As a child, I remember the excitement and anticipation of when friends were coming around for dinner. The starter and main course were completely irrelevant, however the dessert planning had my undivided attention. The excitement was even greater when the Green and Black’s cookbook made an appearance and ingredients began to be written down on a notepad. This only meant one thing – the chocolate crusted lemon tart was going to be created.

The chocolate crusted lemon tart is zingy, sweet and most important, it’s chocolaty. The filling tastes purely of lemon and the thin, crunchy pastry is rich with a little sweetness, but not too much as the filling is where the sweetness lies.

The tart itself is relatively easy to make, however, it has the illusion of being time consuming due to its deliciousness and beauty. When presented to the table, dusted with a little icing sugar and shavings of chocolate, the vibrant lemon stands out against the dark pastry.

You’ll be forgiven for devouring this tart in one sitting.

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The Recipe (From Green & Black’s Chocolate Recipes)

Pastry:
175g plain flour
25g cocoa
A pinch of salt
25g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. cold water

Filling:
A few squares of dark chocolate
3 lemons
150g caster sugar
4 eggs
150ml double cream
Icing sugar and a cube of dark chocolate to top the tart with

– In a bowl, place the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar.
– Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.
– Add the egg yolk and water and mix together with a knife.
– Form into a ball and warp in greaseproof paper. Chill in the fridge for an hour.
– After an hour, sprinkle a little flour on the work surface and roll out the pastry until it fits into the tin, it will be quite thin.
– Place into the tin and leave the pastry overhanging on the edges.
– Chill in the fridge for a further two hours.
– Meanwhile, make the filling. In a bowl, whisk together the juice and zest of the lemons, the sugar, eggs and cream. Cover and chill in the fridge.
– Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper, and bake for a further 5 minutes.
– Grate a few squares of chocolate on top of the pastry and leave to cool.
– Reduce the oven to 170 degrees celsius.
– Pour the filling into the cooled pastry case. Place in the oven for 30 minutes until just set.
– Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar and some grated dark chocolate.
– Slice up and enjoy!