Over the past weekend, we said *Farewell* to Annabel and *Happy 20th (ahum) Birthday* to James… and to mark these occasions (albeit the former is a sad one)… we had a PotLuck Sunday lunch.
Wickedly wide world of Wikipedia describes Potluck as a gathering of people where each person contributes a dish of food to be shared amongst the group. The word was first noticed in the 16th century in england, to describe “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot” and the sense of communal eating only appears to originate in the late 19th Century or early 20th Century particularly in the states. To the Irish, Potluck was a meal with no particular menu, when the women used to gather and cook dinner together… in one pot with the ingredients of the day!
Ours was somewhat more conventional – with each person bringing a plate of food (and some vino)… Sonia brought her infamous Spanish Tortilla (thick egg omelette made with potatoes and fried in olive oil), Annabel brought a watermelon and feta salad, James brough a vanilla cake covered in Chocolate ganache as well as some gorgeous breads, HIM provided copious amounts of Pastéis de Natas (Portuguese egg tart pastries) and I made gorgonzola/leek tarlets, Pesto Torte (ala Annabel) and a Chocolate birthday Tart for James!
This tart was inspired by a John Torode recipe that I saw in the latest issue of Good Food Magazine (September 2012) – but his had home-made honeycomb (aka the inside of a *crunchie* chocolate bar)… so I whipped out my favourite (yet very tatty) hand-written recipe book and mixed and matched a few items! The Base is from my Aunt Jules Lemon Meringue Pie recipe and the chocolate inside is from another recipe that I have.
Chocolate Birthday Tart
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
200g Dark chocolate
250ml double cream
- Microwave butter on a low heat to melt
- Add flour, sugar and baking powder
- Lightly knead and place into a greased pie plate
- Bake at 180C for 15-20min, remove from oven and cool
- Bring cream to a gentle boil in a pot, and then remove from heat
- Pour over broken chocolate pieces and stir until creamy and smooth
- Pour chocolate cream mixture into pie crust and leave to set for at least 3hours (I prefer to place it into the fridge after an hour… but remember to take out of the fridge at least half an hour before you want to serve it, so that it is easier to slice)