I have continued to neglect the uploading of recipes….I know…I’m terrible. But I’m always busy or sick. Right now I’m recovering from my 4th respiratory disease of some sort in less than two months. It’s crazy. Just when I’m getting back on the wagon, back to a good daily routine with lots of exercise, cooking, crafting and gazillions of endorphins per day (either from exercise or chocolate…you guess)….no, my body says. And its back to resting for three days straight without doing anything fun. Hmmph. This has to stop! The good part of not posting though, is that I’ve cooked a lot of new things in between posts, and so I can pick the yummiest! This time I present you with a hard to surpass combination; chocolate and peanut butter, on a crunchy, buttery, flaky tartlet. Sounds delicious? That’s cause they are. I created these because I had a birthday dinner party for one of my best friends, but she’s super tiny (tinier than me) and so I made mini everything for dinner. (Yes, again) Tiny burgers, tiny fries, tiny salads, tiny stuffed portobellos, and of course, tiny desserts! Pavlovas, which I’ll post as soon as I sort the photos out, and these incredibly good chocolate peanut butter tartlets. The tartlet shells are a bit tedious, yes. But you can skip that and make a regular size tart using a pastry ring, because the filling is really really easy and fast. Just make sure you weigh your tart shell properly. Read more for the recipe!
(The above mentioned tiny dinner. See why I had to make tarlets?)
Chocolate and peanut butter tartlets
Yield: 1 reg. tart or 14-18 tartlets
For the shell dough:
200 grs flour
100 grs butter, cold and in small cubes
4 grs salt
20 grs sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Uncooked rice and film paper for weights (if you don’t have regular weights, aka me)
For the filling
100 grs cream (either heavy or for whipping, I prefer heavy)
100 grs semi sweet chocolate, in chips or chopped
150 grs smooth peanut butter, softened (no chunks!)
For decoration, you may use whipped cream or peanut butter chips.
Make the shells:
Preheat the oven to 360ºF. In the bowl of your standard mixer using the paddle attachment, mix on med speed the flour, sugar, salt and butter until it resembles coarse sand and you can’t see any lumps of butter bigger than a small pea. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix for 5 to 10 seconds on low. Turn the dough out unto the counter top, and using the lower palms of your hands, rub the dough against the counter, forming it into a smooth uniform ball with as little handling as possible (as this will both develop the gluten and heat the butter). You should only pass your hand over the same patch of dough once or twice. Set aside covered with a cloth. (If either the dough or the room are warm, place it in the fridge)
Butter and flour generously your tartlet molds or tins. Roll the dough out until it’s about 3-4 mm thick (you can work the dough in three batches, it’ll be easier). Place a mold over the dough and cut a square around it leaving about 1cm of free space from it’s widest point (the top). Place the square inside the mold, and using your thumbs only, press it carefully down and towards the sides of the tin. (The trick here is to be gentle with the dough. If it breaks, don’t worry and patch it down.) Using still your thumbs, cut against the edge of the mold, staying as close as possible to the rim. Repeat until all your tartlets are done. Prick them twice at the bottom with a fork.
Using a strip of film paper at least 6 cm on each side bigger than your mold (don’t skimp on this, it’s way better to exaggerate as the film will shrink significantly in the oven), weigh down the tartlets by placing uncooked rice or beans over the film and then joining the ends of the film loosely, forming a sort of rice filled balloon on each tartlet (see photo). Bake until golden brown, remove from the oven, immediately remove the rice weights, and let stand about 3-5 minutes on the mold before transferring to a wire rack.
For the filling:
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. As soon as it intends to boil, turn the heat off and scatter the chocolate chips inside. Let them melt for 5 minutes, and then using a whisk, start to mix slowly from the center out, until you get a smooth ganache. Add the peanut butter and using the same center-out motion, mix until uniform and smooth. Place in a piping bag with an 8 mm tip and fill the shells until almost full. (If you don’t have a piping bag, use a spoon but work while the filling is still warm and liquid-y. As soon as it solidifies you’ll have trouble smoothing it out, but you can always re-heat it.)
Decorate your tartlets with a small whipped cream rosette or a peanut butter chip.