Thursday, 29 September 2011

Chocolate and Orange Tart - A Random Recipe

This months random recipe challenge from Dom at Belleau Kitchen, was inspired by yours truly after last months challenge where I randomly went through my collection of Good Food Magazines in search of the elusive random recipe.
Having received the honour of inspiring a challenge, I felt I'd best take part otherwise an e-beating would no doubt occur.

So I gathered together a good handful of magazines and randomly choose the Easter edition from this year of which I landed on the chocolate section and hit a superb random recipe.

Now regular readers of this blog will realise that I like tarts .....OI!! stop sniggering in the back. There are various posts on here of my recent lemon tart and the fig tart which was another random recipe. So without further ado I give you this months random recipe....

Chocolate Orange Tart

350g plain flour
200g butter , cubed
100g icing sugar
zest 1 orange
1 egg yolk , mixed with 2 tbsp water

250g dark chocolate
2 eggs , plus 1 white (leftover from pastry)
140g caster sugar
85g melted butter
85g plain flour
little cocoa , to serve

Rub the butter into the flour gently between your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and zest
Add the yolk and water and mix together.
Using you hands bring together the mix into a dough ball, don't overwork.
Wrap tightly in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins to an hour.

Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place the dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top.
Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out).
Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry into a 26cm fluted tart tin.

Press gently into the tart tin and using a rolling pin roll across the top to trim off the edges.
Push the edges up a couple of millimetres to compensate for shrinkage.

Gently press a layer of foil into the tin and fill with baking beans.
Bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 15 minutes.
Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water
beat the eggs with the sugar until thick and pale
fold in the melted butter, flour and chocolate
Pour into the pastry case and leave to settle for a minute
Place in the oven at 160C/140C(fan) for 25 minutes
Remove and allow to cool slightly

Sprinkle over cocoa powder and serve warm with cream or ice cream.


Just superb, crumbly orange pastry and thick gooey chocolate filling. I cheated a bit on this recipe, the recipe stated to make 8 deep individual tarts but I don't own the required equipment so I just made a big one. You will have enough pastry with plenty spare if you use a 26cm tin and the filling is exactly the right amount for a tray this size.
Thanks again to Dom for hosting and choosing me as his inspiration.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Roast Chicken

I do love roast chicken. done properly it would be up there as one of my favourite foods. It baffles me why people are scared to even have a go at it. It's painfully simple and the results are oh so good. Living on my own, roasting a whole bird pretty much sorts out meals for the following few days. This one, which I found while aimlessly wandering round the supermarket in the reduced to clear section (last day of use by date) cost me 3 quid for a large free range chicken and lasted me 3 days, bargain.

Simple Roast chicken
1 whole chicken
vast amounts of  fresh rosemary (or herb of your choice)
1 bulb of garlic. (this is the minimum amount, I've read recipes that range from 40 - 100 cloves of garlic)
lots of olive oil
salt + pepper

Line a roasting dish with tin foil
Stick the chicky in the dish
Drown in olive oil
Scatter as many bulbs of garlic as you wish around it, stick some between the chickens legs and thighs also.
Sprinkle over your choice of herbage
Sprinkle over plenty of salt and pepper
Cover with a tin foil lid and place in a preheated oven at 180C until its done (supermarkets usually put a time on the packet so just use this if not then: 25 mins per 450g plus 15 mins extra.
Baste a few times during the cooking time and for the last 30 minutes take the foil lid off to allow the skin to brown up nicely.