Monday, December 5, 2011

Festive Chocolate Tarts

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 9:51 PM
The silly season is well and truly upon us! Between weddings, Christmas functions, social events and family get-togethers I've barely had a spare minute over the last few weeks.

I met Yvette and Matt through my lovely friend Shell, and they invited Chris and I to a BBQ at their place last weekend. I volunteered to bring dessert (as I always do) and seized the opportunity to make these chocolate tarts.

Tart cases
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
180g cold unsalted butter, chopped

Chocolate filling
1/2 cup heavy cream
30g unsalted butter, chopped
200g semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place flour, cocoa and icing sugar in food processor and blitz until fine crumbs form. Add butter and a couple of tablespoons of iced water, blitzing until mixture clumps together. Add more iced water if necessary.

Pour dough on to a piece of non-stick baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper over the top and roll dough out to approximately 1/2 cm in thickness. Push rolled dough into a loose bottomed quiche tin (in this case I used four mini tins). Chill in fridge for 20-30 mins.

Preheat oven to 180 celsius (160 fan forced) and place a piece of baking paper over prepared tin. Fill with baking weights, beans or rice (I always use the same batch of rice - just don't eat it!) and blind bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove rice and baking paper and bake for another 15 minutes until cases are firm.

To make the filling, combine chocolate, butter, vanilla and cream in a saucepan. Heat over low-medium heat until completely melted and well combined. Pour into prepared tart cases and garnish as desired.

I originally intended to make one larger tart, but for the life of me couldn't find my regular loose-bottomed tin. I could find my giant one (a bit of overkill for a dessert to feed four!) and my small tins. I went with the four small tins and decided to top each with different flavours (clockwise: pistachio & cranberry, crushed candy cane, slivered almond and Peppermint Crisp). To keep with the festive theme I decorated each of the tarts with edible gold glitter and tiny edible stars. Gorgeous.

Experiment with flavours by substituting the vanilla extract for other essences, such as peppermint, caramel and coffee. Serve with whipped cream and berries. This dessert is a chocoholic's dream - you only need a tiny piece to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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