Chocolate Torte & Strawberry Salsa

Nothing beats a deliciously rich chocolate cake to finish off a great meal. This torte is both rich and decadent, and to be enjoyed in small slices.

Ingredients

400ml  Double cream

400g    Dark chocolate

4          egg yolks

400g    Ready made shortcrust pastry

10-12  Large strawberries

20ml    Balsamic vinegar

1 tbs     Icing sugar

Fresh mint leaves

Preparation and cooking

You will need a 30-35cm flan tin with a removal bottom to bake the torte case. Roll out the pastry so that its approx. 5-6 mm thick, and sufficient in size to line the flan tin and cover the sides. Ensure the pastry is pressed into the corners and then trim off any excess pastry. Use a fork to make small holes in the pastry to let air out when its blind baked. Now cut a sheet of baking paper approximately the same size as the flan tin, then soak it in water for a few seconds, squeeze out the liquid and then lay over the pastry in the tin. Place some baking beans (not baked beans!!!) or uncooked rice on top of the baking paper to stop the pastry rising in the middle whilst its baked.

Place the flan tin containing the pastry in a hot oven of approx. 200°C for 8-10 minutes to start the blind baking. Remove the tin from the oven, and remove the beans/rice and baking paper, then return the pastry in the tin back into the oven for a further 5 minutes tom complete the blind baking. Allow the pastry case to cool slightly, but reduce the oven to 150°C.

Whilst the pastry case is baking, melt the chocolate in a bowl with the double cream over a Bain Marie – this will take approx. 5-10 minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate mixture to ensure it is well mixed and there are no lumps. Do not let the mixture get too hot, and cool if necessary. Next, add the egg yolks to the bowl one at a time, beating them into the mixture quickly so that they do not scramble. Repeat with the remaining egg yolks.

Transfer the chocolate, cream and egg mixture to the slightly cooled pastry case, and tap to ensure the surface is level and flat. Now bake in the oven at 150°C for approx. 15-20 minutes – until small cracks begin to appear on the surface of the torte. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Decorate with shaved dark chocolate.

Make strawberry salsa just before you are ready to serve. Finely dice the strawberries and place in a bowl with the icing sugar, and then sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and a few sliced mint leaves. Stir and serve immediately with a small slice of the torte.

Variations

Serve with Strawberries and Crème fraîche to slightly offset the richness.

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