Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chocolate Oblivion Tartlets

Chocolate Oblivion Tartlets

(measurements are in volume/ounces/grams)
  • sweet nut cookie tart crust, made with walnuts, for 8 four-inch tartlets or 7 four and 3/4-inch tartlets, pre-baked and cooled (recipe follows) 14 ounces/402 grams
  • bittersweet chocolate, chopped 2 2/3 cups/ 8 ounces/227 grams
  • unsalted butter, softened 8 tablespoons/4 ounces/113 grams
  • 6 large eggs scant 10 fluid ounces (19 tablespoons)/10.5 ounces/300 grams (weighed without the shells)

Make the Sweet Nut Tart Crust:
  • pecans, scant 2/3 cup/2 ounces/57 grams
  • sugar, preferably superfine, 1/4 cup/1.75 ounces/50 grams
  • unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1-inch cubes, 8 tablespoons/4 ounces/113 grams
  • bleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup/5 ounces/142 grams
  • salt, 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon/0.65 ounce/18.6 grams
  • heavy cream, 2 tablespoons/1 ounce/28 grams

Food processor method:
With metal blade, pulse the nuts and sugar until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse about 15 times, or until no loose particles of nut/sugar mixture remain. Add the flour and salt and pulse again about 15 times, or until the butter is no larger than small peas.

In a small bowl, stir together the yolk and cream. Add it to the mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 8 times.

Dump the mixture into a plastic bag and press it together. Remove the dough from the plastic bag and knead it lightly until it holds together. Flatten it into a 6-inch disc, wrap the dough well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes, until firm enough to pat into the pan or roll.
Set the ungreased flan rings on a baking sheet, at least 1-inch apart.

Roll the dough: if the dough has been refrigerated for more than 30 minuets, it will be too cold to roll without cracking. It will take at least 40 minutes at room temp to become malleable.
Roll the dough between lightly floured sheets of plastic wrap to 1/16-inch thick. With a template and knife, cut 5 1/2-inch circles.

Shape the dough: Drape a circle of dough into each flan ring, easing it in and pressing gently against the sides. Use a small sharp knife held parallel to the rim of the ring to trim the dough even with the top of the ring. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for a minimum of 15 minutes and a max of 24 hours before baking.

Bake the dough: Preheat the oven to 425-degrees at least 20 minutes before baking. Bake at 425-degrees for 5 minutes. If the centers puff during baking, press them down lightly with your fingertips. Lower the heat to 350-degrees, and continue baking for 1-5 minutes, until the dough turns a pale gold (edges will be a deeper brown), and feels set but still soft to the touch. Set baking sheet on rack to cool.

Preheat the oven at 350-degrees for at least fifteen minutes before baking the tartlets.

Make the chocolate filling:
In a large bowl set over a pan of hot, not simmering, water (bottom of bowl should not touch the water), combine the chocolate and butter and let them stand, stirring occasionally, until smooth and melted. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, set over the same pan of water- which should now be simmering- heat the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling, until just warm to the touch. Remove bowl from heat and beat, using whisk beater, until tripled in volume and soft peaks form when beater is raised, about 5 minutes.

Using a large wire whisk or rubber spatula, fold half the eggs into the chocolate mixture until almost incorporated. Fold in the remaining eggs until just blended and no streaks remain. Finish by using a rubber spatula to ensure that the heavier mixture at the bottom is incorporated. Fill the pastry-lined molds, using a heaping 1/4 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) for each flan ring (almost to the top), or 1/3 cup (2.25 ounces/65 grams) for each fluted tart pan (two-thirds full).

Bake the tarts for ten minutes, or until the filling is slightly puffed, the surface has dulled, and the centers wobble when tapped gently on the sides. Remove the baking sheet to a rack and cool for at least thirty minutes.

Remove the flan rings or unmold the fluted tart molds, and serve warm or at room temperature.

from Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Pie and Pastry Bible"

(See original posting here.)


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