a ball then continue pushing it away from you on the work surface as you gather it up again. repeat until it is pliable and well combined. Don’t work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Shape the dough into a flat round and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Roll it out to the desired size.