So, I finally dusted down the old recipe book, donned my 1950’s style apron, put on some Frank Sinatra and began my journey back in time. Wouldn’t this dish look very impressive at a dinner party in the 1950’s? I chose this particular recipe for Chocolate Meringue Tart, because it looked so decadent and delicious. I was also kind of intrigued by the concept. Chocolate, meringue and pastry, I wasn’t too sure if it would turn out to be yucky or yummy. As I read the recipe I realised I would have to change a few little things. I just couldn’t bring myself to use margarine, so I used lovely Irish butter instead. And that chocolate filling looked a little bland, so I jazzed it up with some Cointreau. I also used real cherries on top instead of sticky glace ones and garnished with some fresh fragrant mint. The rest of the recipe is pretty much as is and I even used Bourneville chocolate.
– 4 oz of plain flour, sieved
– 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
– 2 oz of butter, cubed
– 1 -2 tablespoons of cold water
– 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
– 2oz caster sugar
– 3½oz plain chocolate
– 1 oz butter
– 1 tablespoon double cream
– 2 fl oz of Cointreau- You could also use Kirsch.
– 2 egg whites
– 4 oz of castor sugar
Lightly grease an 8 inch round tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
To make the pastry, first sieve the flour into a bowl. Next, add the diced butter and the sugar to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Then, mix in a few drops of water, just enough for the pastry to come together into a dough. Leave the pastry to rest in the fridge for twenty to thirty minutes.
Once chilled, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface until you have a round disc that’s large enough to fit into your 8 inch tin. Carefully place the pastry into the tin. Leave some pastry overlapping the edge as the pastry will shrink in the oven. Place a disk of baking paper over your pastry case and put some baking beads or dried rice/penne pasta on top. Baking beads are well worth buying if you don’t have them, as they really do make your pastry perfectly flat and crisp. Also they are reusable, unlike the rice and pasta! Place the pastry case in the preheated oven – essentially baking it blind.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beads and bake for a further 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and leave the case to cool.
Meanwhile, to make the filling; whisk the egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale in colour and doubled in volume. In a seperate small bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, cream and liqueur together over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water. It is important the water is not boiling, as the mixture can easily split. Next, fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs until all well mixed. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until just set.
Once cooked, leave to cool in the tin. I left mine outside in clear view and with a tea towel over it, so as no little animals were tempted to feast on it.
Meanwhile turn the oven up to 200 degrees Celsius. Next, whisk the egg whites in a perfectly clean dry bowl. When the egg whites become fluffy, add half the sugar. Continue whisking and gradually pour in the remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Spoon the meringue over the cold chocolate layer. I placed 6 fresh morello cherries on top of the meringue. Place in the preheated oven for about 7 -10 minutes. It should be lightly coloured and crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallowy underneath.
Leave to cool and serve with a smile 🙂