Sometimes the thought of making a dessert that involves pastry seems like rather too much work. I admit, I have resorted to using the store bought variety on occasion, and while it can deliver quite satisfactory results, it never does quite match the homemade kind. In my head I think that making pastry from scratch is a rather laborious task, but every time I do decide to make it I am pleasantly surprised at how simple it actually is. Yes, it does mean you have to wait a little longer while it chills in the fridge, but usually that gives you time to prepare the tart filling or get on with something else. And, you can always make more than you need and freeze it. Then you’ve got perfect homemade pastry just sitting in the freezer waiting for the next time those tart cravings come calling. You will thank yourself later for doing this, I promise.
With rhubarb still being in season I thought I would have a go at making a rhubarb and dark chocolate tart that I had seen in an old issue of Donna Hay that was lying around the house. As always when I see something in a magazine, I tweaked and played around with the recipe slightly and I think it turned out pretty well. The base is just the right combination of slightly bittery chocolate and sweet. I like to use cacao as opposed to baking cocoa, as I think it gives the recipe a more robust chocolatey flavour as the cacao beans have not been processed unlike cocoa. The rhubarb adds a nice tang, while the rosewater and sugar helps ensure it isn’t too tart and the chocolate ganache brings the richness that helps marry everything together. This dessert is perfect if you are having a dinner party as you can prepare everything the day before and have it ready in the fridge for when your guests arrive, plus it looks so pretty that everyone will be impressed!
Rhubarb, Rose and Dark Chocolate Tart
- ¼ cup cacao + plus extra, for dusting
- 1¼ cups self-raising flour
- 125g chilled butter, cubed
- ½ cup icing sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons iced water
- 2 teaspoons dried rose petals
- 400g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 10cm lengths
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon rosewater
dark chocolate ganache
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup thickened cream
Place the cocoa, flour, butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. While the motor is running, add the egg yolks and process to combine. Add the iced water and process until the dough comes together. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Roll pastry out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3mm-thick. Line a 24cm-round loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry, trim the edges and prick the base with a fork.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper, fill with baking weights, or uncooked rice if you don’t have baking weights, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10–15 minutes or until the pastry is light golden. Allow to cool in the tin.
To make the baked rhubarb, place the rhubarb, sugar and rosewater in a bowl and mix to combine. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender and just starting to fall apart. Set aside to cool.
To make the dark chocolate ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Using a wooden spoon, mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Place the rhubarb in the base of the pastry case and pour over the ganache. Refrigerate for 2–3 hours or until set. Dust with extra cacao and dried rose petals to serve.