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    Chocolate chestnut tarts

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    Chocolate chestnut tarts

    These indulgent tarts are filled with chestnut pureé and dark chocolate. They will keep in the fridge without the cream for up to 2 days. 

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus chilling

    Serves: 6


    200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
    170g unsalted butter, softened
    200g pack chestnut purée
    65g icing sugar
    gold lustre spray/gold leaf (optional)

    150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    30g cocoa powder
    1 tbsp caster sugar
    100g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
    1 egg yolk

    200ml double cream
    11/2 tbsp icing sugar
    1 vanilla pod, seeds only


    1. For the pastry, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and a pinch of fine sea salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs (alternatively, pulse in a food processor). Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water. Using a blunt-edged knife, draw the mixture together. When it starts to clump, bring it together with your hands, adding a sprinkle of water to any dry patches. Knead lightly into a smooth disc. Wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes.

    2. Preheat the oven to 190˚C, gas mark 5. Put 6 x 8cm fluted tart cases on a baking sheet. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to 0.3cm thick. Use a small bowl (about 12-13cm diameter) to cut out 6 circles (you’ll need to re-roll). Carefully line each case, letting any excess hang over the sides. Prick the bases, then line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are dry, then remove the parchment and beans; bake for 5 minutes more, until the bases feel dry and sandy. Allow to cool to room temperature in the tins, then cut off the excess pastry with a serrated knife.

    3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until smooth and combined; allow to cool a little. In another bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat the chestnut purée and icing sugar until smooth (add 1 tbsp boiling water, if needed, to loosen). Fold in the chocolate mixture with a pinch of fine salt until smooth. Spoon into the cases and chill for at least 2 hours.

    4. To serve, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds to soft peaks. Remove the tarts from their tins, top each with a dollop of cream and dust with gold lustre spray or scatter over gold leaf, if liked.

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