For the tart base
270g Plain flour, plus extra for dredging
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
125g butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1-3 tablespoons of milk
For the filling
2 passion fruits, halved
1 egg yolk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 3 lemons
Juice of 1 orange
150ml double cream
75g caster sugar
3 passion fruits, halved seeds and juice scooped out.
1.First make the pastry. Put the flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar and egg in a food processor and pulse-chop briefly to combine. If the mixture looks too dry, add a little milk. Turn the mixture our on to a floured surface and gently bring together into a dough. Wrap well and cling film for 30 mins.
2.Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Butter and flour a 26cm flat tin/pie tin and set it on a baking tray. Line the tin with the pastry, pressing it right into the corners of the tin and brining it up over the sides, leaving an overhang. Rest the pastry in the fridge for another 30 minutes. Preheat the over to 180°C/gas 4
3.Line the pastry with baking parchment so that it comes up over the edges and fill the lined pastry case with baking beans or uncooked rice. Place in the over and bake for 18 minutes.
4.Remove the tray from the oven, remove the paper and beans/rice then return to the oven and bake a further 5 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden. Take the pastry out and leave to cool. Trim the edges with the knife to finish.
5.Turn the oven down to 160°C/gas 3
6.While the pastry is cooling, make the filling. Scoop out the seeds from the passion fruit and press them into a fine sieve keeping the juice and discarding the seeds. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, orange juice and strained passionfruit juice. Mix well and set aside.
7.Pour the cream into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved and them remove from the heat and add in the white chocolate. Whisk until melted and fully combined, then leave on the side to cool slightly before mixing in the egg and juice mixture.
8.Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until the filling has just set in the middle- it should wobble slightly when removed from the oven. Leave to cool before removing from tin.
9.To serve, gently heat the white chocolate in a microwave, stirring every 10 seconds or so to ensure the chocolate does not burn. Spoon the passion fruit over the tart and drizzle with the melted white chocolate.
Notes to help you get the most out of your cocoa and chocolate.
Depending on the kind of cocoa you use, how much you use and how you use it, cocoa and chocolate will have a different effect on the taste and experience of your dishes. In each of our recipes, we’ll tell you how much influence it will have, in our cocoa notes:
Low – a subtle hint, playing a bass note in the harmony of flavours.
Medium – a rich interplay of cocoa with other leading ingredients.
High – cocoa starring role.
The Character of Cocoa
The flavour of cocoa and the chocolate it produces varies depending on where the cocoa is grown. Different growing regions have different personalities, each pairing well with other ingredients.
Fruit-led flavours, refreshing in the mouth – perfect with fruits, dark meats and game.
Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Java
Complex and multi-layered flavours jostling for position. Goes with pork, chicken and wines.
Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, Ecuador
Roasted flavours, led by mellow notes of roasted nuts. Ideal with fish, eggs and desserts.
Demystifying Cocoa Percentages
The percentages used on chocolate labels can sometimes seem a bit confusing. A 40% milk chocolate, for example, is not made with 40% milk. The percentage always refers to the amount of cocoa used in the recipe, and the rest will either be all sugar (darks) or milk and sugar (milks/whites).
You’ll find higher percentages in dark chocolate recipes, with less in milk, and least in white. Surprisingly, one of the UK’s most famous dark chocolates contains just 39% cocoa, and its milk counterpart only 23%. That means the largest ingredient overall is sugar. We believe this is wrong. We always prefer to use more cocoa in our chocolate for an authentic and satisfying cocoa hit. We put 40 – 70% cocoa in our milk and Supermilk chocolate, and 70-100% in our dark.
Our white chocolate has a much higher cocoa percentage than average, at 36%.
Sugar only costs a tenth of the price of even the cheapest cocoa beans, so it’s no wonder that it is tempting for low – quality makers to use so much of it. But in the world of fine chocolate, deciding on whether to use, say 73% or 75% cocoa in a recipe is the chocolatier’s choice and depends on the quality, character and flavour profile of the bean harvest. In many ways, deciding the cocoa percentage is like deciding the alcohol level in a good wine.
How To Melt Your Chocolate
In a Bain-Marie (recommended)
This traditional method offers a great deal of control. Put your chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water (or it can burn the chocolate). Heat in the steam for about 2 minutes until fully melted, stirring occasionally.
In a Microwave
Put your chocolate in the microwave on high power for a total of 40-50 seconds, but only in 10 second bursts, stirring in between to ensure it doesn’t burn. Stop when fully melted.
Essential Cocoa Nib Know-How
Knowing how to extract the best flavours from your cocoa nibs is essential to many of our recipes. It’s easy to buy cocoa nibs these days, but they can be of variable quality. Follow our tips below to make sure you get the most flavour possible from your nibs.
Awakening your Nibs
Often your nibs will have a silver grey hue to them as they have oxidised around the outside. This is harmless, but we recommend you grind them vigorously in a pestle and mortar for 30 seconds. You’ll see the nibs turn a gorgeous mahogany brown, their amazing flavour and aroma awoken at the same time.
Soak them in Water
After awakening, the nibs may still be hard and flinty. Soak them in a little hot water (just enough to cover them) for about 20 minutes which will soften them, the soaking liquid can be set aside as a flavoursome stock.
Storing your Nibs
Just like coffee, roasted nibs should be kept in an airtight container. If you are able to source ‘just roasted’ nibs or have made your own, you can freeze them in an airtight container until needed, retaining maximum flavour.
White Chocolate, Lemon and Passion Fruit Tart
The Sharpness of Passionfruit, the creaminess of white chocolate; the two are just calling out for one another! The dramatic cocoa crust tastes and looks fabulous with a depth of flavour and touch of indulgence, while the white chocolate offsets the tang of the fruit. As always with white chocolate try to source a less sweet one, ideally with at least 30% cocoa butter
- preparation time: 90 mins
- cooking time: 50 mins
- total time: 140 mins
- ease of preparation: Easy
- serves: 8