Gateaux Fabulous!

Girls, it's time to ditch the diet. Queen of organic sweet treats Isidora Popovic has just launched the most scrum-didly-umptious baking book and resistance to its charms is completely and utterly futile.

For an itsy bitsy taster, try her swoon-inducing chocolate and chestnut tart.....

Chocolate and Chestnut Tart

Creamy, rich chestnuts paired with a double helping of chocolate – what more can you ask for?

Ingredients (Makes about 8 slices):

1 Chocolate Shortcrust recipe, see below.

Chestnut Sponge:
35g unsalted butter, at room temperature
35g golden caster sugar
1 egg
60g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
30g cooked chestnuts, chopped
35ml double cream, chilled
2 tablespoons cold water
90g tinned sweetened chestnut purée

Chocolate Ganache:
50g milk chocolate, finely chopped
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
190mil double cream

a 23-cm loose-based fluted tart tin, greased.

Chocolate Shortcrust recipe:
(makes enough to line a 23-cm tart tin):
22g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
85g golden caster sugar
1 egg

Directions for shortcrust recipe:
Put the flour, cocoa, butter and sugar in a mixer and blitz until you get crumbs. Add the egg and mix again. Take the dough out of the mixer and bring together into a ball. If you prefer, you can make the dough by hand, but it's easier to do this is the butter is grated of very finely chopped. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin until 3-4 mm thick.

Main Tart Cooking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas 4.

Line the tart tin with the Chocolate Shortcrust pastry and trim the excess dough neatly around the edges, Refrigerate while you make the filling.

To make the chestnut sponge, cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Mix the flour, baking powder and chestnuts together in a separate bowl, then mix into the wet ingredients. Finally, slowly add the cream and water and incorporate well.

Remove the tart shell from the fridge and spread the chestnut purée over the base.  Spoon the chestnut sponge on top and spread evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the dough has risen and is pale gold. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Trim the top of the sponge if it has risen to much.

To make the chocolate ganache, put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and gentry bring to the boil over low heat, stirring frequently. Pour into the mixing bowl and whisk until you get a smooth cream. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then pour in into the tart. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Buy So many more yummy recipes can be found in Isidora Popovic's book "Popina Book Of Baking" £16.99 Ryland Peters & Small.   Image Credit: Peter Cassidy


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