Level of Difficulty: Supreme Court of Appeal (4/5 gavels)
As part of the crumby goods series, I am trying to perfect the basics of bread and pastry making. This week’s mission: a sweet short crust pastry. While the pastry itself wasn’t a rousing
Fair warning, the tart is intense and definitely for someone who appreciates the darker side of delicious. However, if you think that it sounds too bitter, play around with the mix of chocolates so that it’s exactly the way you like it.
This is also pretty labour intensive, between making the actual pastry, rolling it out, baking it and making the filling, this was definitely the most involved and time consuming recipe yet…excepting those nasty baguettes. I would caution you to only attempt this when you have a morning and some of an afternoon to sacrifice since the pastry doesn’t do very well if left in the fridge overnight.
That said, this has to be the most aesthetically pleasing dessert I’ve ever attempted. I made both the mini tarts (as pictured above) and a larger one which both looked fantastic when garnished with strawberries and a little icing sugar. I would have ideally liked to use raspberries to finish the tart but while strawberries are in season, take advantage!
2 cups plain flour
3 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125 g) cold butter (pastry)
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
200 g 70% dark chocolate
200 g 49% dark chocolate (substitute with milk if preferred)
400 ml whipping cream
80 g butter
1 handful of strawberries to decorate
30 g of white chocolate to decorate
2 tbs icing sugar to decorate
Large mixing bowl
Medium size pot
Loose-bottomed tart tins
Baking or dried beans
Yield: 8 individual tarts or 2 large tarts
Step 1: Make the pastry
Sift together flour and cocoa powder. Dice the cold butter and add to the flour mixture. Rub butter into mixture until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Mix in sugar until combined. Add in 2/3 of the egg and knead the mixture until it comes together into one ball. If too dry to combine, add rest of egg mixture to allow the mixture to fully incorporate.
Step 2: Allow the Pastry to Rest
Form the pastry into a flat rectangle (no precision required here) and cling wrap. Place into the fridge and allow to rest for an hour.
While the dough is resting, grease your tart tins with butter and preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Step 3: Line the Tart Tins
Once the dough has rested, remove from the fridge. If you are making individual tarts, cut the dough into eight pieces. If making large tarts, cut the dough in half. Dust the work surface and rolling pin sparsely with some flour. Proceed to roll out each piece until about the thickness of a R5 coin. Once you have an even sheet of your desired thickness, roll the dough around the rolling pin, lift it off the work surface and unroll it over the tart pan. Gently push the dough down against the tart pan until it rests flush against the edges. Trim off excess pastry leaving an extra 1 cm around the top to accommodate for any potential shrinking.
Step 4: Bake the crusts
Place a piece of baking paper across the top of each tin and then fill with dried or ceramic baking beans. Place in the oven for 15 minutes to bake. After 15 minutes, remove the beans and baking paper off the crusts. Finish baking them off for between 5 and 7 minutes until the crust is cooked and even in colour. Be careful to ensure the crust doesn’t burn.
After this, remove the crusts from the oven and leave them to cool. They may remain in the tins and if you want to, now would be the time to trim off any excess pastry around the edges.
Step 5: The Filling
On a medium-low heat, heat the cream and butter until the butter has melted. Ensure that you stir regular and do not allow the mixture to come to boil. Once the butter has melted, take the mixture off the heat and add in the chocolate. Leave the mixture for a minute or two then begin to stir until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
Step 6: Fill the tarts
Pour the filling into the baked crusts until almost full. Melt some white chocolate in a double-boiler and then drizzle the melted chocolate over the tarts using a spoon. Place in the fridge for about 45 minutes until the tarts have set (larger tarts may need about 2 hours).
Slice strawberries from tip to about 0.3 cm from the top and fan out to decorate the tarts.
Don’t forget to give us your verdict by either commenting below or posting a picture of your results on Twitter, Instagram with @bakedlawyer , #bakedLawyer. Good luck!