As a celebration of our kitchen being (basically) stocked and ready to go, I decided I wanted to make something hecka fancy. Is there anything fancier than a tart? Arguably, a torte, but let’s not split hairs. Another question: there anything fancier than an earl grey-infused chocolate tart??? I mean, probably. I reckon Ottolenghi’s got me beat there, but as a layman who doesn’t have any dry ice or liquid nitrogen to hand, this will have to do.
I would definitely accidentally freeze my own hand off if I had access to liquid nitrogen. I don’t need that kind of power.
Basically, this recipe came about because I like fancy things. It’s fair to say that I like chocolate, as it happens. I also like to make things that look a lot more complex than they are. Making ganache is so easy it’s unreal; I always thought it would take a lot of time and effort, but actually you just need a little patience and you’re golden. A lot of the fancier elements of this tart are optional (for example, nut allergy sufferers might want to avoid the pistachios for their own wellbeing), so it can definitely be tailored to your individual tastes.
Current reactions to the tart:
- “It was very nice” *pause* “Wait, I’m not very good at this”
- “Ooh, yer bastard it was good” (same person)
- “Vegans can have fun too!” (same person again)
- *hysterical laughter* (…)
I have the best and weirdest friends.
Weirdly, I don’t mind the coconut milk in this at all – I’m very anti-coconut but this just has a slightly tropical, floral flavour. I also don’t like tea, so my reasons for making this in the first place are a little unclear.
It’s delicious though.
Vegan Earl Grey Chocolate Tart
Preparation/cooking time: 25 minutes
(+ 2 hours cooling time)
2 x microwave safe/heatproof bowls; tart case (can use pie/quiche dish instead – mine is 27cm across, roughly); rolling pin or something equally heavy OR a food processor; flat-bottomed glass (you make the rockin’ world go round); spatula.
- 200g dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa solids*)
- 200ml full-fat coconut milk
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag
- 2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I use honey because I’m not completely unpacked yet, but agave syrup or soft brown sugar would be lovely)
- 300g Bourbon creams (vegan – who knew?!)
- 2-3 tbsp vegan butter/spread
- Optional: 1 tbsp coffee dissolved in a splash of hot water
- Dried fruit, e.g. cherries, cranberries, etc.
- Edible flowers
- Put the oven on at 200 and get started on your buttery biscuit base (couldn’t resist – sorry)**. Put the biscuits in a sandwich bag and beat into crumbs with a rolling pin, or put them into a food processor and let the machine do the work for you. Once you have rough crumbs – don’t pulse them too finely, as you’ll just end up with biscuit dust otherwise – melt the vegan butter in 10 second bursts in the microwave until liquid. HINT: use one of your heat proof bowls for this, as you’ll be able to wipe it out afterwards and re-use. Pour in the biscuit crumbs and mix until combined. Scrape the mixture into the tart case and press into the bottom (and up the sides if you like) in an even layer – don’t press too hard, and use a drinking glass to make this a bit easier. Put the biscuit base into the oven for 10 minutes.
- Now make the ganache. Finely chop the chocolate and add to your clean bowl with your chosen sweetener. Wipe out your second bowl (or use a new one if you, like me, think that washing up is a problem for a future version of you) and pour in the coconut milk. Heat in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring after every blast, until it’s hot but not scalding (dip a clean finger in if you can’t figure it out by looking – clean hands are a chef’s best tools. Unless you have one of those fancy stand mixers, because those are way better). Put in your tea bag and leave to steep for 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, take out your tart casing (which should be slightly golden but not too dark) and set it aside to cool, turning off the oven. When the steeping time is up, take out your teabag, squeezing it to get the most out of the bag, and discard it – then pour the coconut milk carefully over the chocolate and sweetener. Leave it to sit for around 5 minutes, then begin to stir with the spatula. Keep stirring (GENTLY) until there are no lumps and you have a smooth ganache. If using coffee, pour in at this stage and mix; you won’t be able to taste the coffee, as such, but it will intensify the flavour of the chocolate – it is purely optional though.
- Before you pour the glorious filling over your biscuit base, prepare any toppings you want to use. I used strawberries (tops removed and cut in half), chopped pistachios, and some dried cherries.
- Now, because we’re impatient people, we’re gonna go ahead and pour the ganache in right this second. Use a (rubber) spatula to ensure every little bit of chocolate-y goodness gets from the bowl to the casing, and then smooth out the top as best you can. Carefully top the tart with whatever additions you see fit, then leave this to cool for another 20 minutes at least before putting in the fridge to set for a couple of hours or overnight.
When you cut it you’ll need a sharp knife and probably some kind of spatula to get the slices out; leave it to stand at room temperature for around 20-30 minutes to make this step easier.
Gawd. It looks so fancy I’m gonna cry.
I want to photograph this for the next 10 years.
THE COLOURS. THE CONTRAST. WOWZER.
*I used Green & Black’s Dark 85% – just be aware that the darker you go, the more you’ll have to wring out that tea bag, because dark chocolate is an inherently bitter and powerful flavour.
**Honestly, this is iconic. I feel like my entire generation was defined by this moment in remix history. I’ve never met anyone my age who didn’t crack a knowing smirk at those three simple words.