Ah Valentine’s day, all filled with rose tinted smooch. I have this thing about it…no wait, that’s not technically true, I have a lot of things – like the one about not liking heart shaped balloons or being pressured into buying a single red rose at dinner. But for today, let’s put that aside and just pretend this is my favourite day of the year, next to Christmas of course.
I have to apologise in advance, but the truth is I find packing as much romance into just one day a year slightly daunting. I have a mate called Dave, he’s brilliant at this stuff. Dave proposed to his wife jumping out of plane with her name written in the daisy fields below. I tripped over a pebble on the beach and fluffed my lines. So I needed a fail safe Valentine pudding. Something that ticks all boxes and makes me look like a Valentine hero. I settle on a rich and velvety chocolate tart.
The traditional recipe calls for a shortcrust tart shell. If that’s your thing, then by all means go for it. Instead, I’ve made this with a buttery gingersnap biscuit base. Ginger it turns out is an aphrodisiac, which sounds perfect right?
What you need
225g ginger snap biscuits
60g melted butter, unsalted
140g butter, unsalted
150g best quality cooking chocolate. 70% cocoa solids
8 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
small pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 heaped tablespoons créme fraíche
Making the base
Preheat the oven up to 180 degrees. In a food processor finely grind all your biscuits, then gradually add your melted butter and blitz until combined. Press your crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of your tart pan. Press firmly and place in the oven. It really should only take 12 minutes, but depends on your oven, so only keep it in there until it’s slightly coloured. Remove and leave to cool while you get on with your filling.
Making the tart
Place the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt slowly, stirring occasionally until well mixed in. In a separate bowl beat the eggs together until light and well creamed, then add the golden syrup and créme fraíche. Stir in your chocolate mixture and combine it all together with a spatula. Finally pour it into you’re gingersnap base and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes. You’ll need the oven to be 150 degrees and it will form a beautiful crust on top.
Eating the tart
Carefully remove the chocolate tart from the oven and allow to cool for at least 45 minutes. Don’t freak out when the skin cracks and it starts to shrink a little bit. This is meant to happen. Then cut a generous slice and serve with a dollop of créme fraíche and impress the missus. I think I’m onto a winner here.