This Salted Chocolate Tart with Burnt Honey and Black Tea Syrup is a treasure to seriously indulge in this autumn. Essentials’ in-house chef Megan Chalmers pairs it with a clever toasted fennel seed ice cream and candied citrus, creating that classic ‘jaffas’  flavour pairing.

Salted Chocolate Tart with Burnt Honey and Black Tea Syrup, Toasted Fennel Seed Ice-Cream and Candied Clementines

500g shortcrust pastry
(see recipe below)
300ml thickened cream
2 tsp caster sugar
1 pinch Murray River salt flakes
50g unsalted butter, softened
200g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
Zest of one large orange
Murray River salt flakes and cocoa nibs to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C.

Method

1. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to approximately 2-3mm thickened and use it to line a greased tart tin. Cover with baking paper, fill with dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake for another 10 minutes until golden.

2. In a medium saucepan add cream, caster sugar and salt; slowly bring to the boil. Remove from heat and while stirring with a spatula add the chocolate and butter. Continue to stir until the the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture becomes smooth and shiny.

3. Stir in orange zest, mix well.

4. Allow the chocolate mix to cool slightly, then pour into the baked tart shell.

5. Leave at room temperature to set, approximately 2-3 hours.

Burnt Honey and Black Tea Syrup

1 cup honey
1 cup water
4 tsp black tea leaves
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method

1. In a small heavy-based saucepan add the honey and bring to the boil over a high heat. Allow to boil until the honey begins to smoke slightly.

2. Remove from heat and carefully pour in the water. Be careful! The boiling hot honey may splatter.

3. Add black tea leaves, sugar and vanilla bean paste to the mixture and return the pan to a low heat.

4. Simmer gently to infuse flavours for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and strain.

5. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Essentials' Shortcrust Pastry
Essentials’ Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust Pastry

Makes 500g

300g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
150g cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
60ml water

Method

1. Using a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter and pulse to fine sandy consistency.

2. Add the egg yolk and pulse quickly to incorporate.

3. Slowly add the water and pulse until the pastry dough comes together to form a ball.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and use clean hands to shape it into smooth flattened balls.

5. Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before rolling out.

Toasted Fennel Seed Ice-Cream

Toasted Fennel Seed Ice-Cream

Makes 500g

150ml thickened cream
225ml full-cream milk
5 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
1 tbsp toasted fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 vanilla pod, halved and scraped

Method

1. In a heavy-based saucepan add cream, milk, toasted fennel seeds and scraped vanilla pod and beans. Bring to a gentle simmer then remove from heat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and caster sugar until thick and creamy.

3. Gradually pour the hot milk and cream mixture over the prepared egg yolks, whisking continuously until all ingredients are combined well.

4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. You have now created an anglaise.

5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the anglaise into a glass bowl through a fine sieve. Allow the strained anglaise to cool completely.

6. Pour the cooled anglaise ice-cream base into a large ziplock bag.

7. Lay the sealed ziplock bag on a flat tray and place in the freezer; chill until completely frozen.

8. Remove the bag of frozen ice-cream base from the freezer and, while still inside the locked bag, smash the contents on a kitchen benchtop until the frozen ice-cream base has shattered into small pieces.

9. Remove the shattered frozen ice-cream base from the ziplock bag and place in a food processor.

10. Blitz until smooth and creamy.

11. Remove the smooth, blitzed ice-cream from the food processor and transfer to an ice-cream container of your choice. Store the finished ice-cream in your freezer prior to serving.

To Serve

Drizzle the tart with burned honey and black tea syrup, top with sprinkles of cocoa nibs and Murray River salt flakes. Serve individual tart slices with candied clementine halves and a scoop of toasted fennel seed ice-cream

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