I made this weeks ago but since going back to work after the summer holidays life has been busy – how dare work get in the way of my baking and blogging! This was the state of the Little Birdie kitchen when I made this:


Which is not bad considering this is what it looked like when it started:

There was only one slight problem. It wasn’t really conducive to baking (or cooking, or washing or anything really). Yes, I know it’s a lot better than when we first started (I say ‘we’ very loosely as we haven’t done anything – our fantastic builders have been responsible for the transformation) but when it was a bank holiday the only thing I really wanted to be doing was baking! Also, we were off to dinner at our friends Simon and Louisa’s and I had offered to take dessert (thank you to our kind friends who took pity on us and offered to feed us – there were only so many ready meals a girl could take).

Now, I am not the kind of person who turns up to dinner with a shop-bought dessert. I have a reputation to uphold! I wasn’t going to be defeated by the fact I have no kitchen (well no oven, hob, sink or worktop to be precise). So I set about finding a no-bake dessert that could be made with just a small amount of space and a microwave. I did consider these mini Oreo banoffee pies, a chocolate banoffee pie and this salted caramel chocolate torte (but I wasn’t sure if it would work without a hob). In the end I opted for this BBC Good Food no-cook chocolate tart.

This is similar to a cheesecake in that it has a biscuit base, but it doesn’t use a cream cheese filling. All you need to whip it up is a microwave, some weighing scales, a couple of bowls and a rolling pin. Perfect if you have no oven or hob. You can either make it using a rectangular tin (12 x 36cm) or a round flan tin (23-25cm), which is what I used. It does need at least 2 hours chilling time so make sure you leave enough time in advance (it can be made up to 2 days in advance as well).

200g pack all-butter biscuits (I used shortbread)
100g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup or honey
100g bar dark chocolate
100g bar milk chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
200ml whipping cream

1) Crush the biscuits by putting them in a large, strong, plastic food bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Melt the butter with the syrup or honey in the microwave (about 1 1/2 minutes), then stir in the biscuits. Press onto the base and up the sides of your tin (I used a larger tin and didn’t have enough to press up the sides) and chill while you make the filling.

2) Break up the two chocolate bars and put in a large bowl. Melt in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on medium, stirring halfway through. Stir in the vanilla extract, then sift in the icing sugar.


3) Whip the cream until it just holds its shape, then fold into the melted chocolate. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Chill for at least 2 hrs (or for up to 2 days).

4) Just before serving, remove the tart from the tin and slide it onto a flat plate (loosen edges first with the tip of a small pointed knife). It will be easier to remove the tart if you leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Should you wish to decorate your tart you can put a few teaspoons of crème fraîche along the centre of the tart (or around the edges if the tart is circular) and top each with a raspberry, then dust lightly with icing sugar. Cut into thin slices and serve with extra raspberries on the side.

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