From Daniel Galmiche’s Revolutionary French Cooking.
If any of you chocaholics are using ‘National Chocolate Week’ as an excuse to indulge this week, there’s not many better ways to do it than with this superb tart. Infused with lemongrass and chilli and made with the finest cocoa, it has a rich texture, a silky silhouette and lovely crisp pastry, which is a combination bound to make you happy.
Chocolate, Chilli and Lemongrass Tart
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 50 minutes chilling and 1½ hours setting
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the chocolate pastry:
90g/3¼oz/¾ cup plain flour
1 tbsp good-quality dark cocoa powder
60g/2¼oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing (optional)
30g/1oz/¼ cup icing sugar
a pinch of salt
1 large egg yolk
For the chocolate filling:
250ml/9fl oz/1 cup whipping cream
1 large really fresh lemongrass stalk, cut in half lengthways and bruised
2 small red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
200g/7oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
20g/¾oz unsalted butter, softened
1. To make the sweet pastry, sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour mixture, then fold it through gently until it just begins to form a dough, then stop! You don’t want to work this pastry at all. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. Grease an 18cm/7in non-stick, loose-bottomed flan tin with a little butter, if necessary. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper until 3mm/⅛in thick, then roll the pastry over the rolling pin and lift it over the flan tin. With one hand, lift the pastry edge and with the other, gently tuck the pastry into the bottom and sides of the tin so that it fits tightly. Don’t overstretch it or it will break, and press down gently to push out any bubbles. Trim off any excess pastry by rolling the pin over the top edge of the tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 25–30 minutes to prevent the pastry shrinking during baking.
3. Meanwhile to make the filling, put the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the lemongrass and chilli, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to infuse for 30 minutes.
4. Towards the end of the chilling/infusing time, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line the pastry case with baking paper and cover with baking beans. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans, turn the oven down to 160°C/315°F/gas 2½ and bake for a further 3–4 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and light brown.
5. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted. Remove the cling film from the cream and strain to discard the lemongrass and chillies. Pour the cream slowly into the chocolate mix, whisking all the time until you have a soft, shiny, chocolate ribbon. Pour it into the pastry case and leave to one side in a cool place for 1½ hours until just set. Do not put it in the fridge as this will take the shine off the chocolate. Serve sliced with the orange salad.
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