Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cheat's Cherry Chocolate Tartlets

Cheat's Cherry Chocolate Tartlets
Home Cooking

Horray for cool circle tricks with the icing sugar

(Once again, I managed to sneak some poetry into the post title). This was ultimate speed cooking for me. I basically whipped up these mini tarts using whatever I had left over in the fridge.

The tart casings are pre-bought (hence the 'cheat' part). The cherries are the last of my stash - I stewed them in a brandy sugar syrup. The chocolate component of the tart is a reworked version of my Ben & Jerry chocolate fudge. I didn't just do that on a whim... I compared recipes once again and came to the conclusion that the chocolate in chocolate tarts is basically comprised of the same ingredients as the fudge. It worked better than expected - in fact the chocolate in my tarts are absolutely delicious.

I would repeat this exercise but instead, make my own chocolate shortcrust pastry to emphasize the chocolatiness of the fudge filling. The cherries worked well too. I'm just ecstatic at how easy it is to make tasty tarts! My fondest memory of a chocolate tart was at Mecca Bah and even then, the first few bites were heavenly but then it got tiresome and weird-tasting. That kick-started a chocolate tart obsession phase for me though and I ordered a raspberry chocolate tart at TSB in Carindale. This was definite win for me and now that I've given them a go myself, I'm eager to try and replicate.

The tarts I made today aren't the world's best by far but they are SO easy. If you made the fudge for whatever reason and have some spare, why NOT throw it in a tart case with whatever fruit you have lying around? I'm just giving ideas here. You can use supermarket tarlet casings or shape some shortcrust into tart molds. Of course you can make your own but that defies the point of this post... I'll post my own PROPER pastry-making stories when I decide to do it for real in the future.

Cheat's Chocolate and Cherry Tartlets

Makes 4 small tarts about 10cm across

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • Approx 1/4-1/2 cup of Ben and Jerry's hot fudge (depends how bit/deep your tart cases are)
  • 4 small pre-made tart cases
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brandy (I only had imitation Brandy, unfortunately)
Procedure:

1. Heat the water, sugar and brandy in a small saucepan (I used a frying pan) till it's bubbling.2. Lower the heat and add the cherries. Pop on a lid and let it reduce to a syrup (about 15min).
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, re-heat the fudge. Constantly whisk it and if it's too solid, add some milk until it is a nice, smooth thick consistency.
4. Get your tart cases ready. 5. Once everything else is ready, you can assemble. Line the bottom of each tart case with syrupy cherries. 6. Pour the chocolate over the top till it reaches the top of the tart case. Smooth out a knife if you like... I did a swirly pattern.7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for about 10min. You want the case to cook through properly (lightly brown on the top) and the chocolate to be very hot. I waited a bit too long and my chocolate bubbled which is why the surface is unattractive.
8. Cool the tartlets completely on a rack before letting them set in the fridge.

I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy these were. Because they were so easy to make and I honestly just mucked around without any instructions, I thought they'd be passably edible but nothing more. Fresh out of the fridge, they're really tasty.
My chocolate-only tart

Cherries are good but I preferred the tart I made with JUST chocolate (I ran out of cherries). I also personally would have liked the addition of nuts.

If you're in need of a quick sweet snack, whip up a few tarts with pantry supplies and you're all good to go. This is an excellent idea for entertaining too - make a whole batch for your guests to grab.

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