As with the filling for the rose chocolate truffles, this ganache is easily adaptable. Simply infuse the cream with a flavour you like such as rose petals, vanilla or tea in the scalding stage (as you heat the cream) to produce a different flavour. You can then finish the tarts with a shard of chocolate, a piece of honeycomb or any of the things listed in the below recipe. Ultimately the pastry and the ganache recipes here can serve as the building blocks for dozens of your own unique tarts all year round.
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 35 minutes
You will need:
1 batch of Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
Egg wash: (1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 25ml double cream or milk)
1 batch of Ganache (see recipe below)
One 12-hole cupcake/muffin tray or 12 mini tart tins, greased
To decorate: nuts, fruit or edible flowers
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan assisted/gas mark 6.
2. Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thickness and cut rounds to fit your prepared cupcake/muffin tray or mini tart cases, allowing extra to cover the sides – approximately 10cm rounds for a standard cupcake tray.
3. Press these carefully into the cavities and refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
4. Line, weight down with baking beans and blind bake for around 10–15 minutes, or until starting to brown.
5. Remove from the oven, brush all over with the egg wash and bake another 2 minutes to seal.
6. Remove and allow to cool.
To make the Ganache Filling
150g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small roughly even pieces
25g unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of sea salt
250ml double cream
1. Put the chocolate and butter and salt into a bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the cream in a double boiler until it starts to simmer. Your aim is to heat the cream until it’s just hot enough to melt chocolate but not much hotter, so keep a close eye on it and don’t allow it to boil – it’s ready when it starts to bubble up just at the edge.
3. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and butter, stirring to bring together and melt the chocolate. If necessary you can return the mixture to the double boiler very briefly, but make sure it doesn’t overheat or it will split.
4. Allow it to cool slightly then transfer to a jug and pour the ganache evenly into your cooled pastry cases.
5. Top carefully with fresh fruit such as raspberries, a sprinkle of toasted nuts or edible flowers and then transfer to the fridge to set completely – (approximately 1/2 hour)
Troubleshooting: If your ganache splits, add some chilled cream and whisk hard to try to bring the emulsion back together.
Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth is available from Cannongate books, 2012
Follow Lily on Twitter @lilyvanillicake
For more information visit lilyvanilli.com
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