There are days when only chocolate will do.
It is non-negotiable. Nothing else will do. Nothing else will suffice. Nothing else will assuage. None of that talk about complex carbohydrates and whole grains and probiotic yoghurt and fresh fruits and raw vegetables. No, none of that. Non. Ne. Nahin. Nie. Nyet. Na.
Only. Chocolate. Will. Do.
For days like this, I had bookmarked this chocolate mousse tart. The recipe was created by Masterchef Aussie contestant, Mindy and went on to win her the challenge and appeared on the August cover of the Masterchef Magazine.
Ever since I saw it on that episode, it was a no-brainer. The judges ooh-ed and aah-ed and talked about going to heaven after a bite. And then you read the recipe, it is a chocolate mousse in a chocolate pastry crust and topped with some orange caramel. I mean there is not much convincing required after reading that.
I have made something similar earlier.. these chocolate truffle tarts from the 'Baking with Julia' book. I wondered if this tart improved on that or fell short or would it be more or less the same thing.
I halved the original recipe to get two smaller 4.5-inch tarts and a couple of smaller tartlets. The reason there are no photographs of the tartlets is because.. well.. by the time I got the camera out, there were none left. Yes, the craving for chocolate was pretty intense that day!!
If you bake on a regular basis, you will find the recipe pretty straightforward. Although when it comes to the pastry dough, I found this one is a little more wet than what I am used to working with. So, if you have a tried and tested chocolate short-crust dough, I'll recommend that you go with that.
But for all the talk about the crust, the star of the show is that beautiful, luscious chocolate mousse filling. If it is chocolate you want, then this will meet all your demands. The filling is dark, rich and chocolaty - the type that will coat your tongue with only one flavour, chocolate!! And just when you imagine that it might get a bit too much, there is the zest of an orange to perk it up and save it from being overpowering!! In fact, these were lighter than the chocolate truffle tarts I was talking about earlier!!
And carrying on with the orange theme, it is served with an orange caramel. Not only is it easy to make but it transforms this dish into a refined, sophisticated and elegant dinner party dessert!! A slice of this and the eyes of your guests will be twinkling!!
As for me, I could hardly wait to finish taking the photographs ... the joy and burden of being a food blogger .. you photograph before you eat!!! And after I savoured this tart, I promise you, the world was a better place!!! Yes, some days ... only chocolate will do!!
Chocolate Mousse Tart with Orange Caramel
Makes three 4'-inch tarts
Chocolate Shortcrust Dough
- 110 gms plain flour
- 70 gms cocoa powder
- 60 gms caster sugar
- 90 gms unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
** If the egg is large, beat the egg but use only half of the beaten egg.
- 140 gms dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 70 gms unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 50 ml orange juice
- 1 orange, segmented
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. Grease three 4'-inch tart tins.
- For pastry, place flour, cocoa, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process for 30 seconds or until well combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg and process until mixture almost comes together. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 4mm thick, then use to line the pans. Using scissors, trim pastry to 5mm above tart pan rim, then prick base with a fork. Freeze tart shells for 15 minutes.
- Line tart shells with baking paper, fill with some baking beans or old grain, place pans on an oven tray and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove paper along with the beans, then bake for a further 10 minutes or until pastry is dry. Cool for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make chocolate mousse, place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl over the pan of simmering water. Using a hand-held electric beater, whisk on medium speed for 6 minutes or until nearly tripled in volume and mixture holds a trail.
- Remove from heat, add zest, then fold into chocolate mixture in 3 batches until just incorporated.
- Pour mousse into tart shells and level with an offset spatula.
- Place the pans on an oven tray and bake for 18 minutes or until just set.
- Meanwhile, place caster sugar in a medium frying pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes or until sugar begins to melt. Swirl pan as sugar begins to caramelise, but do not stir.
- In a separate small saucepan, bring orange juice to the boil.
- Once caramel is a deep golden, immediately pour in hot orange juice, taking care as mixture will splutter, and stir until smooth.
- Place orange segments in a heatproof bowl and pour over orange caramel.
- Brush hot tarts with a few coatings of orange caramel, then set tart aside for 20 minutes.
- When ready to serve, place some segments on the tarts and drizzle with some orange caramel. You can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.