Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chocolate Extravagance Tarts

Tart Dough
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour                    
1/2 cup grated semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Souffle Filling
8 oz. semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, warm
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt

Finishing Touches
2 oz. white chocolate or dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling
Confectioners sugar

In a food processor, place flour, grated chocolate, confectioners sugar, and salt and blend briefly.  Add butter and pulse to break butter into mixture and make a grainy mixture.  Add vanilla and pulse briefly;  then process to make a dough that just sticks together.  (Add a touch of light cream or water to help it along, if needed.)
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove pastry from processor and gently knead on a lightly floured work surface a couple of minutes to smooth out dough.  Wrap and chill dough 10 minutes.  Then divide dough into 8 equal portions and press out onto bottom and sides  of ungreased 4-inch tart pans.  Using a fork, prick bottoms.  Place tart shells on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake tart shells until lightly colored, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool well.
For chocolate souffle filling, melt chocolate and set aside to cool.  Stir in warm espresso or coffee and vanilla.
Meanwhile, with a whisk attachment on an electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar and salt until light and thick, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Add some of egg mixture to melted chocolate and mix well.  Then fold in remaining egg mixture to chocolate, blending gently but thoroughly.  Spoon chocolate filling equally into baked tart shells.
Place filled tart shells on baking sheet.  Bake until filling puffs and seems set, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool well.  Remove sides from pans to release tarts.  Drizzle with melted chocolate or dust with confectioners sugar.

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