Choosing a dessert to serve to a group can be a difficult thing, especially for a group of family and friends with wildly divergent tastes. Some people love them, others claim not to but will still devour them, while others, self included, prefer cheese or something savoury. But there are so many options, from extravagant to simple, piping hot or frozen solid, light to rich and everything in between, so what constitutes a great pudding?
The growth of dessert bars and restaurants employing “molecular” techniques seems to have made desserts increasingly complex, deconstructed into multiple elements to keep up with food fashion and trends. Of course the best of these “new desserts” in the hands of master pastry chefs can be sublime or ethereal, but all too often they are simply copy cat versions of someone else’s creations, poorly executed and clumsy at best.
Even at the highest levels though, these “new creations” never seem to provoke the response one gets from home spun or comfort desserts. Maybe it’s the familiarity factor, or just plain old, uncomplicated deliciousness with no need for intellectualization, but with old school “puddings or sweets” people will often ask for extra helpings, in a way that they never will for a deconstructed lemon cheese cake, you know the type of thing:
“Cream cheese foam, Buttered almond granola gravel, Heirloom citrus gel and Popping candy dust”.
Keeping this and simplicity in mind I decided that for our family get together, I should serve a safe old favourite, maybe something as simple as a “rich chocolate tart”. But because our “adult” guest of honour, is an ice-cream addict (especially with Milo if he gets the chance) we decided a twist was in order, and creating a malty “Milo” tart seemed to be a good idea .
With a little trial and error we arrived at the following recipe, its hardly kids stuff, boasting grown up, comfort flavours and it is still definitely rich, but the filling is lighter featuring a Milo enriched pastry cream rather than a heavy chocolate ganache and is even slightly savoury thanks to a little salt in the mix. Even though it may look complicated it really is quite easy and worth the effort, what’s more, it went down a treat with some old rich Barossa Muscat and home made vanilla ice cream of course!
20g cocoa powder
½ egg- beaten
- Sift flour sugar and cocoa together, rub in butter to a fine crumb and add egg.
- Using fingertips pull dough together, do not knead, allow to rest for 20 minutes
- Roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap and transfer into a 25cm flan ring.
- Press firmly into tin, trim edges, prick base all over and place in fridge for 20 minutes
- Bake at 170c for 7-10 minutes or until crisp. Allow to cool before use (can be made ahead)
100g malt extract
6 egg yolks
50g dark chocolate – 70% cocoa
1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
20ml Amontillado sherry
50g caster sugar
Extra Milo for serving
- Warm milk with milo and malt extract until all is dissolved /incorporated
- Cream yolks and cornflour together in a mixing bowl
- Whisk in warm milo and milk mixture until smooth and strain into a saucepan.
- Bring gently to a simmer stirring constantly with a spatula to ensure nothing sticks to the base
- As soon as mixture boils, remove from the heat and mix in the chocolate, salt and sherry
- Beat well until smooth and glossy and allow to cool thoroughly
- When cool, whisk cream and sugar until thick and fold evenly through the chocolate custard
- Fill into pre baked tart shell and allow to set for at least 2 hours
- Dredge top with extra Milo before serving in wedges with vanilla ice cream