Erik is the Secretary of our Choir and last Sunday we had a rehearsal just down the road from our house. Marc, the Musical Director of our Choir and Erik decided that post-rehearsal they would have a meeting, so naturally my thoughts turned to what were we going to have to eat?
I plundered my bookshelves and from Erik Lanlard’s book Afternoon Tea I have selected what I hope will go down well a Chocolate And Ginger Tart. This is a pastry free tart, ginger biscuits are used instead. For my US readers they need to be a dry ginger cookie, I use Ginger Nuts… not the soft chewy variety. Although the soft ones are delicious you need ones that ‘snap’ for this idea to work.
To Make This Chocolate And Ginger Tart You Will Need
- 350g Ginger Biscuits
- 70g Unsalted Butter
The Ginger you need for this recipe is Stem Ginger, this is the one that comes in a jar nestled in luscious syrup. Don’t use the crystallised (dry sugar) ginger pieces as they are too solid and the sugar coating would spoil the texture.
Set the oven to 160F/350F/Gas Mark 4, grease a 20cm fluted tart tin; the tin needs to be 4cm deep.
Step 1 Make The Base
Tip the biscuits into a food processor and give them a proper workout, you need to have fine crumbs with no lumpy bits; you could use a food processor here. I’m thrashing the living daylights out of the biscuits in a large plastic bag with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and tip this into the crumbs and mix well you need to coat all the crumbs with the butter.
Tumble this sand like mixture into your greased tin and push out an even layer over the bottom of the tin and up the sides. You can use the back of a spoon or your fingers for this. Bake for 10 mins and leave to get stone cold.
- 470ml Whole Milk
- 150g Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa Solids
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 100g Golden Caster Sugar
- 60g Cornflour
- 2TSP Vanilla bean Paste
- Pinch Of Salt
- 3 Chopped Pieces Of Stem Ginger
Step 2 Make The Filling
In a saucepan heat the Milk and Chocolate over a medium heat to melt the Chocolate. Go slowly here, medium heat we just need to melt the chocolate not boil the mixture. Let this cool whilst you get on with the whisking.
Whisk up the Egg Yolks, Caster Sugar, Cornflour, Vanilla Paste and the pinch of Salt. When you start mixing this the mixture will be a strong egg-yellow colour – keep mixing until this turns a pale creamy colour and is light and fluffy.
Slowly add the melted chocolate to the whisked ingredients and the put the whole custard mix into a jug, the jug helps when filling the tart case.
Sprinkle the base of the tart case with the chopped ginger and then pour the custard mix into the crumb base.
I like to bake my tarts on a balking tray, making the flan tin much easier to get out of the oven. You need to pour the mixture into the prepared tart case, right up to the top of the case.
TOP TIP: Put the tray and empty tart case in the oven with the shelf slightly pulled out. Using the jug pour the liquid in there, slide the shelf back into the oven and bake. Carrying a full tart case over to the oven risks major spillage.
Bake for 30-35 mins until the custard is set.
Remove the tart from the tin onto a serving plate or cake stand and allow to cool. Finally chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Serve with mounds of whipped cream or even ginger ice-cream! Lets just hope that our guest likes ginger we know he likes chocolate! (Post writing note…- he loves ginger… thankfully!!).