Chocolate chestnut tart 

A very simple and elegant tart recipe. The chestnut flavour is subtle but quite pleasant, and it makes the texture much creamier and smoother. This can easily be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator until needed (for up to 24 hours), but do not serve it chilled; room temperature is ideal.

1 pre-baked Sweet Pastry tart shell, still in its tin and cooled 

cocoa powder, for dusting

whipped cream or sweetened crème fraîche, to serve

Chocolate chestnut filling 

100 g dark chocolate, finely chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large egg, beaten

200 ml double cream

250 g tinned sweetened chestnut purée

baking parchment and baking weights or dried beans

a loose-based tart tin, 23-35 cm diameter, greased and floured

Serves 8–10

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.

To make the filling, put the chocolate in a large microwave-proof bowl and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Remove, stir and repeat until almost completely melted. Remove, add the butter and stir until melted.

Stir in the egg, cream and chestnut purée and mix just to blend.

Put the tart shell on a baking tray and set this on the oven rack, partly pulled out. (If you try to fill the shell and then transfer it to the oven, it will surely spill over the edges and burn.) Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell and carefully slide the oven shelf back into place.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, until just set. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

*NOTE If you don’t have a microwave, put the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water – don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Leave until melted, stirring occasionally.

photo Martin Brigdale © Ryland Peters & Small, from Bistro by Laura Washburn Hutton, published by Ryland Peters & Small 

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