“Three, more sleeps”… said my children on the way to bed tonight. They’re so excited, I’m so excited, we’re all so excited! We’re officially on holiday! Fairy lights are blinking everywhere we look, food and drink is stacking up in every conceivable corner along with paper napkins, socks and sneaky chocolate wrappers… The dog has only pulled the tree down once and luckily hasn’t eaten enough chocolate to make herself really sick. So far so good… Any moments of real stress are countered by a quick visit to the fridge for another chocolate tart or perhaps a glass of 4pm wine. Welcome to Christmas…
Ingredients for the tart case (makes 12):
250g plain flour
125g diced butter (or coconut oil for a vegan alternative)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp icing sugar
6 tbsp cold (or iced cold) water
Ingredients for the Chocolate Cardamom Filling:
170g dark 70% chocolate
160g coconut cream
10 cardamom pods (seeds crushed)
Stardust, or edible glitter to serve…
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a mixing bowl or food processor add the flour, icing sugar and cocoa and mix to remove any lumps.
2. Dice in 125g unsalted butter or coconut oil for a vegan alternative. Mix with your fingers to form a breadcrumb consistency.
3. Add 3-4 tbsp iced cold water and bring the breadcrumbs together with your hands to form a dough. If the mixture isn’t coming together just add a little more water 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a dough.
4. Place in the fridge, wrapped in cling-film to rest for around 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile heat a pan with a little water on the hob, and place a ceramic or glass bowl on top, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer gently.
6. Break the chocolate in to the bowl, along with the coconut cream and the crushed seeds from 10 cardamom pods (grind them to a fine powder in a pestle & mortar). Stir as the chocolate melts.
7. Oil a 12 hole cake tin with coconut oil and a sprinkling of plain flour.
8. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface as thin as you can without breaking the dough.
9. Use a round cookie cutter slightly bigger than the cake holes to cut the dough and place in each hole. Add a few baking beans to each case and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
10. Remove the baking beans using a spoon after 15 minutes and place the cases back in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and remove to a plate.
11. Fill each case with the melted chocolate mixture and place in the fridge to set for around 30 minutes.
12. Sprinkle with festive glitter to serve.
Happy Christmas everyone!