Where, oh where does time go! This month has been action packed in la casa Tripepi. TrickyRicky has undergone neck surgery, I had a wonderful weekend visit with my bestie Carol in Underberg, Max broke his wrist and Daniele returned from his holiday in Europe to surprise TrickyRicky for father’s day! It seems that the more I try to plan my days, work and meals the more chaos I create.
My newly married niece Melisa messaged me on the weekend asking for a good Chocolate Tart recipe. Her innocent request festered and morphed into the most chronic craving for chocolate known to this woman. My resolve was completely crushed this morning when I woke to a cold and rainy Durban. Baking day!
I was lucky enough to share some beautiful fresh oysters and champagne with the inimitable Willy Harcourt-Cooze at the Durban Good Food and Wine Show in 2011. I must admit that I find the man completely fascinating and incredibly sexy! Who can forget his half naked body all but swinging through his cacao plantation in Venezuela? The man is obsessed with his cacao and I can’t say that I blame him. He sat with his head cocked to one side and listened with baited breath, eyes lit up at my recipe for cauliflower topped with grated chocolate and Brazil nuts!
So when my ‘MieliePoppie’ requested a chocolate tart recipe I turned to Willy for help! This is his recipe from his book Willie’s Chocolate Factory. His recipe is for a chocolate pecan tart but I only had walnuts in my store cupboard. I also had to jiggle the ingredients slightly as his recipe calls for a 23cm tart pan and mine is 27cm …. So you may notice that my ingredients vary slightly to his in quantity but I shall list his original recipe! Basically, I added half of the ingredients again …. If you get my drift!
The month of July is Wimbledon month in la casa Tripepi! Every year Nonna and Nonno would spend every afternoon watching every single match leading up to the final of Wimbledon! Their renditions of past champions names such as Navratilova; which they pronounced as ‘Batiluova” meaning ‘Beat the egg!” would have us in stitches of laughter. You cannot possibly watch Wimbledon without something special to serve your guests! This chocolate tart is richer than Mrs Mugabe and must be followed with a steaming cup of your favourite brew. It’s rich and dark and the flavour is deeper than the ocean …. I followed mine with an espresso corretto!
Chocolate Pecan (Walnut) Tart
Willies Chocolate Factory
Hodder & Stoughton Page 184
Serves 8 – I disagree with this! It’s sooo rich that it serves at least 12 portions.
For the pastry:
200g SASKO flour “Always Light and Fluffy”
100g unsalted butter
100 golden caster sugar (I used white caster sugar)
2 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 190d. Grease and flour a 23cm loose bottomed flat tin.
For the filling:
180g cacao, finely grated – you can substitute with 70% dark chocolate
50g unsalted butter
75g golden caster sugar – I used normal white caster sugar
175ml maple syrup
100g pecan nuts
To make the pastry, rub the flour and butter together (or whiz in a food processor), then stir in the sugar.
Add the egg yolks and mix until you have dough.
If the dough is a dry, add a little water.
Knead briefly until smooth, then wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15minutes.
– when adding water to a dough mixture flick droplets of ice cold water onto the dough. This distributes the water more evenly through the dough making it easier to handle.
Meanwhile, for the filling, melt the cacao and butter by placing them in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Put the sugar and maple syrup in a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl then whisk in the chocolate and syrup mixtures. Stir in the pecans.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Line the prepared tin with it.
Line your baking dish with greaseproof paper.
How to line your baking dish or tin with greaseproof paper.
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper over the pastry then cover with baking beans*.
Bake blind for 10-15minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry to the oven for a couple of minutes if it’s still slightly tacky. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the nuts have browned and the filling is firm.
Top Tip: If you don’t have ceramic baking beans you can substitute with dried sugar beans; they will do the same job of holding down the pastry while it cooks.
Cool slightly before serving.
This is my last SASKO blog post and I must say that I have enjoyed cooking with their products immensely. Most Italian cook books and recipes will ask you to make pasta dough with Dopio Zero or 00 flour – this really isn’t necessary. It’s expensive and our SASKO flour does the job just as well.
It’s always Light and Fluffy!
Thank You to SASKO
Some more Wimbledon Treats
If you don’t feel like baking – all these ‘salami’ cupcakes require is a little fridge or freezer time!
Another snack-time treat that goes well with a game of Tennis!