For Round 2 TWD bakers made David Ogonowski’s Chocolate Truffle Tartlets with his sweet chocolate dough from Baking With Julia. A quick google of his name revealed that like me, David was a career changer, leaving the world of mathematics to become a pastry chef. However, he made the move much earlier in his career. I also procrastinated getting this baking project done, but it made a rich sweet decadent Sunday supper dessert a couple of nights ago. The recipes were very do-able for an afternoon while also preparing dinner, but to save time I opted to make a 9-inch tart instead of the small tartlets. Making a large tart allows for a higher filling to crust ratio, as I only used half of the dough but all of the filling.
Of course I made a few changes to the recipe to suit my needs…
- I passed on the fraisage and mixed the dough just until it started to clump together in my smaller KitchenAid mixer; it needed more moisture so I used the whole egg instead of just the yolk, which makes for a slightly sturdier dough
- I used 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs instead of the biscotti bits to cut the sweetness, and could have used more
- I don’t think the pans need greasing; there is plenty of butter in the dough, but don’t refrigerate the tartlets in their pans–the butter hardens like glue!
- I added 1/4 teaspoon salt to balance the sweetness of the filling, and could have added more
I learned a new trick when I baked the tart shell and a long crack showed up after baking, rats! I took a small scrap of dough, quickly rolled it between my hands into a skinny worm-like shape, pinched off the length I needed and fit it over the crack and pressed it down. Popped it back into the oven for a few minutes, and since the tart was still hot it seemed to bake enough without the crust getting burnt. Saved me from a leaky tart stuck in the pan later!
Do take a close look at the photo of the “ribboned” egg mixture if you’re new to that technique. I’ve found that students almost always under beat their egg foams the first time, and you need a strong foam to hold onto the air that’s incorporated during whisking.
Another trick is to use your whisk to fold two mixtures together (but never flour). Just use the normal folding motion; each of the tines of the whisk acts like a spatula, so it’s like folding with more than a dozen spatulas at once and is very efficient. Finish with a rubber spatula to get the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Mix dry ingredients
Cut in cold butter pieces on low speed
Mix until butter pieces are no larger than peas
I used a whole egg and coffee from breakfast for the liquids
Mix just until the dough comes together
Portion and wrap dough to chill or freeze
Label and date extra doughs before freezing
Tart dough rolled, shaped and docked before chilling again
Line with foil and fill with weights to blind bake; be sure to push beans up the sides
Cocoa nibs and small copper pot I like to use to melt chocolate over low heat
I added cocoa nibs and orange zest to the melting dark chocolate and butter
Whisk egg yolks and sugar on high speed
Whipped yolk-sugar mixture shows a good ribbon when the beater is lifted
Lighten cooled chocolate mixture with some of the egg foam
Pour chocolate mixture back into the egg foam and first “fold” in with the whisk, then switch to a rubber spatula to finish
Place the chopped white and milk chocolates into the cooled tart shell
Pour the chocolate-egg mixture over the chopped chocolates
Level the filling before baking
Large tart bakes 15-20 minutes until barely set in the center
Sprinkle with powdered sugar after cooling
Completely remove peel and cut orange segments out for garnish
Filling has a soft set at room temperature and shows white and milk chocolate pieces
A small serving is plenty of this rich dessert!
I liked the soft consistency of the barely set chocolate custard when eaten just after the tart cooled to room temperature. But the the filling was too rich and sweet for my palate; perhaps a higher percentage chocolate would work better for me, and I would omit the chopped white and milk chocolates as well. For all you chocolaholics out there, remember that a little salt, coffee or vanilla accents the flavor of chocolate in your cooking and baking. I’m going to run around the block now!