Monday, 20 March 2017

Chocolate Tart

gluten- and lactose-free

I have a favourite recipe for a baked filling for a chocolate tart, which is naturally gluten-free, but unfortunately it didn't work well when I tried to make it lactose-free too. Using a vegetable fat instead of butter and lactose-free cream instead of creme fraiche lead to the filling separating during baking to give a thin layer of egg custard on the base with a thicker chocolate layer on top. It was still edible and quite tasty but not really good enough to serve to guests.

Searching through my file of recipes cut from magazines, I eventually found a recipe for a filling for a chocolate tart which looked suitable. It contained a much smaller amount of butter than the previously tried recipe and cream rather than creme fraiche, so I hoped it would adapt better to lactose-free alternatives.

Ingredients
23cm (9") pre-baked shortcrust pastry case (gluten and dairy-free, if necessary)
50g hard vegetable fat (eg Stork)
250g 70% dark chocolate, dairy-free
3 large eggs, separated
50g caster sugar
6 tablespoons lactose-free double cream
1 tablespoon finely ground fresh coffee

Method
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Cool slightly.
Whisk egg whites to very soft peak stage.
Whisk yolks and sugar in a large bowl, until just combined and slightly frothy. Stir in the coffee and cream.
Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture, and fold in gently, along with the egg whites.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the pastry case, and level using a hot, wet palette knife to give a smooth surface.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are firm and the centre is just set.
Cool to room temperature before serving.

This recipe worked perfectly. The chocolate filling was dense and fudgy, but not too sweet. Although I don't need either gluten-, dairy- or lactose-free baking for family cooking it is nice to have 'free-from' alternatives when needed for guests. Now that I'm happy with the gluten-and dairy-free pastry recipe I use, a chocolate tart is a useful addition to my repertoire.


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