Well, it had to be a chocolate recipe this week. We might not as a community celebrate the martyrdom of an obscure saint, but I do not think too many of us are going to refuse a service station red rose, heart card or chocolates. Unless it's that box of After Eight that has reputedly been in constant circulation since the mid-'60s.
Chocolate does the business whichever way you cut the cake. Chocolate is always there for you: it cheers when you are feeling down or feeling good or somewhere in between. It can be relied on to soothe the savage breast, especially when you have just drunk-texted your exes.
This is also the brief season for Seville oranges. I'm sure you all make your own marmalade, so keep one aside to use in this rich mousse-type tart. The choc-orange combo is one we all know and love, but the Seville accent gives extra nip and tuck.
● 175g plain flour
● 25g cocoa
● Pinch of salt
● 40g icing sugar
● 125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
● Grated zest of 1 Seville orange
● 1 large egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
● 150g dark chocolate
● 225ml double cream
● 4 large egg yolks
● 60g caster sugar
● Juice of 1 Seville orange
● Icing sugar or candied orange peel/slices (to decorate)
● Sift the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar. Rub in or process the butter and zest until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
● Add the yolk to make the dough. Gather into a ball, wrap in Clingfilm and chill for an hour.
● Roll out and place in a 20cm tart tin. The pastry is quite soft, so you may need to gently press it out to fit the tin. Prick the base with a fork and chill for two hours.
● Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5
● Line the case with foil and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
● Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until melted. Take off the heat and stir the cream in until well blended.
● Beat the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and add to the chocolate. Replace over the pan of water and stir until it thickens.
● Add the juice and stir for a few minutes more until it thickens further but does not boil. Pour into the pastry case and chill until set.
● Decorate as wished.