Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mini Chocolate Strawberry Tarts

 
We teenagers are a hungry breed. For those who have jobs, financing entertainment and food expenses—a $90 monthly phone bill, a new $60 video game every other week—isn’t quite as difficult, but for the unemployed, we have to somehow stretch our allowance to cover movies, food, TTC fare, and clothes.


Whenever I hang out with my friends, food is almost always involved. We go out for lunch or dinner or drinks quite often, but my favourite kind of meal is home-cooked. Enter Zico, who was kind enough to invite me and some other friends over for dinner at his condo a couple weeks ago to celebrate his birthday. Because he volunteered to cook the whole meal himself, I felt obliged at the very least to make dessert.


I decided to make Mini Chocolate Strawberry Tarts, inspired by my recent acquisition of mini tart shells. Using my favourite pie crust recipe, I cut rounds out and moulded them in the tart shells. Then I baked the mini tarts, let them cool, filled them with a dollop of luscious chocolate ganache, and topped them with freshly quartered strawberries. In retrospect, making the mini tarts required more time and effort than making a regular sized tart, but I loved how playful and elegant the mini desserts looked.


The mini tarts were devoured before dinner and all the extra strawberries polished off as well. Bodies collapsed on the couch and talk of everything and anything was commenced. A movie was watched and laughter was created.

Sometimes a homemade meal shared between friends trumps any other meal money could buy.  

Click below for the recipe. 

Mini Chocolate Strawberry Tarts

Yield: 12 mini tarts 

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water
Ganache:  
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 12 small strawberries, quartered or halved


Directions:

For crust, in a large bowl, stir flour and salt together. Cut butter into flour until coarse crumbs form.

In a small bowl, stir lemon juice with water.

Gradually add a few teaspoons of water to the flour-butter mixture at a time. Stir and push moistened pastry to side of bowl. Repeat until all flour is moistened. Form the pastry into a flattened ball and fold the dough over itself a few times. This will create more layers of butter and pastry and result in a flakier crust. Wrap, and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 425F. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out a round of dough using a large circular cookie cutter and gently press it into a mini tart shell. Repeat until all the dough is used, rerolling and chilling scraps as needed. You should end up with about 12 tart shells, depending on how large the shells are and how thick your dough is. Prick bottom with a fork and line with a double thickness foil.

Bake pie shell for 15 minutes. The trick is to make sure that your pie crust has set before removing the foil and weights. Once the outer edges of the crust appear opaque and cooked through, remove foil and weights, and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until golden. Let cool while preparing the ganache.

For the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles begin to form on the edges. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute to soften. Whisk the chocolate until smooth and let cool at room temperature for a couple hours until slightly thickened. Using a whisk, beat until the ganache it changes from a dark chocolate color to a medium chocolate color and thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.

19 comments:

  1. I have an extra pie crust in my fridge right now, and I might just have to make this. Your friends are so lucky that you volunteer to bring over dessert! I agree that homemade meals with friends tend to trump meals that you go out for!

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  2. These look gorgeous!! What a lovely dessert to share with your friends. Thanks for bringing to Friday Potluck this week!

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  3. I'm sure your friends were happy when you arrived with a platter of these. I know I would be. They look delicious! Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

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  4. Really beautiful, Kyleen! Chocolate & Strawberries is one of my favorite combinations!

    I know you'll love the Caramel Apple Cake when you get a chance to make it - I think I'm going to make it for Thanksgiving.

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  5. These are just too cute! I also love doing minis, even though they require a little more work. And, I have always been a dessert before dinner kind of gal ;) Thanks for sharing with Fat Camp Friday, hope you enjoyed your weekend!

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  6. YUM! These look delish...I love chocolate!

    Thank you so much for linking up to Fusion Fridays! Come back next Friday to see my favorites and to link up again! http://janedeereblog.blogspot.com

    Have a great weekend!

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  7. How pretty! I am a firm advocate for 'dessert before dinner'! These little tarts make it easy!

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  8. Mmmm...so simple and so delicious. Perfect little bites!

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  9. Food gifts are definitely the best kind of gifts. Especially when it comes to guys!
    These look delicious. They look so classy!

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  10. Really beautiful.It looks delicious.Nice combination of chocolate and strawberry.It's my favorite. Thanks for sharing its recipe..
    -dinner set

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  11. Those tarts look amazing. Thanks for coming by to share them. I will be featuring you tomorrow!

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  12. I love how you made something super gourmet out of such simple ingredients! Can't go wrong with that strawberry chocolate combo. I need more budget friendly items like this in my life!

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  13. this looks so exquisite! i seriously am amazed every time i visit your blog :). i'm so sorry to hear about your hand. ahhh peeling avocados can be tricky, especially if they aren't super ripe! i have many battle wounds from the kitchen! usually its from my mandolin, but i just got a better version to protect my hands from labor day sale! :D

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  14. What pretty tarts - lots of work, but I'm sure your friends appreciated these little treats!

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  15. Thank you for linking this post up to Serenity Saturday

    these look so yummy!!!

    hope you can share with us again this week

    Natasha xx

    www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

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  16. Hmm.. Those tarts look amazing!
    Thank you so much for linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!
    You have been featured today! ;)
    I hope to see more of your creativity at this week's party!
    xoxo,
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

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  17. Oh. My. Goodness. These look heavenly! Yum! I can't wait to try them. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I appreciate it!
    -Mackenzie @ Friday night date night

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