This Italian chocolate tart recipe is for the chocoholics amongst you :) Made in the Tuscany restaurant of Antica Locanda di Sesto in Lucca, it is heaven on a plate!
This isn't a difficult recipe, especially if you are used to making fresh custard. Just be careful not to overwork the pastry and you will have an Italian restaurant dessert set to impress, which will be devoured with speed and cries for more!
The Italian word for chocolate is "cioccolato".
For the the pastry:
500g of plain flour
250g unsalted butter
200g of icing sugar
4 egg yolks
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
pinch of salt
For the chocolate filling:
500ml of milk
2 tablespoons of plain flour
100g of dark chocolate
5 egg yolks
30g pine nuts
Sieve the flour. Roughly chop the butter straight from the fridge. Blend both together with a pinch of salt in a food blender/mixer until the dough is sandy and floury looking.
Sieve the icing sugar. Place the pastry dough onto a work surface or in a bowl - whichever you prefer - and add the sieved sugar.
Create a well in the centre of the dough and add into it the lemon zest and the egg yolks.
With a fork, start to mix everything together until the egg has been absorbed by the flour, and then continue by hand kneading the mixture very briefly, for just long enough to bring everything together into a ball. Be careful not to overwork the pastry and allow it to get hot with the heat of your hands: it needs to remain crumbly in texture.
Flatten the pastry ball a little and wrap in cling film. Place in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the cling film and with a rolling pin, tap the dough to soften it without warming it. Roll it out to the size of your flan baking case.
Preheat your oven to 180º C.
Roughly chop the chocolate.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the sugar. Whisk the mixture until it becomes a frothy cream consistency and nearly white in colour.
Add the flour and slowly the milk, stirring constantly.
Transfer the mixture to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook the cream over a low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Be careful to stir the mixture sufficiently so that it does not stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
When the cream comes to the boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the chocolate.
TIP: If you don't have any chocolate at home, you can substitute 100g of unsweetened cocoa powder: the result will still be delicious.
Use the whisk once again to incorporate the chocolate until it is completely melted.
At this point, line your flan case with the pastry. Pour in the chocolate custard and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Aurelio's Italian family restaurant, L'Antica Locanda di Sesto, is located on the bank of the river Serchio, near the stunning and wonderful Tuscany city of Lucca.
Address: L'Antica Locanda di Sesto, Via Ludovica 1660, Lucca, Italia.
The restaurant telephone number is +39 0583 578181.
They are open from Monday to Friday, and on Sunday, for lunch from 12:30 to 14:30 and for dinner from 19:30 to 22:00. (Closed on Saturday.)
If you are visiting Lucca, or nearby Pisa, why not visit and taste the dessert for yourself as well as their other traditional Tuscan dishes, many of the ingredients for which are sourced from their own farm.
They offer a shuttle service from Lucca if you don't have your own transport. Let them know when booking.
Their website is www.anticalocandadisesto.it
Their Facebook page is full of wonderful photographs of Tuscan food to get you dreaming before you get here :)
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