Salutations Strawberry & Basil Tart


Salutations indeed!

What an utter joy it is to be typing from the Love residence in South London, and it’s so nice of you all to decorate London in swathes of bunting especially for our return.

Sorry, what? Jubilee? Olympics? Pah! I know they’re meant for Mr Love and I, after all we have been away for nearly 2 years. Although I do feel that you could have made a bit more of an effort with the weather.

I must apologise for my 2 week silence, be reassured that I will never leave you for so long again. As all our worldly possessions are currently on a boat meandering its way to England, Mr L had the forethought to courier a box of things we would need straight away. This was a great idea in theory but quickly turned into a game, where by I would keep adding bits of baking paraphernalia when he wasn’t looking and he would promptly remove them when my back was turned. Still, I managed to get the essentials in, and all would have been fine if the customs guys at Stansted Airport hadn’t found this box of random baking bits, linen and computer equipment so beguiling.

So, at last the box has been delivered and this weekend I have finally been able to do some baking. Although, I’ve ended up not actually ‘baking’. I was inspired by some fragrant strawberries and delicate Greek basil that I had garnered at the market to make something light and summery – yes, I’m defying the downpours. It also had to be wheat free as I had promised to bring a Lemony treat along to a girls night in with my besties, one of which is on a gluten-free regime.

This tart is loosely based on Nigella’s Black & White Tart ( from How To Be A Domestic Goddess ). I substituted Gluten free biscuits for the for the base and because their anaemic appearance was so off putting, I decided to add a hit of cocoa. This just wasn’t chocolatey enough though, so I slathered the inside of the biscuit crust with a thin layer of melted dark chocolate. After filling with some voluptuous mascarpone cream, I rather rustically arranged some summer strawbs on top and garnished with the petite Greek basil leaves.

Somehow this tart is rich and light at the same time so it’s far too easy to go back for seconds…..or even thirds.

Strawberry & Basil Chocolate Tart

250g gluten-free digestive biscuits
80g butter
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon golden syrup ( if your gluten-free biccies are overly sweet then omit this )
100g best quality dark chocolate ( 70% cocoa solids ), melted
1 large egg, separated
75g caster sugar
500g mascarpone
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 punnets of best quality strawberries, halve and hull some and leave the rest hole with their greenery intact
Small handful of Greek basil leaves ( or torn strips of regular basil )

Fluted loose bottomed flan tin, lightly greased.

Crush the biscuits to a fine sandy texture. Melt the butter and the syrup together. Stir into the biscuit crumbs along with the cocoa. Push into your tin building up the sides as well as the base. Pop in the fridge for 10mins.
Using a pastry brush, paint a fine layer of chocolate on the inside of the biscuit case, again painting up the sides. Place back in the fridge.
Whisk the egg yolk with caster sugar until pale and thick, this takes a while so be patient!
Whisk the egg white in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form.
Beat the mascarpone with the egg and sugar mix and then gently fold in the egg white being very careful to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Dollop into your choc coated case and arrange your strawberries on top.
Finally, sprinkle with Greek basil leaves ( these look good as the leaves are so tiny but don’t hesitate to substitute for torn regular basil ).

My friends and I wolfed this down while we put the world to rights and I pinched myself to be back in the company of these lovely ladies.

Lemony x


  1. Hi Lemony
    Sounds yummy and I have all the ingredients so ready to go but one thing….how big is the tin?? Don’t want the base to be too thin/thick. Thanks for sharing your recipes. I’ve been searching for a lemon and ginger cake for months!

    • Hi Jane, sorry about that, I will amend the post ASAP! I used a 25cm/ 10″ loose bottomed flan tin. Let me know how you get on, also I hope the lemon and ginger loaf works well for you too. Lemony x

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