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    Prune and Chocolate Tart

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    Prune and Chocolate Tart

    There is something seductive about the union of prunes and dark chocolate; the inherent fruitiness of the chocolate itself urged on by the more obvious, sweet-tart fruitiness of the dried plums.

    • Preparation time: 40 minutes
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes plus cooling 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 10 - 12

    Ingredients

    • Chocolate Filling
    • 100g dark chocolate
    • 3 medium eggs, separated
    • 284ml carton double cream, lightly whipped
    • 90g caster sugar
    • Icing sugar to finish
    • Pastry
    • 210g plain flour
    • Pinch of salt
    • 150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
    • 2 medium egg yolks
    • 75g icing sugar
    • Prune Purée
    • 280g pitted, soft prunes
    • 2 tbsp brandy

    Method

    1. To make the pastry, sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a food processor. Add the butter and process till the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and process again to form a soft dough. Knead very briefly until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll out on a floured board and use to line a 25cm-diameter tart tin. If the pastry tears, patch up holes with pastry trimmings. Prick the base with a fork and chill again for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put a baking sheet in the oven and heat to 180°C, gas mark 4.
    2. Line the pastry with foil, weigh down with baking beans and bake blind, on the hot baking sheet, for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes until dry but not browned. Leave the oven on at 180°C, gas mark 4.
    3. Meanwhile, put the prunes in a pan with barely enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes until very tender. Lift out the prunes with a slotted spoon and blend in a processor with the brandy and just enough cooking liquid (2-3 tbsp) to make a thick purée. Spread over the cooked pastry.
    4. Chop the chocolate roughly, put in a bowl and melt over a pan of barely simmering water. Cool a little, then beat in the egg yolks, one by one. Fold in the cream. Whisk the whites until they form soft peaks. Sprinkle over the sugar then whisk till thick and glossy. Fold into the chocolate mix. Pour into the pastry case and lightly smooth. Bake for 40 minutes or so, until puffed and set around the edges, but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Serve warm or cold, dusted with icing sugar.

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