This honey mead chocolate tart is so delicious and that’s hardly surprising given the amazing ingredients it’s made from. Caprera is an online purveyor of some of the best artisanal produce around, simply place an order for products from multiple small-batch producers and Caprera will collate the order and despatch it to you in one convenient package.
I often struggle to find small quantities of interesting ingredients, normally having to resort to buying in bulk, or sometimes not at all. The array of unique products on offer at Caprera is pretty remarkable and the fact they are all created by small businesses setting up on their own, makes it even more appealing. I was lucky enough to be sent some products of my choice by Caprera to create this tart.
To make the pastry for this tart I used Roasted Caramelised Almonds from Tudor’s Luxury Pralines, they were so moreish I had to hide them from my boyfriend who was eating them quicker than I could bake with them! I ground these down and used them to make a delicate nutty pastry.
To fill the tart, I saw something on Caprera that I knew I just had to incorporate into my baking somehow. It was this Toffee Apple Curd by Scarlett & Mustard, such a wonderful sounding ingredient just had to be purchased. The curd is just what you would expect, sweet, tart and very thick and satisfying. It works perfectly in this tart and would be great for baking into apple pies and crumbles or just to enjoy on bread or toast. They have a whole range of curds, oils and dressings and some of the flavour combinations are so inventive.
The final product I used to make this tart, is an ingredient that has interested me for a while. It’s something I’d always wanted to try, but hadn’t seen it available anywhere for purchase. That ingredient is Honey Mead, a process of mixing citrus blossom honey with water and yeast and letting it ferment. The end product is mead, this is a delicious drink, however if you don’t like honey, then it’s definitely not one for you as the flavour is very strong. The mead I used is created by Gosnells in their London Meadery in Peckham. The process takes around 10 days for the fermentation, the mead is then bottled by hand, pasteurised and labelled on site.
I used the mead to create a chocolate ganache layer for the tart, I used a mixture of 71% dark chocolate from Mast Brothers that is slightly smokey and some 66% dark chocolate from Amedei. The recipe for the ganache was based on a champagne ganache in William Curley’s Couture Chocolate book, I just swapped the alcohol and kept the same ratio to chocolate. These strong chocolates against the sweetness of the toffee apple curd and the caramelised almond pastry is the perfect combination. The honey mead gave the ganache a very silky texture, which is very soft set in the finished tart.
- ***Hazelnut Pastry***
- 190g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 80g Icing Sugar
- 65g Eggs
- 250g Plain Flour
- 85g Tudor's Caramelised Almonds, ground
- 1g Salt
- ***Honey Mead Chocolate Ganache***
- 145ml Whipping Cream
- 100g Dark Chocolate (71% Mast Brothers)
- 60g Dark Chocolate (66% Amedei Toscana)
- 25g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 60ml Gosnells Honey Mead
- ***To assemble***
- Scarlett & Mustard Toffee Apple Curd
- Gold Leaf
- To make the pastry, put the butter in a mixing bowl with the icing sugar and cream together until soft and smooth.
- Add the eggs and mix to combine thoroughly, add in the flour, ground nuts and salt and stir until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.
- Turn the dough out on to a worktop, shape it into a block, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 2 hours.
- When the dough has rested, prepare a 20cm pastry ring and place it on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat, or use a 20cm flan tin or cake tin. If the dough is still a bit cold, knead it on the work surface to make rolling out easier. Roll the pastry out to around 3mm thick and use it to line the pastry ring or tin.
- Press the pastry into the sides of the ring and then use a rolling pin to remove the excess by rolling it over the edge of the tin. Press the pastry into the sides again and create a bit of a lip to help with shrinking.
- Prick the base with a fork a few times and then place in the fridge for 20 mins to cool again.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan, when the pastry has chilled enough, remove it from the fridge and line the tart case with baking parchment and baking beans or rice.
- Bake for 25 mins, then remove the paper and baking beans and bake for a further 10 mins until golden.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and leave it to cool.
- Make the ganache by breaking the chocolate into small pieces and adding them to a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, pour the cream onto the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.
- Add the butter and stir until melted and combined, stir in the honey mead and put the ganache to one side.
- Take the jar of toffee apple curd and place a layer of it in the bottom of the cooled pastry case, I used about half a jar, but add more or less based on personal preference.
- Then take the ganache and pour it in the tart case, covering the toffee apple curd and filling the case to the top of the pastry. Leave the tart to set somewhere cool- do not place it in the fridge.
- Decorate the tart however you like, or leave it plain, it's entirely up to you.
I decorated this tart with violas from my garden, I can’t believe they’re still there in December, we’re having such a mild winter. I also used some leftover tempered chocolate circles from my Raspberry & Rose Dessert and a bit of gold leaf to make it feel a little more indulgent.
Caprera is a food lover’s paradise and sells some great hampers that would be perfect for Christmas, or perhaps you could use it to get some stocking fillers. Whoever is on the receiving end wont be disappointed.
Thanks for reading.
*This post was sponsored by Caprera