16 March 2010

TWD: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tarts

I'm not sure if this is what Rachelle had in mind when she chose this recipe, but Happy Belated Pi Day, y'all!  I was actually interested in this week's TWD selection.  I really, really, really like tarts.  And this one promised to be different from the usual pastry-cream-filled tarts I am so accustomed to, plus it featured fresh raspberries, so yay!  Even though I was away most of the week on a completely undeserved Spring Break, I came home and made it in time for the "holiday"

 Bonus Awesome Points if you can tell us where I was!

I was also pleased to see that this recipe was one I could halve without too much trouble.  I'm trying to avoid having stuff sitting around the house to go bad and get scary in the fridge--like the coconut custard tart is doing right now, thanks to my impromptu vacay--so I am going to work harder at making sure to make smaller portions when I can from here on out. 

I had a small quantity of chocolate tart dough left from the custard tart, so I decided to use that and be all thrifty and Good Housekeeperish instead of making more.  I think I have some Sweet Tart Dough With Nuts banging around the freezer somewhere, too, but I couldn't find it.  I got two thin minitart shells out of the dough.  Froze 'em, foiled 'em, stuffed with beans (how many times can you reuse beans before you should toss them?) and baked.

Um.  They didn't turn out so well.  Too thin, I think.  The crust came off in patches when I removed the foil to finish baking. Seriously the ugliest tart shells I've ever made.  Oh well.  I figured I wasn't gonna share them anyway, so what did it matter?

Next day I made the filling.  It came together really fast.  I didn't use "premium milk chocolate", just regular ol' Hershey's*, but I think it was fine.   It seemed suspiciously like thin brownie batter, what with the undissolved sugar and all the eggs and whatnot.  I halved the extra yolk with a spoon.  I got enough batter for exactly two tarts--perfect!

But the batter floats on top.  Underneath is the fruit.  Now I love me some raspberries, yes I do--but it's early March.  Raspberries in the stores now are 1) expensive and 2) not very good and 3) probably came from somewhere shamefully far off.  I couldn't do it.  So instead I went to the jar of maraschino cherries that's been sitting in the fridge since the cherry brownie torte and used those.

I love the look of maraschino cherries--such a beautiful vibrant red!  I just wanna stare at them.


Now the regular 9-inch tart recipe calls for a 30 minute bake.  I figure, half the recipe, divided into smaller pans, should be 15, 20 minutes tops, right?

Nope.  Try 27 minutes.  I guess they were maybe a lil thicker than the 9 inch tart.

They even looked brownie-like upon emergence, all puffy and shiny and pebbly. 

 that's interesting.

I was not sure what the consistency would be. I didn't do a very good job of banging out all the bubbles in the batter (woohoo alliteration!), but I swear those jokers just started forming out of nowhere on me. 

After they cooled, I tried half a tart. 

I liked it.  The milk chocolate kept it from being overpowering.  The consistency was smooth and...well...soft.  Like a flourless brownie, or maybe a souffle.  I was surprised, however, that I couldn't really taste the cherries.  I had a pretty good-sized layer of 'em in there, and dude, they are maraschino cherries.  I think if you're gonna do this, you need some really, really robustly flavored fruit and I might also consider a slosh of some kind of liqueur or juice in the filling to boost.  I wanted more contrast but wasn't getting it.  Surely the chocolate crust didn't help matters, but---ah, shaddup.  It's a good "company" dessert.  Fast to throw together, no exotic ingredients, guaranteed (adult) crowd pleaser.  Unless your crowd doesn't like chocolate. 

*I keep a bar or two in the cabinet because: I am a secret S'mores FIEND.  Next to bread pudding, S'mores are my very favorite dessert.  I eat them ALL THE TIME.  And only Hershey chocolate will do for those.  I have tried making them with fancy chocolate and they SUCKED.  I know, it's very non-foodie of me, but I did say I wasn't one, didn't I?


CB said...

Hurray! I'm glad someone tried the maraschino cherries. I was "this" close to doing that but the ridiculously expensive raspberries called my name. Love your mini tarts! Great job!

Susan said...

Funny! I am not a cherry fan, in any way shape or form, but the hubby loves them. I made my tart with raspberries and he is eating the carrot cake I made Sunday and leaving the tart to me! :)


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