Portuguese Chocolate Tarts

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ingredients:

150 gram slab puff pastry
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons caster sugar (superfine sugar)
Pinch allspice
A couple pinches cinnamon
1 orange, zested

Filling:
160ml double cream (heavy cream)
2 level tablespoons caster sugar
The smallest pinch salt
½ stick butter, softened
225g best-quality baking chocolate, broken up
50ml milk
Cocoa powder, for dusting


Method:

  1. Dust a surface with flour and roll out your pastry to a bit bigger than an 20x30cm sheet of paper. Brush with the egg yolk and scatter the rest of the ingredients over, being subtle with the allspice and cinnamon. Roll the pastry up tightly like a Swiss roll to make a long sausage shape. With a knife, cut across the sausage into 2.5cm pieces. Take 8 pieces aside, and freeze the rest of the pastry for a rainy day.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  3. Turn all the pieces of pastry swirl-side up and flatten them slightly. Dust the surface of your pastry with flour, then roll each piece out into a thin circle (around the size of a teacup saucer). If you don't have proper pastry molds at home, grease and flour the outsides of 8 glass tumblers. Then, place a circle of pastry on top of each tumbler, pleating, pinching and hugging the pastry around them.
  4. Place the tumblers on a baking tray, pastry at the top, and put in the preheated oven until crisp and golden, around 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while still hot, take a tea towel and pat the slightly raised top of the pastry back down on to the flat bottom of the tumbler, giving you a flat base again. Allow to cool, and carefully remove the pastry cases from around the tumblers.
  5. To fill your pastry cases with the chocolate filling: Place the double cream, sugar, and pinch of salt in a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture has boiled, remove from the heat, and add the butter and chocolate. Stir until it has completely melted. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, stirring in the cold milk until smooth and shiny. Sometimes this mixture looks like it has split. Allow the mixture to cool down a bit more, and whisk in a little extra cold milk until smooth. Scrape all the mixture into the cooked pastry shells. Shake to even it out and allow to cool for around 1-2 hours, until it is at room temperature. Dust with the cocoa powder. Ultimately the pastry should be short and crisp and the filling should be smooth and should cut like butter.

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