Week 121: Chocolate tartlets

I love experimenting with tart fillings and my favourite experiments usually involve chocolate. Dark chocolate. It has been a while since I made chocolate aria tarts, which was quite a favourite amongst my friends, and since I have to use up the last batch of pâte sucrée beurrée in my freezer, I decided to give it another try. Albeit with a little twist.

Instead of the chocolate glaze, I decided to line the tarts with a layer of feuilletine crunch. I love the extra crunch it adds to the tarts. And on top of the tarts were piped with a layer of Bachour’s chocolate mascarpone, to give some texture variation.

This resulted in a rich and decadent version of the chocolate aria tarts. Sinful. Very sinful. But worth it.

Makes 6 x 8cm tartlets

For the feuilletine crunch

40g white chocolate

90g hazelnut praline paste

20g roasted, chopped hazelnuts

40g feuilletine flakes

1) Melt the white chocolate and hazelnut praline paste over a Bain Marie and mix until smooth.

2) Gently stir in the chopped hazelnuts and feuilletine flakes.

3) Divide them equally between the tart shells and line an even layer on the bottom of each shell.

For chocolate tart filling

160g dark chocolate couverture (I used one with 73% cocoa), chopped

45g 100% cocoa chocolate couverture, chopped

45g unsalted butter, diced

250ml heavy cream

3 large eggs

1) To make the tart filling, preheat convection oven to 160°C. Place chocolate and butter in a bowl.

2) Place heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour cream over chocolate in bowl and stir until smooth and cooled, then stir in eggs.

3) Pour all the chocolate filling into tart shells, filling each shell just below the brim as it will expand during baking. This recipe makes more than enough to fill 6 tart shells.

4) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the centre has just cooked and the top has just set. Take the tart out of the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the chocolate mascarpone

3 gelatine sheets

100g whole milk

73g heavy cream

45g egg yolks

45g granulated sugar

80g dark chocolate couverture (>70% cocoa)

140g mascarpone cheese

113g heavy cream, whipped

1) Bloom gelatine sheets in cold water, then squeeze out the excess water and set aside.

2) In a saucepan, bring the milk and heavy cream to a boil.

3) In a bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar.

4) Temper the egg yolks mixture with the hot cream then pour back into the saucepan and cook on low heat until thickened.

5) Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatine until melted.

6) Place chocolate and mascarpone in a large bowl and pour over the hot cream mixture. Mix with hand blender under smooth.

7) When mixture has cooled to room temperature, fold in the whipped cream and allow to set overnight in the refrigerator.

8) Fill into a pastry bag, and pipe the set mascarpone onto the baked chocolate filling in the tart. This recipe makes more chocolate mascarpone than required.

As I had a lot more chocolate filling, I filled this in little ramekins and baked them. It makes for a quick dessert. In fact, I believe if you scale down the chocolate filling by 1/3, it should still be enough for 6 tartlets. I was initially worried that the chocolate layer will be a little overwhelming, but it turned out quite delicious. Balanced perfectly by the feuilletine layer as well as the chocolate mascarpone.

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