Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

For recipe No. 2 in the Tuesdays With Dorie exploration of Baking With Julia, we got to make Chocolate Truffle Tartlets. These small pastries have a chocolate crust containing with a rich filling of egg yolks, melted bittersweet chocolate, chocolate chunks (milk and white), and biscotti chunks.

For me, these tartlets started with -- yay! -- a trip to the restaurant-supply store as I didn't have the tartlet rings I needed to make this recipe. (Or, even better, I probably do have the tartlet rings and just couldn't find them.)

Apologies in advance for not having properly documented the process in photos. I started off by making the crust. The recipe offers options for making the crust by hand or by food processor. Since my short, stubby Eastern European fingers lack the elegance and cool to prepare short crusts by hand, I knew I'd use a machine. Instead of the food processor, though, I used the KitchenAid mixer. It actually does a great job of blending together cold butter and dry ingredients.

After I added the liquid to the dry crust ingredients, I felt skeptical, especially as I faced a chocolatey-brown mound of crumbs on my marble pastry board. I gently worked the crumbs into a firm rectangle of dough, bound it in plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge.

Meanwhile, I prepped the filling ingredients and got them ready to roll. Given the number of egg yolks that the filling required, I foresee an angel-food cake in my future.

After a couple of hours, I got the crust out, let it warm slightly, then cut it into six pieces. The first one was a little fussy to work with, and I used too much flour when rolling it out. After that, though, the rolling went pretty well, and I had my six tartlet pans lined with dough.

The crusts are baked for a bit, which gave me time to put together the filling.

I think I ended up putting a bit more filling in each tartlet shell than the recipe called for, but that seemed to be OK ...

... As nothing baked over while they were in the oven.

The recipe indicates that they're ready to eat after cooling slightly after they come out of the oven. Also, the recipe indicates that they're best eaten soon after they're baked. I assume that has to do with the slightly crunchy texture the biscotti chunks give the tartlet filling. We shared one tartlet warm. While they declared it rich, Karen and Claire really liked it. I actually felt sort of meh about it. Then I tried one the next day at room temperature and loved it. It's so rich that it needs some whipped cream (possibly even a little vanilla ice cream) to balance the blast of chocolate. Also, I think that one-half of a tartlet is the perfect portion.

Still, this is a really nice dessert, one that would be a great conclusion to an elegant meal of, oh, maybe broth and crackers because these tarts are so rich, I don't know what else would be light enough to consume beforehand. I've been thinking that the crusts would be good filled with a layer of ganache topped with some raspberries. I feel like it's been forever since I've made a pie-crust-style dough, and this was a good exercise in getting back to using those skills.


ryan said...

Yes, those do sound quite rich. Probably best consumed several hours after dinner.

Interesting that you liked it more the next day and at room temperature.

Julia said...

I too preferred this dessert at room temperature. The texture of the crust, biscotti, and chocolate were still very distinct but the chocolate flavor came through wonderfully without that etra sweetness you perceive when a dessert is warmer.

Dawn said...

We had our tartlets at room temperature as well, and I totally agree----they were so rich that 1/3 of one was plenty for me! That said.....I'm looking forward to trying another piece tonight after dinner. ;)

Heather said...

I also liked them better at room temperature, but then I'm not a big fan of warm chocolate - I think it tastes better the cooler it is. Your tarts look great!

pinkstripes said...

Your tartlets look lovely. :)

Cher Rockwell said...

I love recipes that begin with a trip to the restaurant supply store :-)
You did such a nice, clean job getting your dough in the pan...

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Yes, a rich dessert and delightful one.

~ Carmen