Using veggies in puddings is not a new practice and we are fully supportive of counting carrot cake as one of our five a day. This chocolate tart uses another favourite vegetable to help get our choccie fix without feeling guilty.
Not to be confused with the racquet and ball sport, squash is rich in vitamin C and is a highly versatile vegetable that works well in soups, main meals and desserts alike.
Though the most common type of squash, pumpkin, is most commonly associated with the autumn, the butternut squash variety is able to be found during the summer months, right through to the winter.
So, if you’re looking for something a bit different for after dinner, or you’re entertaining a group, then why not give this salted chocolate squash tart recipe a go?
Salted chocolate squash tart
For the pastry:
- 45g icing sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 20g cocoa powder
- 85g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for greasing
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 tbsp chilled water
For the filling:
- 100ml whole milk
- 250ml double cream
- 200g peeled squash (or pumpkin) flesh, cut into small cubes
- 50g unrefined caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 300g 70% dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
- First, make the pastry. Combine the icing sugar, plain flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
- Rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (you can do this in a food processor, if you prefer).
- Add half the whisked egg and all of the chilled water, and stir through to combine.
- Tip out the dough and bring it together with your hands, kneading lightly to achieve a smooth finish. Wrap the pastry in parchment and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry until it is about 2mm thick. Grease and flour a 25cm loose-bottomed, fluted tart tin, then lay over the pastry, tucking it into the corners and leaving an overhang.
- Line the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans.
- Blind-bake the tart case for 25 minutes, then remove the baking beans and parchment, trim the overhang, give the pastry a light brush with the remaining egg and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the base is just starting to colour. Remove and set aside.
- Make the filling. Pour the milk and cream into a pan and add the pumpkin or squash.
- Set over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.
- Purée the squash and cream mixture together in a blender until it is smooth and silky, then add the sugar, eggs and egg yolk and whizz for a few more seconds to combine.
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water.
- Allow the chocolate to melt slowly, then remove from the heat. Pour the squash purée into the melted chocolate and stir well to combine. Pour the filling into the tart case.
- Bake the tart for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Sprinkle the top with the sea-salt flakes before serving.
Recipe from: Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How To Cook With Vegetables And Other Plants by Gill Meller, photography by Andrew Montgomery, is published by Quadrille, priced £27. Available now in hardback and eBook.