Preheat the oven to 180'C.
To make the pastry:
In a food processor combine together the butter, plain flour, and the caster sugar. When the dry ingredients begin to look like fine breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and pulse until a dough is formed. Wrap the dough in cling film, and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Lightly flour the table surface if necessary. Alternatively, roll out the pastry in between two sheets of baking paper down to 5 millimeters thick. Line a tart tin with the pastry, and push in gently around the sides. Line the inside with cling film or baking paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake the pastry case for around 15 minutes, remove the cling film and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool then add the chocolate ganache before placing in the fridge to set.
Chop the chocolate if necessary, and place in a heat-proof bowl.
In a deep pan, bring the double cream up to the boil. When the cream rises, pour over the chocolate, and let sit for at least 2 minutes before stirring until smooth and glossy.
Pour into the pre-baked tart shell, and leave to set at room temperature for about two hours.
Place the water and caster sugar in a non-reactive pan, and bring to a boil.
Using a candy thermometer, bring up to 130'C. If you do not have a thermometer, keep a close eye on the syrup, when you notice that the boiling is slowing down, and that the bubbles become uniform, you should be close to the right temperature.
Remove the pan from the heat, throw in the chocolate, and stir vigorously with a whisk.
The chocolate should go from glossy to opaque, then begin to crumble. Transfer the chocolate nibs to a cold pan, and set aside to cool down.
Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until the stiff peak stage.
Assemble the tart by sprinkling the chocolate nibs, a dollop of meringue. Caramelise the meringue with a blow torch just before serving.
«The chocolate ganache can be set in the refrigerator in under an hour, however, the chocolate's surface will remain glossier if it is allowed to cool down slowly.»
This tart was made to impress! A jazzed-up take on a classic favourite, an already beautiful chocolate tart is taken up a notch with crunchy chocolate bits and a flourish of flambéed meringue