This time last week I was on a coach on my way back to London.
When I saw London in the distance, skyscrapers clustered together, grey faced and glowing with the artificial light of office windows, I wanted to go back to Norfolk. The sky was a choked sort of grey – the dank purple of a bruise. It all seemed so inhospitable, so unwelcoming.
Although in all honesty my London blues had very little to do with those skyscrapers (which I love most days), but with what the city had in store for me. I had four essay deadlines looming closer and closer, not to mention the uncountable days of revision galloping into the spring.
I wasn’t ready for it.
However, the next day I woke up early and the skyscrapers with their artificial lights became shards of glass reflecting sunshine. There was a feeling of spring in the air and suddenly London didn’t seem like such a bad place to be.
Isn’t it funny how it’s the small things that can lift you out of a slump? A day that hints at spring; discovering an incredible greengrocers; finding a 141 bus waiting for you as you finish work; inventing a new dessert.
I dreamed up this creation before the onslaught of essays in the hope of getting it posted in time for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately however, work, home and London got in the way, so I’m presenting it to you as part of the We Should Cocoa challenge. Hosted this month by Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes, the magic ingredient was ginger. My other new found magic ingredient is whipped coconut milk – just put a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then whisk up the solid cream that will have formed. AMAZING. So I experimented with the two and came up with this unctuous, decadent and delicious dessert (if I do say so myself). The ginger biscuits in the base really work together with the rich chocolate – you could even add some chopped stem ginger to the base if you really want the ginger kick.
This Choco-coco-tart is enough to cheer up any weary student hung up on winter and work. Now, if only it would write my essays for me…
Chocolate and Coconut Cream Tart
100g dark chocolate chips
1 can of coconut milk
150ml double cream
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp icing sugar (you can add more if it’s not sweet enough)
200g ginger snap biscuits
5 toffees/hard caramels
For the Topping
- Heat 75ml of the double cream in a saucepan. When hot, pour over 50g of the chocolate. Wait a couple of minutes before stirring.
- Open your refrigerated can of coconut milk. You should have a very thick layer of coconut cream. Spoon this into a bowl along with the rest of the double cream, cocoa powder and icing sugar. Whisk using a hand beater until creamy (it’s a revelation. Trust me).
- Once the chocolate and cream have cooled, whisk into the mixture.
- Stir in the remaining chocolate chips
- Now check the mixture for sweetness – you might want to add more sugar or more cocoa powder, or go crazy like I did and add a few spoonfuls of homemade salted caramel.
For the Ginger Biscuit Crust
- Put the biscuits in a ziplock bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they’re nothing more than fine crumbs.
- Melt the butter and toffees in a saucepan and when completely melted stir into the biscuit crumbs. Again, use your own judgement as to whether you think a little more butter/melted toffee is needed (Apologies for not being very useful).
- Grease a 9 inch springform pan (or if you’re an under-equipped student like me use a pie dish). Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Pile the chocolatey mixture on top, artistically add some raspberries and refrigerate for at least three hours.
- Eat and enjoy!