Strawberries and Cream

What better way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon than sitting by the klitchen window watching a thunderstorm while eating strawberry and cream (and chocolate) tart. I grow the strawberries in baskets down the side of the house. They are Elsanta which are the variety you would usually find in supermarkets. The taste, however, is no comparison. These were picked, washed and served all within the space of 30 minutes.

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Quantities below make about 8-10 small tarts
For the sweet pastry
180g plain flour
90g softened butter
50g icing sugar
a egg yolk

Combine the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk, then a little water to make a firm dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Roll out dough on a floured surface and line small tart tins or one larger one. Keep the pastry nice and thin. Prick the bases all over with a fork, then bake at 180C for about 15 minutes until just starting to brown. remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For the chocolate layer
100g good quality plain chocolate
1 tablespoon golden syrup

Melt these together then spread thinly over the base of each pastry case. Allow to cool and set.

For the filling
300ml double cream
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Place everything in a bowl and whisk together until the cream has thickened. Divide evenly between the chocolate lined pastry cases.

For the topping
ripe strawberries

slice the strawberries and place decoratively on top of the cream. Chill and serve.

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