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Chocolate and plums


​This went down really well at a recent Provençale dinner with the parents. A rich, decadent and autumnal treat inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe, the wonderful CB and my mother’s idea of using up some old amaretto liqueur. Don’t be put off by making pastry here - there is an egg in the dough so it’s quite easy to handle. The tart might look fiddly at first glance, but each of the three steps is easy and fairly quick to put together.

The tart is also delicious with pears - CB uses vin santo instead of amaretto as a poaching liqueur, which is LOVELY. If you are using pears, you’ll just need to poach them a little longer, until they’re cooked through.

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Plum and chocolate tart

Takes about an hour, plus baking time, serves 6 - 8

dessert / baking / autumn / summer / party / showing off / vegetarian

For the pastry

* Unsalted butter - 80g, cold and chopped into chunks

* Plain flour - 130g

* Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp

* Sugar - 2 tbsp

* Salt - a pinch

* Egg - 1

For the fruit

* Plums - 600g, not too ripe

* Amaretto - 1/2 cup (you could also use cassis or vin santo)

* Orange peel - a couple of strips

* Sugar - 2 tbsp

For the chocolate

* Unsalted butter - 100g

* Sugar - 90g

* Dark chocolate - 140g, roughly chopped

* Eggs - 2

30cm tart tin

Start by making the pastry. Place the butter, flour, cocoa, sugar and salt in a mixer and pulse until you have an even breadcrumb texture. Add the egg and pulse again until the dough comes together in one ball.

Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Place in a saucepan with the amaretto, orange peel, sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a light simmer and cover. Depending on how ripe the fruit is, leave them to cook for 10 to 20 minutes. You want them soft but still retaining their shape. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to fit your tin. Carefully place the pastry in the tin, removing any air pockets between the pastry and the tin. Even off the edges with a knife. Prick the base a couple of times with a fork and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate mixture. Melt the butter and 60g of the sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the chocolate and stir until completely melted.

Whisk the eggs and the remaining 30g sugar in a bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture along with 4 tbsp of the plum cooking liquid into the bowl and stir to combine.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the pastry case, making an even layer. Then arrange the plums, skin side up, in the tin on top of the chocolate. They will sink a little.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees and bake the tart for 40 minutes.

Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche.


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