Much has been said about chocolate.
I’m pretty sure wars have been fought over it.
A box of it is what life is like. (Yes Forrest, I agree.)
It melts at body temperature, which is one reason why we are so completely under its spell.
It’s a proven weapon against Dementors, and I have a feeling it would work equally well against werewolves.
Chocolate fixes things. When I’m having a bad day, 90% of the time, chocolate can make me feel about 75% better almost instantly.
(Okay that was too much math. I feel a bit dizzy.)
I think chocolate is in the same family of things as puppy kisses, mommy hugs, and lazy Saturdays. It brings the kind of happiness that makes you close with eyes with a sigh. It makes you feel like everything is right. Even if it’s just for a while.
In my opinion, the BEST way to eat chocolate (other than straight from a packet) is as ganache.
I’m always looking for ways to eat chocolate ganache in non-crazy manner. Seriously, it’s dangerous when there’s a bowl of silky, dark chocolate ganache around. You could look the other way for 2 minutes and I would have inhaled it.
So I try to be grownup and use the ganache as a cake filling. (Smart, right?)
I sometimes drizzle it over cupcakes. (Genius, I know.)
And then I also roll it into truffles. (Whaaa? You love me? I love you too.)
Always thinking of new ways to transfer ganache from the bowl to my mouth, I decided to try tartlets!
A crisp, slightly salty, pastry shell would be the perfect vehicle for the deliciously chocolately ganache.
I didn’t want to do a butter pastry, since I was already getting my gazillion calories from the tub of ganache.
I decided to try pastry with Canola oil instead- a MUCH healthier alternative and so much quicker than working with butter.
The results were super. The pastry was just right- crumbly and soft, with a touch of salt. It was the perfect foil to the sinful, sweet ganache poured into it.
Dark chocolate tartlets
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 15-25 mins
Makes: 6-7 tartlets or 1 large tart
250 g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
125 ml Canola oil (I used Hudson), plus extra for greasing
50 ml cold milk
1 egg, beaten
For the chocolate ganache
500 g good-quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp milk
200 ml cream
2 tbsp Cointreau (or any other liqueur of your choice), optional
sugar flowers to decorate, optional
For the pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 240º C. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Add the oil and milk and stir vigorously with a fork to combine everything. Then use to your hands to bring the dough together. This will happen quite easily (it’s not a sticky dough) so be careful not to overwork it.
3. Grease small tart tins or one large tart tin (with removable base/s) with oil. Divide the dough and place in the tart tins. Work the dough into and all around the base and sides of the tin using your fingers. Try to keep it in as even a layer as possible.
4. Cover the tins with a piece of baking parchment and top with baking beans. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes (small tarts) and 15 minutes (large tart).
5. Remove the parchment and beans. Make a few holes on the base of the pastry with a fork, brush with egg wash, and bake for another 3 minutes (small tarts) and 5 minutes (large tart). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the chocolate ganache and assembling
1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate with the milk. Remove and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, heat the cream over low heat, stirring. Add the Cointreau and stir well. Remove from the heat and pour into the chocolate mixture. Stir well until you have a shiny ganache.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180º C. Pour the filling into each tart, and pop back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and cool, before decorating with a sugar flower and placing in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to set.