Heston’s Spiced Popping Candy Chocolate Tart
”Add some bling to your Christmas! This tart is indulgent in every way from the hazelnut shortbread base and the orange chocolate ganache to the spiced popping candy topping and the decadent gold leaf. Any leftover spiced popping candy can be kept in an airtight container and eaten by itself or sprinkled on top of ice cream.” – Heston
For the base
125g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar
70g chopped roasted hazelnuts
160g plain flour
35g beaten egg (approximately half an egg)
¼ tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
For the chocolate ganache
225g whipping cream
pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
40g milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
zest of 2 oranges
For the spiced chocolate popping candy
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
100g dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
25g grapeseed oil
50g popping candy
To decorate the tart
reserved spiced chocolate popping candy
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp Rainbow Dust Gold Lustre
1 sheet edible gold leaf
Place the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment or use an electric whisk. Cream the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes until light and creamy. Add the chopped hazelnuts and mix for a minute.
Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add the flour. Mix for a couple of minutes or until fully incorporated then add the egg, salt and orange zest and continue mixing until it forms a very soft dough.
Place the dough on a piece of clingfilm and gently mould it into a flat square. Wrap the square in the clingfilm and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour to rest.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it is approximately 0.5cm thick. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Place the chilled dough on a baking tray, remove the top layer of paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately cut a disc out of the dough using the inverted cake ring as a large pastry cutter. Leave the metal ring in place and allow to cool completely.
For the chocolate ganache, add the cream and salt to a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost reaches boiling point. Melt the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the orange zest and cream. Mix thoroughly until fully incorporated and stand for 10 minutes then pass through a sieve and leave to cool to room temperature.
Once the tart base is cool, using a pastry brush, spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will ensure that the ganache won’t seep through. After 5 minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
In the meantime, for the spiced popping candy, measure out the ground spices into a bowl and mix them all together thoroughly. Put the chocolate and oil in a bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using a spatula, mix the chocolate until it has fully melted and is well combined with the oil. Take the chocolate off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, add the popping candy and mix well. Pour the mixture through a sieve in order to remove the excess chocolate and then spoon the popping candy on to a parchment-lined tray and spread with a spoon. Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Break the set popping candy into small pieces and add the spice mix. Toss them together in the bowl. Keep in an airtight container until needed.
To decorate the tart, hold a sharp knife under a hot tap and then run it around the inside of the ring to demould the tart. Carefully remove the ring and place the tart on a serving dish. Sprinkle the spiced popping candy generously over the surface of the tart. Place the cocoa powder and gold lustre in a sieve and dust over the tart. Add the gold leaf for a really glitzy finish.
NOTE: Be sure to store your popping candy in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb any moisture and start popping too early. Any leftover base can be drizzled with sieved melted chocolate from the decoration to make indulgent but perhaps irregular-shaped biscuits!