Valentine’s Day is coming up and this lovely little dessert is perfect for the occasion. It’s inspired by an old chocolate tart recipe I made back in college whilst doing my food training, and I have adapted it by adding a decadent dark chocolate ganache layer and using my favourite sweet pastry recipe for the base. (And if making pastry from scratch for someone isn’t a sign of love then I don’t know what is!)
This baked chocolate tart is a real treat and even more delicious once it has been chilled in the fridge overnight. You can dust the tart with some cocoa powder or icing sugar before serving, or even top it with fresh berries for a pop of colour and sharpness.
Like me, you will probably find that you have some leftover pastry after you have lined your pie dish. The kids and I grabbed the cookie cutters and turned the leftovers into cookies which they decorated – it was a delicious and fun way to use up all the scraps!
Lastly, a quick note to say that you can catch me live on The Expresso Show on SABC3 next week on Monday the 12th and Friday the 16th! I’ll be whipping up some tasty main meals, keep an eye on Facebook for the details.
CHOCOLATE CHEESE TART WITH DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
For the sweet pastry:
- 350g flour
- small pinch of salt
- 150g unsalted butter
- 100g icing sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
For the chocolate filling:
- 2 large eggs
- 100ml castor sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250g smooth cream cheese
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- 100ml sour cream
- cocoa/icing sugar/berries to decorate (optional)
For the chocolate ganache:
- 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp cream
1.) To make the pastry: Sift the flour and salt onto your clean work surface and make a well in the middle. Put the butter in the centre and use your fingertips to gently work it until soft. Mix the icing sugar into the butter.
2.) Add the eggs and mix into the butter and sugar. Start cutting the flour into the mixture slowly. Bring the mixture together with your hands, then knead a few times to make a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3.) Grease a 25 cm tart tin or pie dish. Roll the dough into a circle and line the tin. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Chill the pastry shell in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4.) Line the pastry with a piece of crumpled baking paper. Fill the paper with dried beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake the pastry for a further 5 minutes or until just cooked.
5.) While the pastry is baking prepare your filling. Place the eggs, sugar, vanilla and cream cheese in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the melted dark chocolate and the sour cream and whisk again until everything is combined.
6.) Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C. Pour the chocolate filling into the pastry shell and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake the tart for 1 hour, or until set. Leave to cool completely.
7.) To make the ganache: place the chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the cream until it just reaches boiling point, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a minute, then whisk until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
8.) Pour the ganache over the cold tart and spread with a spatula. Leave to set. (You can put the tart in the fridge if you’re in a hurry or if it’s a hot day.) Decorate, slice and serve.
Store the tart in the fridge.