Procrastination Chocolate Tarts

So. I’m meant to be writing my dissertation. And revising. For my exams (I have four exams in one week, I’m sorry, what?) But I can’t get motivated. I really can’t.

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So, instead, I’m spending all my time looking through cookbooks, you know, to motivate myself.  And doing a lot of daydreaming. Dreaming of a time when exams are ooooover and essays are no more and days are hot and long and I can stop wearing a scarf in my actual house.

And dreaming of chocolate.

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And then cooking chocolate. As I’m sure you can tell, revision is going greeeeaaaaaat.

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Queen of Sheba Chocolate Tart  (recipe adapted from  Great British Bake Off: How to Bake:)

100g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, broken up
2 tbsp strong coffee
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp extra
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
pinch each of salt and cream of tartar
50g ground almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
65g plain flour

To make the sponge, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, add the coffee, and melt over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water.

Put the soft butter into a mixing bowl and beat thoroughly  until the butter looks creamy. Gradually beat in 100g sugar, (save the 2 tbsp for the egg whites), and continue beating until the mixture looks very pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well.

Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and continue whisking until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted out. Whisk in the 2 tbsp sugar and continue whisking for another minute or until the mixture stands in stiff peaks. (Don’t make the mistake I did of attempting this by hand- ouch!)

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Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the butter and sugar mixture followed by the ground almonds and almond extract. Fold in one-quarter of the egg whites.

When completely incorporated sift half the flour onto the mixture. Add half of the remaining egg whites and gently fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour and egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into a greased and lined small round cake tin and spread evenly. (I made four small tarts, instead of one big one). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and be careful not to overcook –  the centre should still be just moist.

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For the icing:
100g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, broken up
1 tbsp strong coffee
100g unsalted butter

To make the icing, melt the chocolate with the coffee. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter a little at a time to make a smooth, glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring frequently, until thick enough to spread.

Spread the chocolate icing evenly over the top and around the sides. Leave until almost set.

To decorate, I melted some chocolate, spread it on a baking sheet and let it set, then broke it up into shards and arranged them on top of the tarts.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and cocoa powder and enjoy!

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xxR

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