Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Decadent Chocolate Tarts

My sister and I have a tadition. It is not the healthiest tradition. It is frowned upon by our parents. It is time consuming and self indulgent. But traditions must, at all costs, be maintained. Even if they have only existed for a few months... right?

The tradition is, when we both find ourselves home together on a weekend or holiday morning with no immediate plans (this is rare) we make a Gossip Girl Breakfast. We love Gossip Girl with a passion that transcends normality, and we love food, especially sweet, gooey, rich, dessert like food. Usually we have pancakes with chocolate sauce, ice cream and berries. This weekend however we woke up late and breakfast time had been and gone. What to do? Why a Gossip Girl Morning Tea of course! So I whipped up some little tarts, she set up the lounge and ta da - the perfect Sunday.

A couple of things worth noting: this whole process only took about half an hour start to finish. Admittedly I did use pastry that was sitting in the fridge but you easily use ready made frozen pastry just as quickly. The recipe is more or less made up on the spot. I think chocolate is one of those things that tastes best with as little interference as possible and this certainly backs that up. And lastly, don't make this a regular thing. (Unless you're deliberately training to be a sumo wrestler. I'm not but I think I'd do a pretty damn good job after a few more GGB's.)

Chocolate Tarts

About 1C sweet short pastry or 2 sheets frozen
1C dark chocolate, chopped
1T butter
1/2C cream
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 180C and spray a muffin tin with non stick spray.

Soften the pastry, roll out and cut using a cokoie cutter about 3-4 inches in diameter. Cut short slits (maybe 1-2cm) into opposite sides of each pastry circle.

Fit the circles each into a maffin tin, overlapping the slits so that they fit. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. I always find after this my pastry has puffed up and just about filled the tart. If you have the same problem give them a minute to firm up then just push it down with the end of a wooden rolling pin or similar. Let them cool a bit.

While those are cooking throw the chocolate, butter and cream into a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly with a whisk. When evreything is liquid give it a good beat to combine and set aside to cool. Note it is very important that you do let the chocolate mixture cool as otherwise it will cook the eggs.

Once lukewarm add the yolks, beating again to combine. Remove the tart cases for the tins and spread them out on a baking tray. Spoon the chocolate mixture evenly in until it is just below the tops then bake for about 12 minutes.

When you take them out they will still be very runny. Set them aside to cool and firm up (or throw them in the freezer like me). Yum!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Double Chocolate Whoppers

I made these at 11pm last Thursday just becasue I felt like baking something. They are the easiest cookies ever (no softening butter!) and the dough is delicious. I whipped them up in about ten minutes, put them in the fridge and baked them when I woke up the next morning. There is no nicer way to start the day than with a cup of tea and the smell of warm, chocolatey baking in the air.These are from the book Quick 'n' Easy Chocolate Recipes by Robyn Martin.

These are My Ultimate Cookies.


250g butter
1 1/4C chocolate bits (I used Nestle Dark Chocolate button because I like the way they feel when you bite two together...)
1C brown sugar
1 egg
2t vanilla essence
3C flour
2t baking powder

Melt the butter in a container big enough to fit all the ingredients and stir until smooth. Add half the chocolate bits and stir until smooth again. MIx in sugar, egg and vanilla, beating with a wooden spoon to combine. Mix in flour, baking powder and remaining chocolate and mix it all up until combined.

Roll this into a big log, wrap in gladwrap and put in the fridge until firm/you lose patience. If you can't be bothered waiting around you can just chuck it in the freezer for ten minutes or so. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 180C.

Once firm cut into slices, about 1-2cm, spread out evenly on a baking paper lined tray and bake for about 15 minutes.