Do you like your chocolate? If so, did your heart palpitate at the mere sight of the above photo? Would you believe me if I said that this devil of a chocolate tart is unashamedly the most decadent and richest you’ll ever taste? Aria Chocolate Tart
Let me take you back briefly to July 19th 2009, the night where 4.11 million Aussies watched the Masterchef finale – the reality TV phenomenon that brought food and cooking back in vogue. It was the final challenge for the two remaining contestants when Matt Moran, Head Chef of Sydney’s Aria, walked in and unveiled its signature dessert to a collective gasp – an amazing assiette of chocolate. I believe this was the moment where chocoholics around Australia spontaneously climaxed.
A chocolate tart on chocolate pastry and topped beautifully with a smooth velvety chocolate glacage and served with a chocolate macaron shell, chocolate sorbet, cream and an ultra-glossy tempered chocolate half-pipe all exquisitely created by Aria’s pastry chef Andrew Honeyset who spent three weeks creating it.
(Chocoholics…breathe in, breathe out)
Photo courtesy of Masterchef
I knew at once I had to make it. My love of tarts and chocolate wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course a few changes had to be made lest I run out of time and patience. I chose to skip the macarons, the sorbet (due to an absence of an ice cream maker) and the tempered chocolate half pipe because after making the tart and glacage….I simply ran out of chocolate! Which is probably a good thing as the tart did more than enough to satisfy my sweet-tooth and leave me breathless. To ingest what was essentially an orgy of chocolate requires a kind of strength and hardcore sugar threshold by which I have neither. It’s everything a chocolate dessert should be – indulgent, velvety, rich, devilish and sinful.
If you have leftover filling and glacage, pop them in a bowl in the fridge for on-the-go cravings. They’re sublime with a spoon eaten out of a fridge (with your bottom hanging out naturally…very ladylike!). Also you must forgive me for the less than stellar presentation. Plating skills are severely lacking and I still have more to learn in order to make brown look good in photos! But all that aside, there’s no denying it’s one of the best chocolate tarts I’ve ever tasted.
Now without further ado, you just know this calls for another gratuitous spoon porn shot!
- 320g plain flour
- 60g cocoa
- 160g caster sugar
- Pinch salt
- 160g cold butter, diced
- 2 eggs
- 210g good quality dark chocolate (with high cocoa content), chopped
- 60g Valrhona jivar/jivara chocolate, chopped – if unavailable then just use another 60g of the dark chocolate
- 60g butter, diced
- 315ml cream
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- **EDIT** A lot of people has enquired about jivar chocolate. Jivar or Jivara is available from French chocolate manufacturer Valrhona and you should be able to find it at specialty or gourmet food stores or online. However if this is unavailable then just replace it and use 270g of any good quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (instead of 210g of dark choc and 60g of jivar).
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped
- 240ml cream
- 300ml chocolate sauce
- 60g cocoa
- 200ml water
- 120g caster sugar
- 25g butter, diced
- To make the pastry, preheat oven to 180°C. Place the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and process until dough just starts to come together.
- Turn on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for 10 minutes to rest.
- Roll out the pastry to a 15 x 40cm rectangle, about 3mm thick. Line a shallow rectangle 10 x 34cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin with a removable base with the pastry and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. You could use a round tart tin if you wish and any excess I had I used on mini tart tins.
- Line pastry with baking paper and fill with rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and rice and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until firm to touch.
- To make the tart mixture, preheat oven to 160°C. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl.
- Place cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour cream over chocolate in bowl and stir until smooth, stir in eggs.
- Pour chocolate mixture into tart shell up until about 3/4 full (you’ll need to leave enough room for the glacage). Bake for 25 minutes until the centre has just cooked and the top has just set. Take the tart out of the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before topping with the chocolate glacage (recipe follows after). Refrigerate tart in fridge until firm before serving.
- For the chocolate sauce (for the glacage), combine cocoa, water and sugar in a saucepan and stir over heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, stir in butter until melted and mixed. Strain through a sieve placed over a bowl and set aside.
- To finish the glacage, place chocolate in a large bowl. Place cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour cream over the chocolate in the bowl and stir until smooth. Add in the chocolate sauce that you just made and stir (recipe above). When the completed tart has cooled, spoon or pour the glacage over the tart and place in fridge until firm.
- Recipe adapted from Matt Moran
Ok, just one more chocolate porn photo!