The fabulously heady scent of garden roses cannot help but seduce the senses. With a deep velvety sweetness they are a natural partner to chocolate, and they just happen to be EVERYWHERE right now. I wanted to create something grown up (and a long way from Fry's Turkish Delight) which could only mean pulling out the heavy hitters, yes, I'm talking 70% cocoa solid chocolate, the kind those people at Green and Blacks make in the truck load (and send me in small boxes as gifts for appreciating their already deserving product). And guess what? I got my hands on some and my whisk and I were up, up and away.
Ganache created, I couldn't pour the indulgent goo into just any tart case. Short crust pastry? Pah! No, no, no... this kind of depth of flavour insisted upon something a little more, well, deep. So, I took a bag full of macadamia nuts and ground them to a paste and then added as little else as I could to make an almost pure nut pastry. The result was perfect and I can see myself recreating these tart cases and filling them with honeyed custard and fresh figs or dulce de leche and sliced bananas, perhaps more often than I should.
The tarts would taste heavenly with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream on the side (recipe to follow in a post soon) but there is something decidedly quirky about the addition of rose ice cream. What could otherwise be 'just another indulgent chocolate tart' is elevated to new heights and given a stamp of quirky, in a good way, and somehow a quintessentially British way. I made three of these mid sized tarts and served them as a dinner party pudding for couples to share... they went down rather well and the left over ice cream is still being enjoyed with a drizzle of melted chocolate.
Recipe: Bittersweet chocolate tart with a macadamia nut pastry and rose ice cream
Rose ice cream:
220ml full fat milk
500ml double cream
100g caster sugar
2 tsp rose water
5 drops red food colouring
Macadamia nut pastry:
300g macadamia nuts
75g coconut flour
25g butter, melted
50g caster sugar
2 tsp water
Bittersweet chocolate filling:
200g 70% cocoa solid chocolate
150ml double cream
75g caster sugar
100g macadamia nuts for decoration
To make the ice cream place the milk, cream, sugar and rose water in a bowl. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge. Once chilled, pour into an ice cream machine and set to 60 minutes. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 6 hours. If not using an ice cream machine, pour the cream into a container and place in your freezer. Stir it thoroughly every 20 minutes for 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 170c/325f/gas 3. Put the macadamia nuts into a food processor and pulse until just a paste, and only slightly wet. Transfer to a bowl and pour in the coconut flour, sugar and pour over the melted butter. If it feels to dry, add a little water. Mix it well, until you can bring it together in your hands. Take 3 x 12.5cm loose bottomed, fluted tart tins and press the mixture into the base and up the sides. Prick the bases all over with a fork and then place in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once lightly browned, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins and set aside until ready to fill. This step can be made a day ahead if kept in an airtight container.
Put the dark chocolate, butter, cream and sugar in a Bain Marie. Melt gently and then divide between the tart cases. Place in your fridge to set for a few hours before serving.
To serve the tarts, chop the macadamia nuts and add them to the centre of each tart. Serve withe rose ice cream on the side and a few (washed) rose petals for decoration.