As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not that fond of chocolate (strange I know). I will always bypass a chocolate dessert for something made from citrus or berries. If I am going to eat (or bake) something with chocolate, I need something added to it to cut through the richness of the chocolate.
When I saw the cover recipe of the March BBC Good Food magazine, with the classic combination of chocolate and orange, I knew it was something I wanted to try. And with a house warming to go to this weekend, it was the recipe for me.
The recipe in the magazine used store bought sweet crust pastry, with cocoa added to it in a food processor to make a chocolate pastry. I decided I had to make the chocolate pastry from scratch. Not the best plan when you only have a few hours to make the whole tart at the end of the week and the house/kitchen is boiling hot (it is a warm summer here in Perth). But I persevered. If you can give the pastry a couple of hours in the fridge it is much easier to work with and you can roll it a bit thinner. I had to make it a bit thicker as it wasn’t quite cool enough when I rolled it…but the end result was still good. I also wanted to make small individual tarts as I thought that would be easier at a house warming than a large one that needed to be cut.
The filling for these is almost like a cross between a curd and a custard. Don’t take your eyes off it when it is on the stove. I went to check the pastry and it started boiling and almost curdled. Thankfully it still worked and the end result was a good combination of the rich chocolate from the ganache drizzle and pastry, and the sweet tartness of the oranges. I used my favourite ganache recipe instead of the one in the magazine which had the addition of golden syrup as I thought this would be too sweet. The recipe below has more ganache than you’ll need to drizzle on top of the tarts. However I had extra pastry so I made more tart shells and filled the rest with the ganache for rich chocolate tarts with a hint of orange in the pastry and ganache.
Chocolate and orange tarts
Makes 12 mini tarts (I used a tin that makes 12 fluted tarts – like a cupcake tin but for tarts) with some pastry left over. Or one large 23cm tart.
- 200g plain flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 100g caster sugar
- 130g unsalted butter (room temp)
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of one orange (optional)
- Grated zest of 5 oranges
- 250ml fresh orange juice – strained (Approximately 4-5 oranges)
- 200ml double cream
- 4 eggs – beaten
- 85g caster sugar
Chocolate ganache (choc drizzle)
- 200g dark chocolate – chopped or buttons
- 150ml thickened cream
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
- To make the pastry, mix (cream) together (with electric hand mixer or the beater attachment of a stand mixer) the butter and sugar until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla and zest if using and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl sift together the flour and cocoa (just to mix the cocoa with the flour and remove any lumps).
- Add a quarter of the egg mix to the butter and sugar, continuing to mix as you go. Add a few spoons of the flour/cocoa to the mix and then gradually add more of the eggs. If it starts to look curdled, just add more flour. Once all the egg mix has been added, add the rest of the flour/cocoa and mix until combined (the mix will be quite sticky).
- Turn the pastry out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until just smooth. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but preferably 2 hours.
- Once the dough has rested, preheat the oven to 160C fan forced (180C) and spray two 12 hole fluted tart (or cupcake) tin (or one 23cm tart tin) with baking spray.
- On a clean lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is a few mm thick and then cut with a cutter slightly larger than your tin. Gently press the pastry into the tin and continue until you have used most of the pastry. Keep any extra wrapped in cling film in the fridge (in case you need to patch any cracks later).
- If the pastry gets too soft and sticky to work with, wrap in cling film and return to the fridge until it has hardened, then continue to roll.
- Once the tart tins are lined, return them to the fridge for 10-15 minutes before lining with aluminium foil and filling with baking beans (or uncooked rice/beans). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes (until the pastry is golden and only a little moisture remains on the inside) then remove the beans and foil and brush lightly with egg wash. If there are any cracks, repair these with extra pastry. Return to the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes until it is cooked and feels dry all over. Leave to cool. As an alternative to brushing with egg during the blind baking process (which helps seal the pastry), you could brush the inside of the cooled pastry with melted chocolate instead for an extra layer of chocolate.
9. To make the filling, place the 250ml of strained orange juice into a saucepan. Add the cream, combine and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat once boiling.
10. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Once the cream/orange juice has come to the boil, slowly add the hot cream mix to the eggs/sugar, whisking continuously. Once it has all been combined, return to the pan (wipe out the pan first) and place it over a medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mix is steaming and coats the back of a spoon (don’t boil the mix).
11. Strain the orange custard into a jug, whisk in the orange zest and then pour into the cooled pastry cases. Allow to cool before placing in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight, until set.
12. Once set, make the drizzle by melting all the ingredients together. I did this by bringing the cream to the boil and pouring it over the chocolate and then mixing until combined and glossy. Add the liqueur if using and mix to combine. Drizzle over the tarts and then return to the fridge. If like me you have extra pastry left, make more tart shells and fill these with the leftover chocolate ganache for a rich chocolate tart.
Pastry and ganache recipe adapted from recipe by Sarah Brigden (babyCakes)
Orange filling from BBC Good Food magazine March 2014 Orange & Chocolate drizzle tart
Note – if you don’t want to use your own pastry, the BBC good food magazine recipe recommends placing bought sweet shortcrust pastry (375g) into the food processor with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and processing until it was combined then kneading to bring together and then using as above.