Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Raspberry and Chocolate Tartlets

Servings: Makes 12 (2-inch) miniature tartlets
You can melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave. If using a double boiler, be sure the water in the bottom pan does not touch the base of the top pan and that it never boils. Any moisture, including steam, that comes in contact with the chocolate could cause it to seize into a lumpy mass. (To save seized chocolate, whisk in vegetable oil or solid vegetable shortening, 1 tsp. at a time, until smooth.) If microwaving the chocolate, check it every 30 seconds to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is shiny and soft, remove it and stir until smooth.

1 rolled-out basic tart dough round (see recipe below)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into small slivers
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick/3 oz./85g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 cup raspberry jam
4 cups fresh raspberries

Basic Tart Dough:
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. very cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Basic Tart Dough:
In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk, water and vanilla; set aside.

To Make the Dough by Hand:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

To Make the Dough in a Stand Mixer:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and beat on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the egg mixture and beat just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Use the dough immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

To Roll out the Dough:
On a lightly floured board, flatten the disk with 6 to 8 gentle taps of the rolling pin. Lift the dough and give it a quarter turn. Lightly dust the top of the dough or the rolling pin with flour as needed, then roll out until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a small, sharp knife to cut out a round or rounds 2 inches greater in diameter than your tart or larger tartlet pans. Use a small, sharp knife or a cookie cutter to cut out rounds 1/2 to 1 inch greater in diameter than your miniature tartlet pans. If using a rectangular tart pan, cut out a rectangle 2 inches larger on all sides than the pan.

Makes enough dough for one 9 1/2-inch tart, six 4-inch tartlets, twelve 2-inch miniature tartlets or one 13 3/4 x 4 1/4-inch rectangular tart.

Nut Dough Variation:
Add 2 tbsp. ground toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts to the flour mixture and proceed as directed.

Note: Make A Head Tip:
The tart dough may be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze, place the dough round on a 12-inch cardboard circle and wrap it well with plastic wrap. Alternatively, use the round to line a tart pan and wrap well.

Using a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cookie cutter or a cardboard circle and a small, sharp knife, cut out as many rounds as possible from the tart dough. Press the dough scraps together and reroll to cut out additional rounds. You should have a total of 12. Transfer the rounds to twelve 2-inch tartlet pans. Ease into the pans and pat firmly into the bottoms and up the sides. Trim off any excess dough. Press the dough into the sides to extend it slightly above the rims. Refrigerate or freeze the tartlet shells until firm, about 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Place the tartlet shells on a baking sheet for easy removal from the oven.

Line the shells with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or raw short-grain rice. Bake until the shells are pale gold, about 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake until the shells are golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

To Make Filling and to Assemble Tarts:
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Set the pan over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan and melt, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, in a microwavable bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and corn syrup and melt in the microwave for 30-second intervals. Remove from the stovetop or microwave oven and stir until smooth.

Pass the raspberry jam through a medium-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Spread 1 tsp. of the jam in the bottom of each shell and fill as full as possible with the chocolate mixture. Let the filled tartlets stand at room temperature until set, 1 to 2 hours.

Before serving the tartlets, place 1 raspberry, stem end down, on top of the chocolate in the middle of each tartlet and surround with additional raspberries. (You will need 7 or 8 raspberries for each tartlet.) Remove the tartlets from the pans and serve.

Makes 12 (2-inch miniature) tartlets.

Date: June 25, 2007