January 27, 2008

Chocolate Tartlets

There are staples in every kitchen, and those staples are unique to the cook, baker, chef, etc. Then there are ingredients that need to be purchased specifically for a certain recipe. For me, whipping cream is one of those ingredients. And whenever I have leftover ingredients like this, I use it as an opportunity to review my wish list and pick another recipe to try. That's how I ended up creating these Chocolate Tartlets, which are super tasty.

Chocolate Tartlets
Pastry dough for 1-crust pie (see recipe below)
3 Tbsp. fruit jam (I used strawberry.)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Prepare pastry dough as directed. Preheat oven to 425°F. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll dough slightly less than 1/16 inch thick. With 2 1/2 inch round cutter (think drinking glass), cut out 36 rounds. Ease into 3 dozen mini-muffin cups or 1 3/4 inch tartlet pans, pressing dough against sides and bottoms of pans.

Bake tartlets until gol
den, 9 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack in pans. Remove from pans, and spoon 1/4 tsp. jam into each shell.

In double boiler pan, melt chocolate and cream, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in butter until melted. Stir in vanilla. Spoon this mixture evenly into tartlets, covering jam. Let stand until set.

You can top tartlets with whipped cream (beat 1/4 cup whippi
ng cream with 1 tsp. powdered sugar until stiff peaks form), berries, chocolate shavings, a tiny smidgen of ice cream or whatever your heart desires.

Pastry Dough for 1-Crust Pie
1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 to 5 Tbsp. ice water

In large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle in ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, mixing lightly with fork until dough is just moist enough to hold together.

Shape dough into disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes.

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