Saturday, 18 June 2011

We Should Cocoa: Double chocolate and strawberry tart



Did you know that strawberries were once thought of as an aphrodisiac?

Nah, me neither. But apparently a soup of strawberry, borage and soured cream would be served to the bride and groom on their wedding day in medieval times.

Not only does this blog address all cake related matters, but you also get a mini history-of-love lesson thrown in for free.

My pleasure.

And, bringing history just slightly more up to date, with a sporty angle this time, around 2 million strawberries were eaten last year at Wimbledon, washed down with 7,000 litres of cream.  £2.50 gets you 10 Elsanta strawberries and cream, and the disappointment of watching Andy Murrey crash out in the semi-finals.

I don't work for the British Strawberry Promoting Board (if such a thing exists...I don't think it does but I do think I'd be shoo-in for CEO if it did), but the reason I am harping on a lot about strawberries again is that, to my delight, strawberries are the theme of this month's We Should Cocoa challenge, hosted by the lovely Chocolette. Deee-lish. The premise is simple: create a cake with chocolate and strawberry.

NB: The white in the photo of the tart is not very unseasonable frost, it is white chocolate. Just in case it wasn't all that clear.

Double Chocolate and Strawberry tart

(adapted from Olive Magazine, April 2005)

Ingredients

For the pastry:
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
110g butter, cubed
4-6 tbsp cold water

For the filling:
200g dark chocolate
1 tsp coffee granules
125g butter
60g plain flour
5 eggs
220g caster sugar
100ml whipping cream

For the decoration:
Punnet of strawberries, halved
approx. 4 squares of white chocolate, grated

1. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, and add the butter, cubed
2. Use the fingertips to rub in the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs
3. Using a knife, stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together
4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using
5. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 24cm tart tin with the pastry (roll it as thin as possible). Bake blind for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, make the filling: melt together the butter, coffee and chocolate in a small pan over a gentle heat.
7. Whisk the eggs and sugar over a pan of simmering water (very gentle heat) until the mixture holds a trail, then fold in the chocolate mixture and flour. Add the cream. Pour the entire mixture into the tart case and bake for 15-20 minutes until just set
8. When cooled, decorate with the strawberries and add the grated chocolate. A sprig of mint sets the tart off beautifully.

Baker's notes...

  • To make the pastry using a food processor,  put the flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour.With the motor running, gradually add the water through the funnel until the dough comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 10-15 minutes before using. 
  • It would work equally well with raspberries as decoration. Alternatively, when starwberries and raspberries are no longer in season (gagh!) a drizzling of a chocolate sauce and dusting of cocoa powder would work a treat
  • The chocolate filling resembles a brownie-type cake

16 comments:

  1. Oh your tart looks beautiful - especially the frosty finishing touch. It's fun to get a few strawberry facts in too. Thanks for participating in We Should Cocoa.

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  2. Wow, that looks amazing - really decadent. I can just imagine gorgeous dark dense chocolate contrasting with fresh strawberries and crispy pastry - yum!

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  3. Wow this looks like my kind of tart. Lovely post - I really like the history and facts :)

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  4. god that looks good!... I love the contrast between the dark almost black of the choc and the red strawberries!... I've always thought strawbs look like little hearts or little bottoms... maybe that's why they were considered an aphrodisiac?

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  5. That looks so gorgeous!

    Maria
    x

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  6. How interesting...I did not know that about strawberries. This tart looks absolutely divine! I don't think I have come across anything as beautiful!!! :)

    xx,
    Tammy

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  7. Looks so delicious Kate,I always think of making pastry as a chore even though its so easy...but for this I would gladly make a batch without a grumble! Yummy :)

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  8. Yum. Strawberries are so cheap right now; this is a perfect dessert.

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  9. Thank you all so much- I loved reading the comments and wish I could send your all a slice (except its long gone..I'll just have to recreate another!). And Dom, I'm never, ever going to look at a strawberry the same again!

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  10. That looks wonderful! (I thought the white was coconut!)
    I have to say that your tart is a far better thing to do with the gorgeous strawberries than my cake! By far!

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  11. I love chocolate and strawberries :)

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  12. This look delicious and amazing! gloria

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  13. This looks so decadent. Thanks for the great recipe:)

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Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!