Christmas Dinner and a Chocolate Tart

December 29, 2008


How do you like the Mother’s über-loud and ultra-kitsch Christmas table-cloth?…oh Mother...

Christmas dinner is usually a Hosted-by-Mother event when the pilgrimage of relatives descend on our household. It doesn’t take much stress to push the Mother over the edge so the menu each year is always something simple and filling but good.

This year there were 4 mains:

* Hans Smoked Christmas Ham – absolutely beautiful and not too salty (repeat – it was fabulous and worthy of your hard-earned cash), I am now hunting for more as there weren’t many ham leftovers.

* The trusty BBQ marinated chicken wings – Peppercorn marinade by the Mother and the most luscious Honey Soy marinade by the my sister, Miss Kitty (note to self…must acquire recipe)

* A hefty butterflied leg of lamb by yours truly – marinated in crushed garlic, fresh rosemary, wine, oil and wholegrain mustard and bbq-ed and glazed with Mint Jelly. The marinade was reserved to make a luscious sauce afterwards to serve with the lamb along with the mint jelly. This I’ll have to do again with photos for all of you lovely readers.

* Cooked Prawns – as always…yum!

These were accompanied by a very retro Waldorf salad, an Asian infused coleslaw and Miss Kitty’s Rocket, Bocconcini and Cherry Tomato Salad.

There were a few other culinary offerings and sadly no photos were taken tonight as Miss Candy (i.e. me) needed one night off to stuff her face without hesitation and worrying about whipping out a camera. Dinner here is a battle and it’s every man for himself.

I will, however, be happy to report on one of the desserts that I contributed…….a delectable Fine Chocolate Tart.


This is my go-to recipe for chocolate tarts or if it’s an emergency dessert situation. It’s so unbelievably simple to make with minimal ingredients yet it yields a tart that is creamy and mousse-like, even straight out of the fridge. It makes for the perfect after-dinner dessert as it is is devilishly chocolatey without being too rich.

This tart was snapped up in a heartbeat that I just barely got a piece for myself. But with a flow of complements and requests for the recipe, how can I complain? This just means that I’ll have to make it for myself again sooner rather than later :)

The base can be replaced with one sheet of shortcrust pastry rolled out to line a 21-23cm tart tin if you wish but I firmly believe that the dreamy chocolate filling marries better with a buttery biscuit base.

Fine Chocolate Tart

Ingredients

200g or 13 x Digestive Biscuits (or any plain and sweet biscuit)
75g butter

150ml thick cream
150ml milk
220g good quality bitter-sweet dark chocolate
2 small eggs

Method

Process the biscuits and butter and press into a 21-23 cm tart tin, pressing some biscuit base up the sides.

Chill the biscuit base in the fridge or freezer until it’s hard and set.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Over a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and leave to melt. Stir to mix well.

Let it cool for 5 minutes then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each one.

Pour into the chilled biscuit base (don’t worry if the batter comes up over the biscuit base) and bake for 15-30 minutes on the centre shelf (depending on your oven – mine took just over 25 minutes). The tart should be just set when it’s ready.

Let it rest for at least an hour. If you wish you can chill it in the fridge before serving. Dust over with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream if you desire.