I'm on a fast day, but - for some reason - found myself on the Hotel Chocolat website.

There are many, many things to drool over. Here is just one: a recipe for  

  • Chocolate Pastry:
  • 270g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 30g Cocoa Powder, sifted
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 egg, plus 1 extra, beaten, to glaze
  • 2 tbsp milk (if needed)
  • Filling:
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g ground almonds
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50g plain flour, sifted
  • Half a vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 2 tbsp golden rum
  • 130g Milk Chocolate Drops
  • 5 tbsp cherry jam
  • Flaked almonds, for sprinkling

  • To make the chocolate pastry, put the flour, cocoa powder, butter, sugar and egg into a food processor and pulse until combined. If necessary, add a little milk to help bring the mixture together.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and roll out until large enough to line a 26cm tart tin or you could make individual tarts. Press the pastry into the tin, trim the top, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
  • Line the pastry with greaseproof paper weighed down with baking beans or rice. Bake for 15-20 minutes until almost cooked at the sides.
  • Remove the paper and beans and brush the pastry all over with beaten egg. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  • To make the filling, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Mix in the ground almonds then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition – don’t worry if the mixture begins to split.
  • Fold in the flour and mix well. Fold in the vanilla seeds, rum and milk chocolate drops and mix until combined.
  • Spread the jam over the base of the pastry case, leaving a 2.5cm gap around the edge. Spoon the filling mixture over the jam and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden-brown. Allow to cool in the tin before turning out and serving.
 Excuse me while I just go and hide in a corner and whimper...*

I was at the Canterbury branch of Hotel Chocolat recently, buying for birthdays. I bought three different things for Cathy: Chilli truffles, Kir Royale truffles and Raspberry-and-thyme truffles. I also bought something for Mr FD's birthday, but as he reads this, I won't spoil the surprise. I'll show you tomorrow (if I have time between lessons, making samosas and onion bhajis and icing his birthday cake!)

*Actually, this is a lie. I haven't eaten anything all day (except one dried apricot) and I'm just starting to feel like I'd like something to eat. I'm not whimpering at all!


  1. Oh my goodness! That recipe looks way, way, way, way too good!

  2. It's me again.
    I talked about these chocolate tarts that I'll try soon, ...they really look delicious to me. Yum!
    Oh no, I do not know all of the French language because it is not my native language, but I can to reassure you that your French is excellent.
    I learned this language when I came into the country, there are more than 30 years now. I'm German but I also can read English, I write it a little less well, and for talking, .....I manage with simlpe words.
    Wish you a nice day ...
    Friendly greetings Rosi


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