Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bitter chocolate tartlets with sea salt

I needed a chocolate treat to take up to the coast for Christmas, so decided to whip up a batch of my standby chocolate tarts. These are very rich and not for the chocolate faint-of-heart. My tartlet tins are vintage tins with a pattern in the base, and because they are rounded and shallow they are very easy to remove without breakage.

When the tartlets were cooled, I placed them in an airtight container and froze them ready for the trip. I used my favourite pre-made Careme pastry, as I needed to get these done quickly.

Makes about 20 tartlets

Roll of chocolate Careme shortcrust pastry
1 ½ cup double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
300g bitter chocolate (I used 80% cocoa solids) chopped
2 eggs
Coarse salt flakes for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180C

Grease mini tartlet tins, mine were about 2 inches in diameter and quite shallow. This makes them easier to remove when cooked. Roll out the thawed pastry as thinly as possible and using a cutter, cut  rounds slightly bigger than the holes and press into the tartlet tins. Prick with a fork, and place in the oven to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. The crusts should be dried when fully baked.

While the tartlet shells are baking, heat the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and whisk together until chocolate melts and is combined. Whisk the eggs into the chocolate just before the shells have finished baking. You should end up with a glossy ganache type consistency.

Remove the shells from the oven and turn off the oven. Spoon the filling into the shells, finishing with a twist. Return the tartlets to the oven and leave them in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will set your filling.

Place tartlets on a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle each tartlet with a few grains of salt.

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