- Food & Drink
Great British Bake Off is over, but with my usual tremendous sense of timing, I still have some baking to go if I am going to bake along with the show. Or with the memory of the show, which is what is happening now.
I’m not doing two of the signature bakes. Firstly, game pie. I mean, who has time to make a raised game pie? They take days (unless you’re making it for GBBO, in which case they seemed to think you could do it in a couple of hours). And I’m not making cream horns because I don’t have the moulds for them, although I might put those on my Christmas list because I would like to make cream horns. Cream horns are a source of joy.
Jennie, who is a lot more diligent than me, did both of these bake alongs. Her game pie post is here, and her cream horns post here, which also includes her chocolate tart bake along. The double chocolate tart is a baking challenge I can get on board with. It sounds delicious, it’s not that time consuming and it involves making pastry. I love making pastry. Rubbing butter into flour was one of the first things I learned to do; the pastry for the apple pie was my occasional contribution my contribution to Sunday lunch. Or, at least, making apple-shaped decorations for the lid was. I was so artistic.
Quinces have arrived at last, meaning we are now on the final fast furlong of the year. I had thought about baking them and then setting them in the chocolate filling for another round of baking, but that’s fiddly. Then I saw this recipe for chocolate and quince tart, with the poached quinces glowing pink against the midnight black of the chocolate, and I knew that was what I wanted to make.
I tinkered with it a little, making the filling richer and poaching the quinces with cardamom, because I cannot get enough cardamom in my life, and ended up with this. It makes a pretty magnificent end to a meal (and breakfast the day afterwards if you happen to have leftovers).
Just iced buns left to go and I’ll be fully caught up with GBBO 2015.
Dark Chocolate Tart with Poached Quince
For the chocolate pastry:
115g plain flour
60g cold salted butter
30g good quality cocoa powder
30g icing sugar
1 egg, separated
For the chocolate filling:
200g good dark chocolate, chopped
35g butter, chopped
50ml double cream
3 eggs, beaten
35g caster sugar
For the poached quinces:
6 cardamom pods
250g caster sugar
1 lemon, sliced
Whipped cream, to serve
Start by making the pastry: sift the flour into a bowl with the cocoa powder and icing sugar with a little pinch of salt. Rub in the butter with your fingertips to make fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolk with 2 tbsp water and stir in with a fork to bring it together to make a soft dough. If it doesn’t quite come together, add en extra teaspoon or two of water. Wrap in cling film and chill for around 1 hour to rest it.
Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll out the dough to make a rectangle large enough to line a 36cm x 12cm (or use a 23cm round tart tin). Roll up round your rolling pin and unroll into the tin. Gently press into the tin and trim off any excess (keep this for later in case you need to patch the pastry). Line with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 30 minutes so it’s starting to firm up.
Life the paper and beans out of the tart tin. Whisk the egg white with a fork to break it up, then brush over the pastry. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes so it’s firm to the touch. Patch any holes with the pastry trimmings.
While the pastry bakes, make the chocolate filling: place the chopped chocolate, butter and cream in a heatproof bowl. Set it over a pan of simmering water (making sure the water is a good inch away from the bowl). Gently heat till the chocolate and butter melts and it forms a smooth sauce. Take off the heat. Whisk the eggs and sugar together till they are very thick and pale. Fold them into the chocolate sauce so they are well blended. Pour into the tart tin. Bake for 30 minutes till the filling is just set. Leave to cool in the tin.
Poach the quinces: Bash the cardamom pods a couple of times to just open them up a little. Chuck them in a large pan with the sugar, water and sliced lemon. Gently heat till the sugar melts.
While the sugar is melting, peel the quinces. Quarter them and slice out the core. Slice them into wedges around 2cm thick. Add them to the cardamom syrup. Cover the pan and simmer gently over a low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour till the quinces are tender when pierced with a skewer. Take off the heat and leave them to cool in the syrup.
To serve the tart, carefully lift it out of the tart tin. Place on a serving plate. Lift the quince wedges out of the tin and arrange on the top. Spoon over a very little of the syrup and take the table. Serve in slices with whipped cream. The syrup is a great addition to gin and tonics or sparkling wine.