Monday, 30 March 2009

The joy of chocolate

There can be distinct advantages to being stuck in the house all day.

Here I am, still ‘guarding’ the flat, spending a second week working at home.

So the question arises: what does one do with one’s lunch hour?

Well, I had just the thing in mind. Some of Saturday’s sweet, vanilla-flavoured shortcrust pastry was still in the fridge, so it was the business of mere minutes to roll it out and line the tart tin while the oven was heating. Greaseproof paper and baking beans inside, and it was ready to go.

Next, halving the measures in yet another Gordon Ramsay recipe, take 200g of good quality chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids) and break it into a bowl. Heat 125ml of double cream with 75% water, until just reaching the boil, then pour onto the chocolate and whisk until it’s all blended.

The pastry case has had its basic cooking by now, so you take it out, remove the greaseproof paper and beans, and give it another five minutes on a slightly lower heat. Then give it another three minutes after brushing the pastry all over with a glaze of beaten egg yolk and water. Take out and set on one side.

Take a beaten whole egg and add it to the chocolate mix. Whisk in. Then very carefully pour the chocolate ganache through a fine sieve and into the tart case. Slide out an oven shelf and pop the baking tray and tin on to it. Top up the chocolate mixture.

Cook for 25 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave it for another half an hour. Remove and leave to cool. Then chill. Just before serving, dust with sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder.

Now that is the way to spend a lunch hour – and I assure you, it is absolutely divine!

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