I think often the wondrousness of walnuts is underestimated. Can we just talk about this for a minute? I mean, first, there was the caramel walnut upside down banana cake, and now there is this walnut, chocolate and honey tart. Know what they have in common? WALNUTS. Also, plenty of sugar and butter. But even so. It’s all about the walnuts. If there was ever a contender for the banana cake, it would be this tart. No word of a lie. It’s at it’s best when left at room temperature (or slightly warmer, seeing as before it started raining it was actually quite hot this week), but if you put it in the fridge it becomes like fridge cake – like, rocky road or something, which is still equally good. And it’s just sweet and gooey (apart from when refrigerated) and just delicious and full of WALNUTS.
I will stop talking about walnuts now.
This is definitely one of my favourite things that I’ve baked this year, if not ever. Did I mention how delicious it is? I’ve been drawing it out, having small, yet somewhat frequent portions of it. To be honest the only reason I haven’t finished eating it all yet is because I spent two evenings this week at Cambridge Beer Festival where I was too busy drinking beer and eating Pieminister pies to think about this tart. Although I did have a slice for breakfast this morning to cure my (mild) hangover. Which means I can now add this tart to my list of hangover cures, which otherwise consists of strawberry milkshake. Anyway, I had some exceptionally nice beer, Adnams’ Fat Sprat and Woodforde’s Flagondry and…some others… Rachel and I marked the ones we wanted to try on the beer list, but somewhat sadly and inevitably, they never have all the ones you want to drink on. Although, Rachel did have some excellent grapefruit beer. So good.
This evening I am going to eat multitudes of sausages in an attempt from my friend Susie to prove that Lincolnshire sausages are better than any other sausage, a fact that the rest of us are contesting. And so ends an incredibly unhealthy but joyous week of eating and drinking.
Next week it is Oli’s birthday, which means what I’m making is SECRET just in case he reads this (50% chance).
Go, make this tart. You’ll thank me for it. And Nigel Slater ❤
Walnut, Chocolate and Honey Tart (adapted from Tender vol.II by Nigel Slater)
For the crust:
200g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
180g set honey
180g dark muscovado sugar
80ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g walnuts, roughly chopped (I left mine in quite big bits, but cut them finer if you prefer less of a nutty crunch)
1. To make the pastry, cut the butter into pieces and rub into the flour, then mix in the egg to give a firm dough. Roll out and use to line a 22-24cm tart tin. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 20 mins. Set the oven at 200C/Gas 6.
2. Cover the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Cook in the preheated oven for about 10 mins, until the pastry is lightly coloured. Remove the paper and beans, and bake for a further 5 mins until dry to the touch.
3. For the filling, melt the butter in a large pan, add the honey and sugar and then pour in the cream and vanilla extract. Boil hard for two minutes (it will bubble up), then remove from the heat and lightly fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Pour the filling into the tart case. (It’s worth setting the tart tin on a tray, as the filling in mine bubbled over slightly).
4. Turn the oven down to 190C/Gas 5 and bake for 20 mins or until golden. Remove and leave to cool for a good half hour before serving with creme fraiche or cream, or just eaten as quickly as you possibly can before someone else eats it.