First posted: Jan 7, 2016

Chai-Spiced White Chocolate Tart



Cooks in:        Serves:4-6

For the Pastry
  • 200g flour
  • 100g cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract / paste / essence
  • 1 Tbsp cold water, if the mixture is too dry
For the Filling
  • 300g white or light chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 150ml cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (30g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • Fresh berries, to garnish
  • Small handful fresh mint, to garnish

What to do

1. To make the pastry, add all of the ingredients to your food processor. Mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1-2 Tbsp water as needed and continue mixing until everything comes together in a rough ball of dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes. Lightly grease your tart tin and set aside.
Note: The pastry can be made by hand or in an electric mixer too.

2. In a medium sized pot, heat the cream, milk and spices until the mixture comes to a simmer. Pour through a sieve and into a bowl, over the chocolate pieces. Then stir gently until all the chocolate melts.

3. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 180C and remove your pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about ½ cm thick and line the tin or dish. 

4. Use a fork to prick the surface a few times and line with baking paper, fill with baking beans to weight the pastry down and place in the oven, for about 15 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 4-5 minutes so that the inside base of the tart can start to crisp up. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4. While the pastry cools, lightly whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the chocolate mixture. Pour into the frozen tart shell, scatter over the hazelnuts and place in the oven on the baking tray at 180C for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 130C for a further 20-25 minutes or until the tart is lightly golden and set.

5. Remove the tart from the oven, allow to cool to room temperature and then serve garnished with fresh berries and mint leaves. You can also add a few extra white chocolate shavings if you like.

*You can double the pastry and freeze half for up to 2 months to use when you need it. For easy filling and baking, freeze the dough already in a pie dish if you have one spare.
*This recipe is ideal to make the day before and leave at room temperature.

Photo from 'Sarah Graham's Food Safari' by Ricardo de Leça.

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