Chocolate, Chilli and Cardemom Tart

By Tuesday, May 01, 2012

This recipe was in the Evening Standard a few weeks ago. I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit, as I didn't think the recommended 20 minutes at 160 degrees was enough to set the filling, so I have suggested around 50 minutes, depending on your oven. I found this recipe an overwhelming success - the combination of both chilli and cardamom with chocolate is very clever. I had anticipated a very chocolatey tart with the smallest hint of chilli and an overwhelming taste of cardamom. Instead, this tart's flavour comes about in three steps. The first taste you get is the creamy chocolate, followed by the aromatic cardamom, and finished with the deliciously intense chilli after-taste.  

You will need:

300g shortcrust pastry
2 eggs, and 1 beaten egg for glazing the pastry
125ml whole milk
250ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
100g milk chocolate
10 cardamom pods
1 tsp hot chilli powder
single cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees gas 4. Grease a 25cm tart tin. Flour a cold work surface and roll out the pastry to comfortably fit the tin. Line the tin with the pastry and prick all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising. Leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the greaseproof paper and the beans and brush with a beaten egg. Place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes until golden.

Place the tin to one side and turn the oven down to 160 degrees/ gas 2. Pour the cream, milk and sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and is just about to boil.

Remove from the heat and break the chocolate into the cream mixture. Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and evenly combined into the mixture.

Crush the cardamom pods so that the black seeds come out. Remove the shell casings and crush the black seeds in a pestle and mortar until they are a fine consistency.

 Add the ground cardamom, chilli powder and a pinch of salt to the cream mixture. Beat the 2 remaining eggs into the cream mixture until it turns glossy.

Pour into the pastry tin and bake until set. The recipe says 20 minutes, however my tart was not set until around 50 minutes. Keep checking the tart, but be careful not to keep the oven door open for too long in order for the temperature stays the same. It is done when you can shake the tin and the mixture does not move. Leave to cool completely then serve with single cream. Enjoy!

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