Sea-salted chocolate & pecan tart

Sea-salted chocolate & pecan tart

Bake this sophisticated dessert to end your dinner party on a high. A chocolate pastry crust is filled with unctuous ganache filling and topped with caramelised salted pecans.

Overview

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 50 mins Plus at least 5 hrs 15 mins chilling

Serves 10-12

Nutrition:543kcal
  • fat 32g
  • saturates 16g
  • carbs 56g
  • sugars 38g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 5g
  • salt 0.7g

Ingredients

  • For the pastry

  • 175g soft butter Butter butt-errButter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, yolks only Egg eggThe ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
  • 250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 20g cocoa powder, sieved
  • For the filling

  • 200g Madagascan 64% dark chocolate, broken into pieces Chocolate chok-o-letChocolate as we know it in pressed…
  • 200ml whipping or double cream (whipping cream gives a slightly lighter texture) Cream cree-mFresh unpasteurised milk quickly separates and the fat rises to the top. This fat layer is then…
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 5g sea salt
  • For the topping

  • 100g caster sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 100g pecan halves Pecan pee-kanRelated to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

Method

To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon or in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks and 35ml water and mix well until all the liquid has been incorporated. Gradually mix in the flour and cocoa powder until a paste is formed. It will be quite a soft dough.

Wrap the pastry in foil, flatten it with your hand and chill for 1 hr. The pastry can be made two days ahead, though in this case, you may want to remove it from the fridge for a few minutes before rolling to soften it.

Sprinkle your work surface with a light dusting of flour and roll out the pastry until it’s about 5mm thick. Line a 23cm tart tin with the pastry using the rolling pin to help you lift it over, pushing the pastry well into the edges and folding the excess over the top. Trim off the excess. Chill for 15 mins to relax the pastry and to help prevent it from shrinking during cooking.

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the tart with a sheet of baking parchment (scrunch it up first to soften it), then tip in baking beans, rice or lentils and bake blind for 15 mins. Lift out the beans and bake for a further 10-12 mins until the base is dry. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, put all the ingredients in a glass or metal mixing bowl, place it over a pan of very hot water and allow them to melt together until glossy and thick. Pour into the cooled pastry case and chill for 4 hrs or overnight.

For the topping, heat the sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat, tilt the pan rather than stirring, until you have an even golden liquid caramel. Add the salt and mix well with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula. Pour in the pecans and, mixing thoroughly, quickly pour the mixture on to a piece of baking parchment and spread out with the back of the spoon. Allow to cool thoroughly, then break or chop up into shards or chunky pieces to sprinkle over the ganache.

Cut the tart with a hot, wet knife for perfect, restaurant-quality slices.

Recipe adapted from Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (£14.99, Kyle Books). Photographs © Anders Schønnemann.

Rated 5/5

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