An extremely rich mulled wine and chocolate tart – very decadent and something a little bit different to serve this Christmas. I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely mine!
100g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg, large
300g plain flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
6 eggs, large
225g caster sugar
350ml mulled wine
100ml double cream
3 tbsps cocoa powder
Makes: 1 x 9” tart
Begin by making the pastry. Cream together the softened butter and the caster sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
Add the flour and spices and fold in until the dough starts to come together.
Knead it lightly by hand until the consistency is even then wrap it in clingfilm and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
When the pastry has chilled take it from the fridge and set it onto the worksurface lightly dusted with flour.
Grease your tart tin, a flan tin (deeper than a regular tart tin with a removable base is ideal).
Roll out the pastry working gently and rolling from the middle outwards, turning the pastry a little and rolling again – this stops the pastry from sticking on the surface and rolling outwards only helps stop the pastry from ripping. Roll it out until it is big enough to line your tin with a little excess.
There will be left over pastry when we’ve finished trimming but it is much easier to work with a little extra pastry than it is to make a scant amount stretch!
Lift the pastry carefully with the rolling pin and ease it into the tin. Press it lightly with your fingertips into the base of the tin.
Cut off the excess pastry by rolling your rolling pin across the top.
Now an important step in making a good pastry case – using your fingertips pinch up the top edge of the pastry case, all the way around until it sits about 5mm proud of the top of the tin.
Prick the base all over with a fork and place it back in the fridge to chill for 1 hour until firm.
When the case is totally firm preheat the oven to 180c (fan)/200c/Gas Mark 6.
Set the chilled case onto a baking tray. Line the inside of the pastry with a sheet of non-stick baking paper and fill it with baking beans.
Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes before removing the beans and paper and returning to the oven for a further 5 minutes to cook through.
Allow to cool fully in the tin.
Reduce the oven temperature to 110c(fan)/130c/Gas Mark 1.
When the pastry case has fully cooled it’s time to trim it neatly. Take a sharp knife and using the edge of the tin as a guide use a shaving type motion to neaten the top edge of the pastry.
Brush the crumbs out of the case and set it back onto the baking tray.
Take 1 of the eggs for the filling and beat it in a small bowl. Brush the egg all over the base of the pastry case and place it into the oven for 10 minutes. This seals up the holes pricked in the case and stops the liquid filling from escaping.
Now prepare the filling, add the remaining egg to a large bowl or jug and add the remaining 5 eggs and the caster sugar. Whisk together well.
In a medium pan place the mulled wine, double cream and cocoa powder. Heat it gently, stirring frequently until the ingredients are well combined and just below boiling point.
Take it off the heat and pour it slowly over the egg/sugar mixture stirring constantly until all the liquid has been added.
Strain the whole of the mixture through a sieve into a clean large jug/bowl – this removes any lumps and eggy threads.
Now the filling needs to go into the pastry case. With my shaky hands I’m better doing it with the case positioned on the oven shelf!
Top the pastry case right up but don’t let it spill over the edge.
Now bake it in the oven for 1 hour until just set in the middle. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool fully in the tin.
Chill in the fridge and serve with a dusting of icing sugar. (Don’t forget to save me a slice!)
Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire