Chocolate & Speculoos Tart //
Speculoos. It’s just THE thing of the moment, isn’t it? Also known as cookie butter, this cinnamon infused spread seems to be on (and in) everyones’ lips. Where did it come from? The Netherlands, by the looks of it. What is it? A lightly spiced, cinnamon infused spread, a bit like peanut butter but made from blitzed up biscuits.
A friend bought me a jar a while back ‘to use in my baking’, and I’d not found anything to do with it until I was suddenly struck with inspiration trying to think up something nice to make Neil for a special dinner.
It looks very effective, it was delicious and most importantly – it’s easy! Pastry is not as difficult as people assume, and the filling is just ganache and melted speculoos – simple! Delicious! Just be aware pastry always needs chilling for a couple of hours prior to use, so make this in the morning or night before.
Ingredients For The Pastry:
100g cold butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste/1 vanilla pod
. Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until pale. Add your vanilla.
. Whilst the mixer is running, slowly add the eggs, mixing until incorporated.
. Gently mix in the flour by hand, make sure not to over-work the dough or it will be tough and unappetizing.
. Bring the mix together with your hands into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
. Pre-heat your oven to 160c.
. Sprinkle some flour onto your table and roll it out into a rough circle the size of your tart case. Once flat, roll it around your rolling pin and unfurl it over the case. Poke it into the corners (gently!) and leave a lip over the edge, as your pastry will shrink when cooked.
. Line the inside with baking paper and pour in some baking beans, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the beans, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is not doughy and is lightly baked in colour.
. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before filling.
Ingredients For The Filling:
75ml whipping cream
50g milk chocolate, chopped/broken into small pieces
80g dark chocolate, chopped/broken into small pieces
200g speculoos spread, plus extra to decorate
. Put your speculoos spread in a pan on a gentle heat and slowly allow to melt. Keep an eye that it doesn’t burn. When its melted, pour into your cooled tart case and spread to the edges. Allow to cool.
. To make the ganache, boil the butter and cream together in a small pan over a low heat.
. Once it’s boiling, take off the heat and til in the chocolate, stirring continuously until all the pieces are melted and you’ve got a yummy smooth ganache!
. Pour over the cooled speculoos, and spread to the edges.
. To decorate, melt a bit more speculoos (maybe about 100g). To decorate mine, I drizzled it in a (very rough looking) swirl from the middle outwards and then, using a knife tip, I ran the knife from left to right, then top to bottom, to create the pattern.
. But you can do whatever inspires you! Or don’t decorate at all and leave the speculoos as a secret treat inside.