The second of the chocolate tart recipes in my ‘Exploring Chocolate Tarts’ series is my Bitter Chocolate Tart. The shortcrust pastry base is filled with an intensely flavoured chocolate ganache-style mixture and is baked in the oven to set, giving it a smooth texture.
The foundation of the filling is a ganache made with milk instead of double cream. I infuse the milk with Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs which helps to extract some of their chocolate flavour. I add the dark chocolate and then cacao powder before stirring into a thick and glossy ganache mixture. Eggs will help to set the ganache when the filling is baked. This means that apart from the natural sugars in the milk and dark chocolate, this is technically an added-sugar-free bake, something that I’m not prone to!
But the intense hit of the chocolate flavours from the addition of the cacao powder and nibs along with the use of a 56% dark chocolate means you don’t really miss the sugar at all. The crunch of the cacao nibs adds great texture too with the little bursts of bitter chocolate against the smooth ganache filling.
Again I blind bake the pastry and you can read all about both Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs and Powder and how I lined my tins with the pastry and how I blind baked my pastry by clicking here.
1 pack of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
150ml whole milk
1 tbsp Food Thoughts Cacao Nibs plus extra to decorate
150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp Food Thought Cacao Powder
Chopped roasted hazelnuts, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Fill your tart tins with the pastry as detailed above, rerolling any excess to the same thickness. Any gaps in your pastry can be patched up with the pastry. Line with foil as above and fill with weights.
Place the tarts into the preheated oven and turn the temperature down to 180˚C and bake blind for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove the foil and weights and return to the oven for 5 minutes until the base is slightly golden.
Prepare the ganache filling by infusing the cacao nibs in the milk. They don’t dissolve completely but they do release some chocolate flavour into the milk. Put the cacao nibs into the milk and microwave for 90 seconds in 45 second blasts, stirring halfway through. You can bring the milk up to a boil and then leave to cool as well.
Once you can hold your finger in the milk for 1 second, add the chocolate all at once and leave for 5 minutes to melt. Then stir the ganache until it is smooth, shiny and all the chocolate has melted. At this stage, it should be cool enough to add the egg without scrambling it. Add in the cacao powder and egg and mix until the egg has been incorporated in well.
When the tart cases are out of the oven, spoon in the bitter ganache mixture. If you have shaky hands, you might wish to transfer the ganache to a jug and pour it in with the cases on the oven tray. It doesn’t rise or expand so you can fill it right to the top.
It takes just 12 – 15 minutes for the filling to set, it should have a tiny wobble right in the centre. Leave the tarts to cool for 30 minutes in the tin before lifting out of the tins, serving with cream, fresh berries and sprinkling over more cacao nibs and chopped roasted hazelnuts to finish.