rum’n’raisin dark chocolate tart with chocolate ice cream

Gooood morning – well the first day of autumn was yesterday, but around New Zealand most of us feel like summer has/had barely started. Thankfully we haven’t quite left warmer temperatures behind just yet, which is why I thought this was such a perfect dessert for now. It is a lusciously boozy rum and raisin (or sultana) tart. Basically the raisins are soaked in rum then popped in a homemade chocolate tart base and smothered in dark chocolate ganache then left to cool until set. Topped with a good quality dark chocolate ice cream or gelato the combination is decadent and fabulous – and there is something about the rum (hints of the Caribbean?) that suits so well with the still balmy evenings…I made it for my loverly friends at Dish magazine and of course for you 🙂

And – so in other news – I am at day 2 of a 40 day yoga challenge and already feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus. I feel that perhaps yesterday’s choice of class (power vinyasa) may not have been the wisest one to start with, but it was bloody good – despite the (I’m sure very lovely) man next to me breathing like a moderately constipated Darth Vader with asthma. Pranayama breathing is one thing, but this…any hoo, good on him for getting into it and basically I need to get my head sorted to zone out more! Other than that I have been on an outing to the Auckland urban polo (which was a hoot), snapping pics and scribbling away for the book and dog-sitting poor wee Maggie who came back from the boarding kennels with a dislocated hip and torn ligament. Post-surgery she is crate bound for much of the day, but for such a wee thing she is both staunch and sweet (nicknamed Feral Beryl and Maggot) and bearing up well. Rich has had the most bloody awesome start to the year in Welly having settled into his flat, got a job, auditions and extra-work on a Peter Jackson production, and will be featuring in an upcoming episode of Te Radar (Saturdays at 8pm, TV One) as a Taranaki highway man from the late 1800s. Meanwhile Henry is as usual juggling work, uni studies and working on the book – poor darling, he has so much on his plate, I’m so grateful he has the gorgeous William by his side.

Well that’s it from me for the moment – I’ll have another new recipe up next week, so it’ll be interesting to see how my yoga challenge is going then – I think despite having so much work on at the moment it will provide a good anchor to everything else. Haha that’s the theory any way…we shall see!

3/4 cup raisins or sultanas
½ cup dark rum
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup dark Dutch cocoa
1/2 cup icing sugar
100g cold butter, roughly chopped
1 egg yolk
1-2 teaspoons iced water
300mls cream
300g dark 70% cocoa solid chocolate, roughly chopped

1/3 cup rum * (use reserved soaking rum and top up)

Put the raisins and rum in a sealed container and leave to soak over night. Put the flour, cocoa and the icing sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and whiz to form breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water and pulse until the mixture starts to come together in large clumps. If necessary, add the second teaspoon of water. Tip the mixture out onto a clean bench and squash together into a flat pastry disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Sift a little more cocoa and flour together onto the bench. Roll the pastry out into a 30cm circle then use a fish slice to release it from the bench before laying into a 25cm removable-base tart tin. Press the pastry into the base and sides, patching any tears as you go. Trim the top and prick the base very lightly with a fork. Refrigerate while the oven preheats to 180˚C. Cut a circle of baking paper a little bigger than the tin and line the pastry with it. Fill the tin with baking beans or rice and bake for 12 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans and cook a further 15 minutes. Put the cream in a large microwave proof jug and heat for 1 minute until it is hot but not boiling. Add the chocolate and leave to sit for 2 minutes. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth – if needed microwave for a further 30 seconds. Leave the chocolate mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Drain the soaked raisins, reserving the rum, and spread evenly over the base. Measure the reserved soaking rum, and if necessary top up to measure 1/3 cup. Add to the chocolate and whisk very gently to combine. Gently pour the chocolate filling onto the raisins. Refrigerate the tart for 4 hours, or until set, then remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving. Serve the tart cut into wedges with a generous scoop of chocolate ice cream. Serves 10-12



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