I've just been helping a friend, the fabulous Chaz, cater for her mum's 70th birthday party. Due to my sweet tooth and dextrous hands, I was appointed head pastry chef. We wanted something festive and colourful that would satisfy a dessert craving in one bite. Ok, maybe two. We came up with these little beauties and they went down like a house on fire.
Chocolate and cassis tartelettes
Makes 30 tiny tarts, or one large
* Flour – 140g
* Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
* Ground almonds – 2 tbsp
* Butter – 100g, chilled and cut into small cubes
* Caster sugar – 3 tbsp
* Egg – 1
* Double cream - 200ml
* Dark chocolate - 200g, finely chopped
* Cassis liqueur - a dash
* Fresh raspberries - 30
Combine the flour, cocoa, almonds and butter in a food processor and pulse until the texture is like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and crack in the egg. Pulse again until all the mixture just comes together in a ball. Remove the mixture from the mixer, pat into a flat disc and wrap in clingfilm. Place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Let the pastry return to room temperature and then roll it out on a floured work top. Keep flipping it over as you roll, sprinkling the countertop with flour each time. The bonus about making mini tarts is that you don't need to worry if you pastry cracks. Phew. The flip side is that the pastry needs to be extra thin, a few mm if you can.
Using a glass or a pastry cutter (if you have one, fancy) cut out circles of pastry to fit your mini tart tins. The pastry should come most of the way up the sides. Press each disk of pastry into a tart mould, prick each base once with a fork and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. You won't see the pastry colour but keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
While the pastry cases are cooling, make the filling. Bring the cream to a boil in a pan and remove from the heat. Immediately add the chocolate and stir until smooth and glossy. Add a dash of cassis and taste. If you want it boozier, add a little more.
Spoon the ganache into the pastry cases and top each tart with a raspberry. Simply scrumptious.