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Chocolate and Custard Torte

Photo by Julie O’Malley

Chocolate and Custard Torte

70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
1 x 600ml ctn thickened cream
4 egg yolks
200g good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
100ml thin cream
4 bought hot cross buns, thinly sliced vertically
2 Tbsp warm water
2 1/2 tsp gelatine powder
2 tsp cocoa powder

1. Place the sugar, vanilla bean and half the thickened cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle boil. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium heatproof jug. Discard the vanilla bean.
2. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture. Return to the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.
3. Meanwhile, combine the chocolate and thin cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
4. Line the base of a round 24cm (base measurement) springform pan with non-stick baking paper. Arrange half the hot cross bun slices, in a single layer, over the base of the pan. Spread half the chocolate mixture evenly over the base to cover completely. Repeat with the remaining hot cross bun and chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.
5. Whisk the remaining thickened cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold the cream into the custard mixture.
6. Place the warm water in a small heatproof jug. Sprinkle with gelatine and whisk with a fork until the gelatine dissolves. Gently fold the gelatine mixture into the custard mixture. Pour over the chocolate base. Cover and place in fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set. Dust with the cocoa powder to serve.

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