The dessert! By this point we were pretty full. I knew this would tip us over the edge. But I also knew it was totally delicious. A real chocolate lovers treat. It’s luxurious, rich and incredibly fattening, but I simply don’t care. It’s too tasty to worry about.
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup heavy cream
250g dark chocolate (good quality)
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon cointreau
100g slivered almonds
candied orange peel (see recipe below)
1/2 cup sugar
To make the candied orange:
Peel the zest from the skin with a vegetable peeler in strips (make sure you have no white pith) cut the strips into thin matchstick strips. Place in a small pan and cover with a little water. Bring to a boil then boil for 30 seconds. Drain then put the sugar, peel and 2 tablespoons of water into the pan. Bring to a boil over a low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Keep your eye on the pan and make sure the peel doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat then with a fork fish out the peel and leave on a plate in a single layer to cool. Don’t pick them up with your fingers like I did. They are MOLTEN hot.
To make the pastry:
Beat together the sugar, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and beat in. Add 1/2 the flour and beat again then add the remaining flour and incorporate with your hands. Mould into a large flat ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 190ºC. Place the pastry between two large sheets of greaseproof paper. Roll out to a circle of 12″ and about 3-4mm thick. Peel off the top layer of paper then place a 7 to 10″ flan dish (with loose bottom) over. Invert the pastry and flan dish carefully. It doesn’t matter if the pastry breaks. Just mould it into the dish with your fingers. Leave a little hanging over the edge. Pierce with a fork all over then cook in the oven for about 14 minutes until the bottom looks bobbled. Remove and cool completely. The pastry should harden. Cut the overhanging edge with a knife to level with the top of the flan case. Eat the crusty bits – they’re lovely.
For the filling:
Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan until brown. Cool then chop roughly. Toss together with the sugar and cinnamon. Chop the candied peel and combine with the nuts. Sprinkle everything into the flan base evenly – leaving a little for sprinkling later.
Bring the cream to a boil then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and cointreau and stir until melted and smooth. Pour this into the flan. Place in the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours.
Serve with cream and the toasted nuts sprinkled over.