Fresh Berry Truffle Tartlets

Just one more, and then I’ll stop, I promise. This is my third and final June #baketogether contribution, and I’ve saved the best for last. At least, I think it’s the best, but then I’ve also got a bit of a thing for chocolate.

These are micro-mini tarts, made in mini-muffin tins, with a cocoa-walnut crust, filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache, topped with fresh raspberries and blueberries, brushed with strained peach jam to make them shine, and drizzled with a bit more ganache, because one can never have enough chocolate.

One recipe makes 24 of these jewel-toned mini tartlets. I have been giving them away all day to everyone I see in order to stop myself from single-handedly eating them all.

Before I get down to the recipe, just a note about the chocolate. I am very particular about my chocolate. There are many excellent high-end brands out there, and it is worth seeking them out. I order my supplies from the company I used when I had my chocolate business. My preferred brand is Cacao Barry’s single origin line, especially Santo Domingue and Tanzanie for dark, and Ghana for milk. It provides the best quality for the price. This is not the sort of stuff you will find in the grocery store, even a very nice grocery store. If you are in Canada you can order it online at chocolat-chocolat. They are also an excellent source for professional quality molds, and I buy my cocoa powder from them too. In nearly 10 years of dealing with them I have never received less than perfect service.

This recipe also features my favorite method for making ganache. By warming the cream and chocolate together, you can create a smooth, silky ganache without heating the cream much. It will not keep as long as other methods, but it creates a ganache with a fresh cream taste, instead of a cooked one.

Fresh Berry Truffle Tartlets

For the crust:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 T. cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 oz. cold butter
  • 1 oz. leaf lard (or an additional ounce butter)
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  1. Blend the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. Cut the butter and lard into small pieces and toss them in the flour. Working quickly, take handfuls of the flour-butter mixture and smear the fat into the flour by rubbing it between your thumb and fingers. Continue doing this until almost (but not all) the fat has been smeared into the flour. The mixture should look roughly like coarse cornmeal.
  2. Pour the ice water over the dough and mix it in, just until blended. Add the walnut pieces and do the same.
  3. Wrap the dough and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400.
  5. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle. Don’t worry if you crush the nuts a bit. It’s bound to happen.
  6. Fit each circle into a cup in a mini-muffin tin. Prick it with a fork.
  7. When all the circles have been rolled out and fitted into the tin, place it in the oven and bake until the crust is fully cooked, about 25 minutes. The crusts may very well puff while they bake. If this happens, get a spoon and poke them back down.

Make the Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, in discs or finely chopped (I used Cacao Barry Saint Domingue 70%)
  1. Place the ingredients in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir gently, trying to minimize the amount of air you introduce to the mixture, until the chocolate is almost, but not quite melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until the chocolate melts completely. If the mixture gets too cool and some chunks still remain, remove them and eat them. They are delicious.
  2. Pour the freshly made ganache into the fully baked tartlet shells, filling them about 3/4 of the way to the top.

Assembly:

  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup warm, strained apricot or peach jam
  1. Gently place one raspberry and three blueberries on top of each tart.
  2. Brush the fruit with jam.
  3. Drizzle a little of the remaining ganache on top.
  4. Let sit at least an hour to allow the ganache to set before serving. Serve at room temperature.
Advertisements

Custard Berry Tarts

It’s safe to say I got a little obsessed with the #baketogether this month. I’ve been on a bit of a pie-making kick lately anyway, and this fed right into my addiction. I can quit anytime, though. Really. Just watch. Next week I’ll do brownies, or mousse, or maybe pancakes. Definitely. Because I can stop. I can quit making piecrust anytime.

In the meantime, however, I am going to share another tartlet with you. My inspiration for this one was the custard tart, seen in bakeries across the U.K. and not nearly often enough in North America. Custard tarts are another addiction of mine. I could eat them every day forever.

Traditional custard tarts have a thick, toothsome crust, so I rolled my pie dough a  little thicker than usual for these. I also added berries: 2 raspberries and a few blueberries per tart. I love the flavor balance they bring: the mellow sweetness of the blueberries and the bright acidity of the raspberries merge beautifully with the creamy, eggy custard.

Give them a try and see for yourself.

Custard Berry Tarts

  • Pie dough (amount for a single crust pie, 1/2 the recipe in Oh Boy, Strawberry Pie)
  • 1 large egg, plus enough heavy cream to make 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 T. sugar
  • about 1/2 cup each of raspberries and blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 400.

Divide the pie dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece out and fit it inside a muffin cup. Prick the bottom of each crust with a fork. Fill cups with pie weights. Bake the crusts for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and remove weights.

Reduce oven temperature to 325.

Place 1 or 2 raspberries and 3 or 4 blueberries in each tart shell.

Whisk the eggs until well blended. Whisk in the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar.

Pour the custard mixture over the berries, filling each tart shell as close to the top as you can get without it spilling over.

Bake until the custards are just set. if you use frozen berries, like I did, this will take 30 to 35 minutes. If you use fresh berries it will be faster.

Remove tartlets from pan while still warm, but cool completely before serving.

Try to eat just one. Go ahead. Try.