Oh and aren’t they so happy.. Straight back to work after the Christmas break, sitting behind a desk watching aircraft come and go. Except that most aren’t going, thanks to this dismal weather. The clouds are heavy, the ground is wet. The garden is drooping and I’m dreaming more of hot cocoa than tequila sunrises.
I shouldn’t be surprised, as I’ve already mentioned, December is never the summer that we dream of. In fact, the forecast for New Years is thunderstorms and torrential rain! My sweetheart and I have 7 days of camping planned on the most northern point of New Zealand and I’m a little less than excited. Don’t get me wrong – I love camping, surfing, exploring Northland, adventuring with friends. But right now, with the threat of a downpour, I’d rather snuggle up on the couch with my love, and a slice of chocolate tart!
This tart was a very welcome guest at the Christmas table on Sunday. It was the one tradition from my family’s Christmas that I brought to J’s. Mum got the recipe from a Jamie Oliver show many years back and it has been the star of our Christmas for as long as I can remember. Ok, it may only be a few years ago (I’m not sure what that’s saying about my memory) but I have no doubt it will continue into our own family Christmas traditions!
Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Tart
1 sweet shortcrust pastry, frozen (recipe below)
150g chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
8 Tbsp cocoa powder
4 large eggs
200g castor sugar
3 Tbsp sour cream
3 Tbsp golden syrup
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Blind bake shortcrust pastry until lightly browned (about 10 – 15 minutes). Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 150 degrees C.
Heat butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of hot water until melted. Mix in cocoa powder. Whisk eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and golden syrup and whisk again. Using a spatula, mix together chocolate and egg mixtures. Pour into prepared tart tin and bake for 40 minutes.
Rich Shortcrust Pastry
225g standard flour
170g butter (cubed and cold)
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp ice cold water
1. Add some ice to a glass of cold water, leave for 1 minute and scoop out 4 Tbsp ice cold water. Mix egg yolk with water and set aside.
2. Tip flour into bowl of food processor. Add cubed butter and blend until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (about pea sized lumps).
3. With machine running, pour in egg yolk and water and process until large clumps form.
4. Tip dough onto dry surface and gather up with floured fingers into a ball. Avoid overworking the dough or letting it get too warm.
5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm (about 30 minutes) or overnight. It can be frozen at this stage.
6. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, rolling from the centre to the edges in one direction only, not backwards and forwards which will cause the pastry to shrink.
7. Drape the pastry over a rolling pin and transfer to chosen flan dish or tin. Gently press the edges in and cut off excess dough. Chill until firm before baking (or for this chocolate tart, freeze prior to baking).