Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Friday, 7 June 2013

Untried but trusted and in praise of the Barefoot Contessa: Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart

So there I was, trying to be kind and suggesting to Phill that when we were invited around to his sister's house for something to eat that I make a pud. And it was more an offer than my actually having something in mind that I wanted to make necessarily. So, when I actually got round to thinking about it I actually started to wonder about what I really was going to make. It had to be something the kids would eat, I had to transport it 40 miles and I wanted to make it in advance, with stuff that I had in the cupboard. And it had to look the part. I love setting myself easy tasks such as this.
But, when I am in a spot cooking wise, there is a kind of mantra that I like to repeat to myself to solve my problems. Just what would Ina do? The fact is, whilst I can trace my interest in cooking back to the dim and distant, it was only watching Ina Garten on the UK Food Channel that really got me hooked. Firstly I loved her house and whilst one shouldn't covet another person's goods I could really see myself breezing about in a kitchen like hers. She also conjured up good stuff to eat that looked so easy and tasty and if she didn't get round to doing that she assembled it 'cos when it all comes down to it, it isn't worth the faff. And, she makes cocktails by the pitcher...
So, I consulted Ina, and I decided to use 'How Easy is That?' which I have to confess is one of her cookbooks I haven't used as often as say, 'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook' which is actually very nearly destroyed, and 'Barefoot in Paris' because of my 'francais' fixation. One thing I can always say about Ina Garten recipes is that they work out. I may have been extraordinarily lucky but everything I have chosen to cook from any of her books has been spot on, which can't be said for some other cookbooks which I won't mention here. You do get the feeling that these recipes have been tested to within an inch of their lives, which is why my 'What would Ina do?' thought dropped into my consciousness.
In the end I chose 'Chocolate Pudding Cream Tart', a rich, chocolatey custard encased (on this occasion) in digestive biscuits and topped with chantilly cream. the custard and biscuit base sat quite happily overnight in the fridge covered in cling film ready for adorning with thick chantilly cream just before transporting, via the 'coolbox on its side with several tea towels and freezer packs stuffed either side to stop it moving' method.
The photos you see below were before the tart went in the coolbox. I want to reassure you all that at the other end, the tart came out of its tin with little effort. I could have taken my camera I suppose but people already find it amusing that I have the urge to photograph food I eat in my own home. To turn up at someone else's house and start snapping was probably a bit too weird.
Chocolate Pudding Cream tart, adapted from 'Barefoot Contessa - How Easy Is that?' by Ina Garten
Serves 8 generously.
Ingredients: (Note: US recipe, so measurements in cups)
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used 16 digestive biscuits, blitzed)¹⁄³ cup sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
4 cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
5 extra-large egg yolks
¹⁄³ cup cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
7 ounces good bittersweet chocolate (I used Menier)2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon Kahlúa liqueur (I used Tia Maria, 'cos I am that kinda girl...)1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
Sweetened whipped cream (see note)
Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the digestive biscuits, sugar, and butter in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Lightly press the mixture into an 11-inch metal tart pan with removable sides. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until almost simmering.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, egg yolks, cornflour, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the milk into the bowl. (I pour the hot milk into a large measuring cup first to reduce spills.)
Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is very thick. (It did take 10 minutes. Be patient. it will happen!)
Off the heat, add the chocolate, butter, Tia Maria, and coffee. Beat with a whisk until smooth and pour into the cooled crust. Place plastic wrap directly on the chocolate filling and chill the tart for 6 hours, until cold.
Decorate with whipped cream and shaved chocolate and serve cold.
Note: To make sweetened whipped cream, place 1 cup double cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it forms firm peaks.


  1. Haha I just got back from UK and ppl think I'm weird for photographing my food. But it's such a normal thing to do here in Asia.

  2. WOW! This chocolatey tart is so YUMMY! So tempting & perfectly done! LOVE it & wish I can have a slice now! ;)


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