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Salted Chocolate Tart

Although normally meant to be made in a 10″ round pan, we took the liberty of using a heart-shaped pan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This is a very sophisticated dessert and one that a true chocoholic will swoon over: it is not at all sweet and very rich, but divinely so (small pieces are best). Smoked sea salt flakes are called for, but regular sea salt will be just as good. Make this special pud for your special love!

Salted Chocolate Tart

For the crust:

28 Oreo cookies
2 oz. dark chocolate (70% solids or more)
3 tbs. butter soft
12 tsp. smoked sea salt flakes

For the filling:

4 oz. dark chocolate (70% or more)
3 tbs. corn starch
¼ cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
7 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. instant expresso powder or strong instant coffee powder
⅓ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¾ tsp. smoked sea salt flakes
crème fraîche, to serve

Snap the cookies in half and drop into a food processor, then do likewise with the chocolate. Pulse to a crumb, then add the butter and salt until you have a damp rubble. Press into a 10″ round, deep, loose-bottomed pan and chill for 1-2 hours.

For the filling, chop the chocolate and place in a medium saucepan. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch, then set aside. To the pan, add the cream, cocoa powder, espresso or coffee powder, sugar, vanilla, olive oil, and salt. Using a small whisk, stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and cornstarch. Return to the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture thickens. This will take 7-10 minutes. Take care not to let the cream boil. It is done when you can draw your finger across the back of the spoon and the line remains. Transfer the filling to a jug. Crunch up a small piece of parchment paper, wet with warm water, crinkle up and place over the surface of the filling to stop a film from forming. Chill for 15 minutes. The mixture will still be warm, but the right temperature to ooze into the crust without melting it.

Pour and scrape the filling into the crust and chill for several hours or overnight.

To serve, remove from the fridge for 10 minutes and remove the outer pan straightaway, but leave the base. Cut into small pieces and serve with crème fraîche.

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