Having recently tasted a Paul A Young chocolate mince pie, I knew this sea-salted chocolate and pecan tart recipe couldn’t fail to be good. It is one of those stop/start recipes which is best attempted on a weekend or day off or made the night before it will be served as there are three hours of refrigerating required. Hopefully that hasn’t put you off as the resultant tart is rich, decadent and definitely worth the effort!
The recipe suggests a tart tin 24cm in diameter and 2.5cm deep but I used a slightly deeper 20cm tin which worked just as well.
For the pastry
75g golden caster sugar
250g white spelt or plain flour
20g cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
For the filling
200g madagascan dark chocolate (64% cocoa) broken into pieces
200ml whipping or double cream
200g light muscovado sugar
10g Maldon seasalt
For the crunchy praline
100g caster sugar
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
100g pecan halves
To make the pastry, add the butter, caster sugar, plain flour and cocoa to a food processor and pulse until it forms breadcrumbs. Gradually add the egg yolks until a ball of pastry forms. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
Lightly flour a surface and roll out the pastry until it is about 5cm larger than your tart tin. Carefully line the tin making sure to push the pastry into the edges before trimming round the top with a sharp knife. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to prevent the tart shell from shrinking in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180c or gas mark 4.
Blind bake the pastry by lining the tart with parchment paper and then pour in baking beans or dried pulses and then bake for 20 minutes. Life the parchment out whilst making sure to contain the beans and bake for a further 5-10 more minutes until the base is dry. Set aside to cool.
Put all the the filling ingredients into a glass mixing bowl. Place over a pan of very hot water and allow to melt together until glossy and thick. Pour into the cold baked crust and refrigerate for two hours.
For the crunchy topping, heat the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan, Stirling until you have a golden liquid caramel. Add the salt and mix well. Sprinkle in the pecans and quickly pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment and spread out with a spoon or spatula. Allow to cool then chop up and scatter over the tart.
Cut slices with a hot, wet knife.