There are two reasons why I’m so excited to talk about this recipe.
1. So I scoured the corners of the internet, modified a few recipes to incorporate black sesame into a beautiful, flaky pastry crust, and failed. The second time, after readjusting the proportions and carrying on headstrong, it worked. Although I had some leftover dough, I figured one can always make a few more tarts if you have molds on hand, or simply freeze for later usage.. or eat on its own. Whatever floats your boat these days. This crust took this tongue by surprise, and I’m loving it.
2. Combinations occasionally take on surprising and welcoming turns. This is one of them. Chocolate and jam. I’ve done it on toast, and there are those bars you find lying in the dusty corners of the gourmet aisles, once glinting, too pretty to touch. We are sometimes a reluctant, frugal people, I know. This tart requires neither heartache nor skill. It’s a proper seeded attempt at something less predictable than your average dark chocolate tart (albeit some sea salt variations here and there, which once again requires no effort, if you really think about_. It’s a cut in the norm. A most welcome tart. In its glorious entirety, think rich, dark and slightly bitter chocolate sitting atop the epitome of a flaky, milky sweet, butter-breathed crust.
The pictures above display my own toppings; a sudden, spontaneous headspin– macadamia butter and more jam. In this case, I used apricot, but strawberry or orange would also work fine in this recipe. Feel free to use whatever flavour you have on hand. Whipped cream and fresh fruit on top would also serve to complement the suppressed tart notes in the tart alongside the (almost) overwhelming richness of a thick chocolate ganache, and that crusty, sweet, buttery base.
Dark Chocolate Jam Tart with a Black Sesame Crust (makes 6-7 tartlets or one long 10/11-inch rectangular tart)
Ingredients for the crust:
215g (around 1 3/4 cups, but weigh for accuracy) all-purpose flour
113 (one stick or a half a cup) cold, unsalted butter
80g (slightly less than 2/3 cup) icing sugar
1 egg yolk
large pinch salt
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream or buttermilk (I used the latter just because I had it)
20g sesame powder (weighed after sifting), or 3 tbsp ground sesame seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for the filling:
1 cup good quality dark overture chocolate, bar or chips (at least 60% cocoa)
240ml (1 cup) heavy cream
2 tbsp apricot (or any flavoured) jam
Cut the butter into half-inch cubes and put on a shallow plate or dish. Place the dish into the freezer to ensure the butter is at its coldest when you use it. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, heavy cream/buttermilk, salt and vanilla extract. In another larger bowl or into a food processor, sift together the flour, icing sugar and black sesame. Take the cubed butter from the freezer and plop the lot into the large bowl containing the dry mix. Using your hands (or using the processor settings), rub the butter into the flour mix. This will take a while, but try and work the butter into the flour fast because body heat causes the butter to melt much faster. Rub the butter in until it resembles a course and fine meal. Pour in the wet cream mix and lightly work into the dry mix until a dough just comes together. Shape this into a disc, wrap with cling film and then place into the fridge for an hour, or overnight if making a day ahead.
Grease your tartlet pans or rectangular pan. Take the dough out from the fridge, unwrap and place into the pan. Press the dough, which should still be pretty malleable and of a light greyish colour, into the bottom and sides of the pan. Take your time here, you want to make sure that there is a pretty thick and even layer of dough all around and up the sides. The thick padding ensures enough support during and after baking. Trim the top using a butter knife to get a clean edge. You may have some dough leftover like me, and that’s fine. Place the tart back into the fridge to stiffen a little more for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Cover the tart with aluminium foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 22-25 minutes (I stopped at the 24-minute mark), rotating the tart halfway.
Whilst the shell is baking, make the filling. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds. Remove from the microwave, then take a large spoon and stir everything together. Taste and add more jam or chocolate if necessary. Set the bowl aside for later.
After the blind bake, remove weights and foil, then bake for another 5 minutes (I only needed to bake mine for an extra 4). Just watch that the tart doesn’t look too dark around the edges whilst baking. Keep an eye on it. After baking, remove from the oven and let cool completely. Fill the tart with the ganache, then allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting and serving. Store in the fridge, otherwise the ganache will leak everywhere. It keeps well there for a week, but I doubt it will last that long…