Latest posts by Steve Nolan (see all)
- Dessert Recipe – Chocolate, Orange and Custard Cream Tart - August 14, 2017
Sometimes, I could just skip starters and mains and go straight for dessert. It’s not that I’m not a fan of the savoury stuff. More that I’ve got a particularly sweeth tooth. But, it has to be a dessert worth saying no to the rest for.
This rich and delicious tart is one such dessert. It combines smooth chocolate, sharp orange curd and the sweet butteriness of a custard cream biscuit base. (Yum) I’ve been playing around with curds (there’s an orange curd-filled doughnut recipe to come soon) and biscuit bases quite a lot lately.
The dessert recipe in this article was the result of some of that playing. It started out with an Oreo biscuit base and a cherry curd layer. But the cherry curd was far too thin and lacked the zing of a zesty citrus version. While the base proved that you truly can have too much of a good thing – chocolate on more chocolate made this a bit too rich even for me.
So, I swapped curds – no citrus fruit goes better with chocolate than orange after all – and decided to use a cremier, lighter biscuit (in the form of custard creams) to provide the crunch of the base. I decorated the top with some biscuit crumb, blowtorched meringue and some edible flowers I’ve been growing on my balcony. But you can decorate your’s however you see fit. Or just let the shine of the chocolate ganache speak for itself.
How to make it…
Makes a tart in a loose bottomed 22cm tin.
BISCUIT BASE (AND CRUMB DECORATION):
400g custard creams
1 large orange (zest and juice)
1 tsp of Sicilian orange extract
3 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
300ml double cream
2tsp caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa at least)
50ml whole milk
1 egg white
30g caster sugar
Step by step guide
To make the biscuit base, blitz the custard creams in a food processor until they’re broken down into a light crumb. You can bash the biscuits into a crumb using a rolling pin and a food bag if you don’t have a processor.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Stir almost all of the biscuit crumbs (leave a few tbsp behind for decoration) into the melted butter until well combined.
Grease a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin and press the buttery biscuit crumbs smoothly into it.
Place the biscuit base in the fridge for around half an hour to firm up.
Meanwhile, make the orange curd. Beat the sugar and egg yolks in a saucepan until smooth. Add the zest and juice of your orange, the orange extract and the cornflour to the pan and stir until well combined.
Put the saucepan over a gentle heat and slowly start to cook the curd, stirring constantly to avoid the egg scrambling. The mixture will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the curd from the heat and set aside to cool.
Take the biscuit base from the fridge and smooth the orange curd in a layer on the bottom of it.
Return the base with the layer of curd to the fridge for the curd to set slightly while you make the chocolate filling.
Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place in a large heatproof mixing bowl.
Put the sugar and cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
When the cream starts to come to the boil, remove from the heat and pour it over the chocolate pieces in the mixing bowl.
Stir until the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream.
Next, add the butter and stir until melted and combined.
Leave the mix to cool for a couple of minutes and then add the milk. Stir continuously until combined and smoothly glossy.
Take the biscuit base from the fridge and pour the ganache over the top of the curd. Gently tilting the tin around to ensure the filling spreads evenly.
Leave the tart to set at room temperature for a couple of hours. You can always put it in the fridge to firm up later on if it’s too warm for it to set properly in the kitchen.
To make the meringue decoration, vigourously beat the egg white with a balloon whisk until perfectly stiff.
Add the sugar a tablespoonful at a time and whisk the mix vigourously for around a minute between each spoonful.
Put the meringue mix in a piping bag and pipe swirls or blobs of meringure wherever you want on top. This can be done in a pattern or pretty haphazardly, it’s up to you.
Using a blowtorch, lightly toast the meringue blobs being careful not to melt the chocolate filling with the flame.
Sprinkle the remainder of the biscuit crumbs around the meringue and randomly adorn with edible flowers if using.
Serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream.