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Dark Valhrona Chocolate Tart

The stout in the tart’s sabayon accompaniment highlights the characteristics of the chocolate while the intense sweetness of the prunes balances any bitterness.

Dark Valhrona Chocolate Tart

The following recipe has been carefully matched with James Squire The Constable Copper Ale to create an enhanced culinary experience. Beer and food pairing is becoming increasingly popular among chefs and foodies alike. The traditional concept of wine being the best match for food is so widespread, that many people forget or don’t know that beer is a great choice for complementing food. This is because there is so much variety and diversity with beer.

Accompaniment serves 4, tart serves 12

Beer match: James Squire The Constable Copper Ale

Macerated prunes for 4
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Armagnac
1 stick cinnamon
8 prunes, pitted

Pastry
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
185g butter, softened and diced
1 tablespoon water

Tart filling
185g valhrona dark chocolate
155g valhrona milk chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa powder
185g butter, softened and diced
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 egg yolks

Sabayon for 4
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup full strength, highly hopped stout

1. To make the macerated prunes, put all of the ingredients – except the prunes – in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the prunes and remove from the heat. Store in a sterilised jar. Prepare one week in advance.

2. To make the pastry, mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt together in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add just enough water to the flour mixture until the pastry is blended and will hold together when you press it. Form the pastry into a ball and wrap in cling film. Rest for 30 minutes. Press the pastry out evenly into a 28cm tart tin. Freeze the pastry shell for 30 minutes.

 3. Preheat the oven to 190˚C and blind bake the shell for 20-25 minutes or until baked through. To bake blind, loosely line the shell with baking paper and fill with rice or dried beans. Remove the paper and weights when cooked.

4. To make the tart filling, melt the two chocolates, cocoa and butter in a bowl sitting on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a spoon until lump free.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and egg yolks with an electric beater until light and fluffy. Gently fold ⅓ of the mixture into the chocolate mixture. Knock the air out of the remaining sugar-egg mixture to stop it rising in the cooking process then fold the chocolate mixture into it. Stir only until evenly coloured. Place the chocolate filling in the pastry case and bake in the preheated oven at 170˚C for 30 minutes.

6. To make the sabayon, whisk all the ingredients in a stainless steel bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water. Continue to whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. Store in a warm place.

7. To serve, place a wedge of the warm tart on a serving plate. Spoon a little of the sabayon on to the tart followed by two prunes. Drizzle with the prune syrup.

Credit: Bill Taylor Beer and Food: A Celebration of Flavours (Beckett Maynard Publishing) 

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