Mini Chocolate Tarts
For the sweet tart dough:
- 2 1/2 sticks (10ozs; 285g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup (lightly packed) (3 1/4ozs; 100g) finely ground almond powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean pulp or pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
- 3 1/2 cups (490g) all-purpose flour
To make the dough in a mixer:
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, salt, vanilla and eggs and, still working on low speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough may look curdled – that’s alright. With the machine on low, add the flour in three or four additions and mix only until the mixture comes together to form a soft, moist dough – a matter of seconds. Don’t overdo it.
Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 or 4 pieces: 3 pieces for 10-inch (26cm) tarts, 4 for 9-inch (24cm) tarts. (Of course you can press the dough into one large disk and cut off as much as you need at the time that you need it.) Gently press each piece into a disk and wrap each disk in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or for up to 2 days, before rolling and baking. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month.)
*Adapted from http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2011/02/strawberry-tarts.html
- Make this at least 1 day in advance because you need to chill and rest the dough for a minimum 4 hours or up to 2 days, before rolling and baking;
- You are encouraged to make the full quantity because lessening the measurements may not yield the best results.
- Unused dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for a month. Frozen disks of dough take about 45 minutes to an hour at average room temperature to reach a good rolling-out consistency. Baked crusts can be kept uncovered at room temperature for about 8 hours.
For the chocolate filling (can make for around 30 mini tarts):
1/2 cup (approx. 170g) whipping cream (35%)
7 ounces (approx.. 200g) dark chocolate, very finely chopped
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature, cut in small pieces
For topping (optional), you may add sprinkles, walnuts or any types of nuts.
Heat the whipping cream in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Add hot cream over chopped chocolate and butter. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir to combine until smooth.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into each tart shell. Let set in fridge until chocolate is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
*Largely adapted from http://www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen/2012/01/chocolate-hazelnut-tarts.html