Last week during a trip to the cinema I was sat munching on some Minstrels and a bit of salted popcorn when it struck me that chocolate and saltiness is a winning combination. I then quickly learnt that I wasn’t the first person the think this, in fact I was a bit behind the trend.
I was sufficiently intrigued to want to find other ways to enjoy this taste sensation at home and to my rescue came Jamie Oliver with a recipe for a Salted Chocolate Tart. Given that it has been quite a while since I last baked anything I was pleased that it looked relatively simple. One thing I was lacking was a tart tin, but I didn’t much feel like buying one just for this so I made do with a loose-bottomed cake tin instead. The substitution seemed to work perfectly, the pastry didn’t stick and it was easy to remove. The only down side was that it didn’t have the neat crimped edge you would get if using a tart tin but if you take slightly more time than I did to neaten the edges of the pastry you could definitely end up with something pretty respectable.
After having to leave the tart for several hours to set, I was dying to grab a bite when the time finally came. And I was not disappointed once that first spoonful tickled my taste buds. It was the wonderful combination I had tasted snippets of at the cinema, but even more chocolatey and gooey which is obviously for the better.
I have since come across several recipes that have a caramel layer sandwiched in the middle which I definitely think I will have to try adding next time.
Salted Chocolate Tart Recipe
• 300ml double cream
• 2 tsp caster sugar
• A pinch of fine sea salt
• 50g unsalted butter, softened
• 200g 70% cocoa cook’s chocolate, broken into small pieces
• 50ml whole milk
• 375g ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry
• Sea salt flakes and crème fraîche or ice cream, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23cm greased tart tin. Cover with baking paper, fill with dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and bake again for 15 minutes until golden.
2. Put the cream, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove as soon as the mixture boils up. With the pan off the heat, add the butter and chocolate. Stir until blended.
3. Take a couple of minutes for a breather, then stir in the milk. Keep stirring till it’s shiny. Pour into the tart shell and leave at room temperature for 2 hours to set.
4. Sprinkle the salt flakes lightly all over, then serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.