This evening, my wife fed me part of a chocolate tart she had baked. Last night we tested out a smaller version in a heart-shaped Le Creuset ramekin I gave her on Valentines’ Day a few years ago. That time, the tart was so good that we were literally captivated by it, unable to stop digging at the delicious crust or the filling, even as our daughter yelled and clamoured at us. This time round, we did at least make sure La Serpienta Negra was fully sated from her dinner before we began on our dessert.
The crust of the tart is a mixture of chocolate and crushed digestive biscuit. Once the tart has set, this mixture is like concrete, almost impossible to detach from the surface of the pie dish, so rather than eating the tart being a delicate and elegant affair, it becomes an all-elbows-out, grunting and flexing effort to get the delicious crust onto a fork. The filling is much easier to get at. My wife melted down a vast amount of Ghirardelli chocolate and mixed it with spices and chilli, and even a bit of the staggeringly horrible chilli chocolate we bought from the Mustafa Centre more than a month ago, but couldn’t bear the taste of. Blended in with more mild spiciness, that chocolate suddenly tastes acceptable, and the whole is a wonderful, sticky, soft sweet goo, livened up by the heat of the chilli so that you still feel like a mature person, not just a chocolate quaffing child in a fully grown body.
It’s good that we tested it out in the ramekin first, I think, if only because if we’d had the whole plate of chocolate to eat yesterday, we probably would have ignored La Serpienta Negra until she demanded legal emancipation from her incompetent, chocolate obsessed parents. The smaller ramekin placed a limit on how long we could be distracted from essential parental duties. Second night on the trot, we were then more aware of the power of the chocolate tart’s siren call, and managed to exercise enough self-restraint to eat a few degrees of the tart and then put it back in the fridge and do things like bathe our daughter and put her to bed.
I hope that my wife has a chance to write up this recipe for posterity soon. In the meantime, you can survey the insides of the fridge of new parents. In the background there is a bottle of expressed breastmilk, and a half-empty packet of rice cakes. Apart from that there’s a lot of chocolate; not just the tart which is visible here, but bars, drops, chunks, possibly even a box of truffles loitering at the back somewhere. Easter approaches and that means there’ll be chocolate eggs in there too, I hope.
Which reminds me. Never teach your grandmother to suck chocolate eggs, you’ll make a frightful mess.