Chocolate Truffle Tart with Hot Chocolate

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Serve this in small portions: it is enough for eight people and is just on the right side of richness in a tiny slice. On its own it is gorgeous with a pile of fresh fruit and another pile of crème fraiche. If you prefer an icing to the little espresso cups of wintery hot chocolate, then melt 150 ml (5 fl oz) of cream with 150 g (5 oz) of chocolate and pour over the cooled cake.

Ingredients

  • 100 g ( oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100 g ( oz) semi-sweet dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 g (¾ oz) cake flour or plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40 g ( oz) finely ground hazelnuts
  • hot chocolate
  • 375 ml ( cups) pouring (single) cream
  • 100 g ( oz) semi-sweet dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Butter and flour a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and scrape into a mixing bowl. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and whisk in well with an electric mixer. Sift in the flour and whisk until well combined, then fold in the hazelnuts.

Whip the egg whites until very fluffy and then fold through the chocolate mixture a spoonful at a time. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the cake feels firm and is a little cracked on the top. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes or so before you remove it from the tin.

To make the hot chocolate, put the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chocolate, stirring until it is thick and smooth and the chocolate has completely melted. Pour into espresso cups and serve with little wedges of cake.