I know I’m not alone in having had the experience of finding something long forgotten — if noticed missing at all. The purses sitting just beyond a comfortable reach on the top shelf of my closet are veritable treasure troves when I finally decide one or two should be sent to the Good Will. I recently found a gift certificate to a local book store dated June, 2000, ink smeared and dog eared. Cleaning out a junk drawer usually turns up a few movie passes, that button that popped off a favorite sweater I vowed to sew back on, and a recipe for margaritas torn from the local paper years ago. One never knows when a truly excellent margarita could come in handy.
Writing a food blog has its similar moments. More often, they’re comprised of instances when I finally remember exactly which recipe inspired that gorgeous set of photos taken last spring. Or after doing a bit of endless organizing, I inadvertently find yet another list of bookmarks for recipes I want to try. And there’s also the class act of flipping through cookbooks for inspiration, seeing a recipe that looks familiar and realizing it is the one I’ve searched everywhere for but couldn’t find. I forgot to tag it, my notes were written on a piece of scrap paper instead of my dated notebook, and the scrap is buried in the junk drawer. Yes! That recipe! Elation quickly turns to dispair when I remember that the recipe was one I gave up all hope of finding. The one I deleted most of the photos for because at some point, I can’t save a million photos of food I’ll never write anything about. Yes, 10 or 12 thousand, but not a million.
It’s a vicious cycle and I’m on a quest to be truly organized with it all if anything to save time.
Here are some chocolate tarts I found in the depths of my photo library, the recipe just rediscovered, and…well, see above. If you’re caught up in the throes of getting organized and need a bit of a boost, or want something decadently chocolate after a special meal, you’ll love these tarts made with a chocolate short dough crust and a soft bittersweet chocolate ganache. They’re decadently rich and perfect for sharing.
Dark Chocolate Tartelettes
Makes four 4-inch tartelettes
Tart Shell Ingredients
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 lb. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T strong coffee or espresso
- Make the crust first by sifting the flour and cocoa powder together into a medium sized bowl.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on low for 2 minutes to soften it further. Add the powdered sugar and mix just until blended, less than a minute. Scrape down the sides. Pour in the flour and cocoa mixture and beat again on low just until blended, less than a minute.
- Scrape the dough from the mixer bowl, make a ball, then flatten into a disc and wrap well with plastic. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the dough if well chilled, divide into four equal pieces. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll a piece of dough into a 1/4″ thickness and a diameter of about 6 inches to fit in a 4″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the tart pan making sure the dough fits into the fluted edges. Trim excess dough and place the crust in the refrigerator while the remaining three crusts are formed. Make sure all have been chilled at least 15 minutes before baking.
- To blind bake the shells, prick the bottom of each with a fork several times, then cover each with a square of foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans, pasta, or rice. Bake in the lower third of the oven 15-18 minutes, then remove the foil and pie weights and bake for an additional 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a baking rack before filling.
- To prepare the ganache filling, chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it along with the butter to a large ovenproof measuring cup or bowl. Heat the cream, just bringing it to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate and butter. Make sure the chocolate is completely covered by the cream before allowing it to sit about a minute. Using a spatula, begin slowly stirring the mixture until it is completely melted and is 90 degrees. Pour in the coffee and mix well. Fill each tart shell with the ganache and chill until set — at least 1 hour before serving.
- Using a sharp cheese cutter or potato peeler, shave some chocolate over each tart if desired.
- This recipe was adapted from Sherry Yard’s “Deep, Dark Chocolate Tart” from The Secrets of Baking.
- Basic ganache is essentially an equal mixture of chocolate and cream. It can be made in soft, medium, or firm consistencies depending on what you want to use it for. A soft consistency contains twice the cream to chocolate, and a firm consistency twice the amount of chocolate to cream.
- The key to keeping the crust from getting tough is keeping it cool. If your kitchen is hot, keep the balls of dough in the refrigerator while you work on one at a time. Or roll out one large piece of dough to 1/4″ thickness, lightly fold it into a half, then quarter and put it back in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before cutting four 6″ circles from the dough.
- I made my tarts a day ahead and kept them in the refrigerator over night. They become quite firm when chilled but will keep nicely until you’re ready to serve up to two days if necessary.
- Truly intense chocolate flavor guaranteed to satisfy any chocolate craving.