Booze and chocolate. Seriously does it get any better than that?
Ever the workaholic, J, my boyfriend/lodger, just recently finished his month long work on a film set. Yes the busy man works in the film and television industry, which means long hours, long days, aaaaand sometimes terrible lunches courtesy of on-set catering. So when the film wrapped, I wanted to treat him to a nice home-cooked dinner featuring a sexy dish of Aged White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Portobello, Shiitake, and Truffle Oil and this show stopper chocolate mini tarts, just loaded withGrand Marnier liqueur.
I tend to put a little more alcohol than most recipes suggest, but when baking this cannot always be. But that’s ok, I just drink more wine as I go along to compensate. Rule of thumb is to never overpower the chocolate with the booze, because then you’ll lose the flavour of the chocolate. Which brings me to…chocolate! DO NOT CHEAP OUT ON THE CHOCOLATE GUYS! I am a proud, badge-wearing cheapo (although I prefer the term budget-conscious), but it is not a good idea to get cheap, no name brand bitter-sweet/semisweet chocolate for any chocolate tart recipes. Speaking from experience, cheaper chocolates tend to taste weird, are more sugary, and can easily overcook. I would recommend Ghiradelli, Baker’s, or Green & Black’s Organic chocolate bars.
Prep Time | 1 hour 30 minutes Cook Time | 32-33 minutes Yield | 4 tarts
Crust *will fit four 4 inch/10 cm mini tart pans with removable bottoms
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbl powdered/confectioner’s sugar
¼ tsp salt
5 tbl unsalted butter
2 ½ tsp 35% cream
45 g semisweet/bitter-sweet chocolate
165 ml (or 2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) 35% cream
¼ cup milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp of Grand Marnier orange liqueur
Make the crust:
This for me is the fun part!
Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, add butter and using a pastry cutter (or two knives will do) cut the butter in until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg with the cream and add it to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together.
Gather dough into ball, flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and position the rack in the centre of the oven. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thick round. Drape the dough over one of the mini tart pans, and using the tips of your fingers, lightly press around the edges of the pan until the crust fits in nice and snug.
Trim overhang so there is ½ inch left around the edge. The crust shrinks slightly in the oven so it’s good to have that extra ½ inch. Take a fork and stab the bottom of the crust several times, so it doesn’t rise when baking. Line crust with foil and fill with dried beans (or pie weights if you’ve got it). Bake for 7-8 minutes until the crust is half baked (teehee). Remove foil and weights and let the crust cool slightly on a rack, still in its pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degree F.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl. In a small saucepan, boil the cream and milk together with half the sugar. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar until the sugar is fully incorporated. Pour a quarter of the hot cream mixture on to the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth and shiny. Gradually add the rest of the cream into the chocolate mixture.
*Resist the urge to lick the whisk* !!!!
Pour the chocolate cream onto the beaten eggs – the mixture will be runny. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and then pour it into the baked tart shell. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is set and firm. Cool completely before stuffing your face. This may be hard to do.