I love sweet potato and obviously I love chocolate (surely anyone who says that they don’t is lying) so it is quite surprising that I have never thought to combine the two before. Maybe it’s because they are both individually as close to perfection as it is possible to be, so much so that it seems unnecessary to fiddle with either of them. But on Sunday something came over me and fiddle with perfection I did and now I am left cursing all the years I wasted, completely unaware of such a winning combination.
The story was this; come mid day on Sunday I had not yet made a dessert to go with our roast and something had to be done about it quickly. I decided to throw together a tart using whatever I had to hand. You guessed it: sweet potatoes and chocolate. Now I know that sweet potatoes are just right for making desserts with; their sweetness means you can cut back on the sugar and their texture, fluffy yet quite dense (which makes them such gorgeous jacket potatoes) provides just the right amount of silkiness in tarts like this, or soufflés, and chocolate actually does go with a surprising amount of food (or is that just me?) so I thought why not? Giving me the chance to comfort/ kid myself that, although we’re talking dessert, we are still benefitting from a nice little anti-oxidant boost here. And a bit extra fibre. I know, probably wishful thinking, but surely its better to eat a chocolate tart with sweet potato in than one without? Well, at least I can confirm now that taste- wise it definitely is. Next time, though, I think I might add a little red chilli (I’m quite annoyed I didn’t think of it on Sunday) for an added depth. So if you too like to mess with perfection give that a go and let me know how you get on.
Sweet Potato and Chocolate Tart Recipe
225 g of plain flour, with 2 tbsps removed
2 tbsps Cocoa
55 g icing sugar
120 g butter
2 sweet potatoes (roasted for around an hour in the oven and the flesh removed and mashed or puréed)
120 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
120 g dark chocolate
Icing sugar and pomegranate seeds to serve (optional)
Start by making your pastry. Grease and line a 25 cm fluted, loose bottomed flan tin. Then mix together the flour, cocoa and icing sugar them rub in the butter (or use a food processor). When your mixture looks like breadcrumbs add a couple of tablespoons of cold water until the mixture comes together into a cohesive ball. Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C.
At this point you should refrigerate your dough for around half an hour, but I didn’t this week and it turned out just fine, so if you are pushed for time feel free to crack on. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface and press it gently into the tin.
Prick the base all over with a fork, then line with baking paper and fill it with baking beans. Bake blind for around 10 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans, glaze with a little beaten egg and return to the oven for another five minutes.
Once your base is cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool and get started on the filling, but leave the oven on.
Melt the chocolate (either in over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave) and allow it to cool slightly.
Put the sweet potato mash in a bowl with the cream, honey and vanilla extract and beat until they are well combined, then beat in the eggs.
Next stir through the melted chocolate, and pour the batter into the prepared pastry case.
Bake in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until the centre is still wobbling ever so gently then cool on a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar and feel free to serve as you will (with a cup of tea would be nice) but you can’t go wrong with a few pomegranate seeds sprinkled across the centre and with a swirl of cream.