This tart started it’s life as a chocolate lavender tart which I was going to make for dessert on Mother’s Day. Until I realised that the monkeys had pulled out all the lavender which lived in my Mum’s garden, and lockdown regulations prevented the procurement of lavender plants. I then transitioned to a rose tart, which fell apart midway through baking when my Mum’s alleged bottle of rose water turned out to be an expired bottle of orange essence.
My Mum loves cardamom and I was determined to maintain some sort of exotic allure in this dessert… And so, the chocolate cardamom tart was born as a happy result of a lack of flowers in the Lalloo household on this particular Mother’s Day.
- 200 g flour
- 75 g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 150 g butter (softened) – take butter out of fridge 1-2 hrs before baking, depending on how warm your kitchen is
- 220 g chopped Lindt 70% dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 -2 tsp cardamom powder
- Handful chopped, unsalted pistachios
Preheat oven to 170 C.
Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater on a low setting, until mixture becomes creamy and pale in colour. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in flour until mixture becomes crumbly then stir in egg yolks one at a time. Add a teaspoon of ice-cold water and then using your hands create a round dough which should pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the mixture is a bit sticky add in small increments of flour until it pulls away from the bowl (but allow for some stickiness in the dough). Avoid overworking dough as it can become too elastic and won’t bake well.
Cover the ball of dough in clingwrap and leave in fridge for 30min.
Dust a working space with flour and roll dough out to desired thickness (~5mm). Lightly grease a pastry dish or Pyrex dish with butter (be minimal with this as the butter will melt into the pastry during the baking process). Cut out small pieces of dough with a knife and line the pastry dish with these pieces. A cool trick I learnt from Jamie Oliver is to coat the dish with the pieces like a puzzle and then mould the pieces together to form a shell coating the base and sides of the dish. Use the bottom of a glass, mug or measuring cup to smooth down the dough to create an even coating. Depending on aesthetic preferences, you can trim off the edges of the pastry which might be hanging over the pastry dish or leave them as is for a rougher look. Freeze the pastry for an hour or overnight.
Remove pastry from freezer and cover with baking paper. Place baking beans (you can use any weight here, rice, chickpeas etc but pack them closely and cover the entire base of the pastry) over the baking paper. Bake for 25 min. Remove from oven and dab off any butter which may have seeped through the base and then bake again for another 5-10min until just golden brown.
Set aside to cool for ~30min. Keep oven on at 170 C whilst pastry is cooling.
Place the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium mixing bowl.
Heat the cream in a small pot at a low heat until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate and butter and allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Gently stir it together, mixing continually until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and cardamom powder with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute.
Pour chocolate mixture into the bowl with the egg mixture and gently stir until the mixture becomes smooth, glossy and lighter in colour.
Pour the ganache into the cooled pastry shell and bake for 12 minutes then remove, sprinkle on chopped pistachios and bake for another 5 – 8 minutes. The chocolate should be cooked on the sides and a bit wobbly in the centre. If you wish to cook it further leave it in a bit longer, but keep an eye on it and remove as soon as any cracks start to appear (ideally you want it out before this point).
This dish is best enjoyed with a steaming cup of masala chai!
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