This tart uses a sweet shortcrust pastry shell and has a velvety, rich chocolate filling with toasted hazelnuts and pecans. It goes exceptionally well with ice cream and, for a really cheffy desert, I’d suggest serving it with an orange reduction sauce, a nut brittle and either homemade ice cream (something like clotted cream, orange flower or coconut would all work nicely) or a Chantilly cream.
I’ve used an oblong tart tin here (about 30 cm x 10 cm / 12″ x 4″) but this is also sufficient for a 24 cm / 10″ diameter) round flan tin.
I literally winged it with this recipe the first time I made it, although to be fair I now have a head full of ratios and weights for baking ingredients so I knew how many eggs it would need, how much chocolate etc. An educated guess then, rather than a stab in the dark!
I have since made it a few times – I put recipes on here that I have cooked at least twice, and usually more. This is so I am as sure as I can be (using my own home kitchen – it’s hardly a professional set up!) that recipes should work well if anyone wants to try.
You’re only using yolks for this, so save your egg whites for meringues, souffles etc. Egg whites can be frozen for later use, but need to be allowed to thaw under their own devices in the fridge (so definitely do not microwave defrost or put the frozen whites into a dish – I’ve found this post on the Nigella Lawson site about it http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/Frozen-Egg-Whites/3541 but there are many references to freezing egg whites if you care to search for them online).
- 25 cm round flan tin/dish or 30 cm x 10 cm rectangular flan tin
- Mixer or electric hand whisk
- Frying pan (skillet)
- Tea towel
- baking beans or dried pulses for blind baking
- Baking paper or baking parchment
- Several bowls
Ingredients for the pastry
- Plain flour – 250g
- Butter – 130g
- Egg yolk – one
- Caster sugar – 50g
- Milk – a little drizzleVanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
Ingredients for the filling
- Mixture of nuts – 160 g – I used hazelnuts and pecans (but use your favourites)
- Caster sugar – 60 g (2 tablespoons)
- Egg yolks – 3 (from medium to large eggs: if you’ve only got small eggs use 4)
- Chocolate, chopped – 200 g. I’d suggest all dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids) for an adult-oriented taste, or 100 g milk and 100 g dark for a sweeter taste
- Double cream, whipped – 225 ml
- Unsalted butter – 40 g
For the pastry case
- Rub the butter and flour together either using your fingertips or put into a mixer with a paddle attachment until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla to bowl and thoroughly incorporate.
- Start to bring the dough together, if it is not wet enough add a tiny bit of milk (adding more little by little if needed) until the dough makes a loose ball.
- Rest in the fridge for 5+ minutes.
- Put the oven on to 175C fan/190C conventional.
- Butter and flour the flan dish or line with baking paper/parchment.
- Roll out the dough on a mat or floured surface to about 3 mm thick.
- Line your flan dish with the pastry and gently press it into the edges and the flutes. I prefer not to chop off the pastry round the edge of the flan dish at this point, to ensure it doesn’t shrink.
- Prick the base with a fork, line it with the parchment and line with the beans.
- Put in the oven for 15 minutes (I turned the flan after 6 minutes as my oven cooks a little unevenly), then take out, remove the beans and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes until the base is a light golden brown.
- With a sharp knife, while the pastry is still warm and flexible, trim off the edges to the top of the dish.
- Leave to cool while you make the filling.
For the filling
- Toast the nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until they start to brown (they will continue to brown in the oven so don’t let them get too dark here).
- Tip the nuts out into a tea towel and rub off most of the skins – don’t worry too much.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter to your preferred method (over a bain marie or in the microwave).
- Whip up the double cream and combine into the chocolate.
- Add the three egg yolks and the sugar and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the lot into the pastry case and sprinkle over the nuts.
- Put in the oven on the middle shelf and cook for 20 mins – as there are egg yolks it will puff slightly.
- It should be slightly wobbly in the middle when you retrieve it.
- Leave to cool completely.