Which usually have pie-like crusts. And are pie-size.
Not this time, buddy.
Mini tarts! Chocolate Crust. Dark Chocolate Filling. Chopped Almonds, Blood Orange + Zest for Garnish.
Why dark chocolate? Because it’s healthier (less sugar than in milk chocolate, good for your heart) and because I prefer it much more now than when I was younger.
SCIENCE is FUN: The regeneration speed of our taste buds slows down as we age. So when you hear that your taste buds are more refined in old age, it actually means that you have less taste buds and therefore your overall tasting ability is a bit duller. So foods that are otherwise bitter (like darker chocolates or coffee) tend to be more tolerable and favorable among “older” people. The more you know!
Why blood oranges? Because the tree in my backyard had a bunch of fruit, and I love the colors. But most importantly, the tangy and sour citrus notes are complementary (not complimentary with an “i”) to the dark chocolate. Rather than using raspberries which are more commonly paired with dark chocolate, I wanted to switch things up and take advantage of the beautiful multi-colored flesh of the blood oranges.
Why almonds? Because I love contrasting textures, and I love almonds.
So you have the chocolate crust with the perfect amount of bite/crunch filled with the super smooth dark chocolate ganache, all topped with freshly sliced blood oranges and chopped almonds. I can’t reiterate it enough, but the deep, subtly bitter taste of the dark chocolate paired with the tangy blood oranges brings out the sweetness in the dark chocolate. You could get away with no chopped nuts on top because the crunchy cookie texture of the crust provides enough texture to balance the smooth, silky dark chocolate filling.
Where’s the zest? Here it is:
I’ll definitely take a bow for that one zest curl. Thank you, thank you. Really though, zest is an easy way to add a kick to food that you feel doesn’t have enough layers of flavor.
Anyway, let’s get to what you’re here for—the recipe. I worked off of the recipe published by Chef Steps and just modified a few steps like I always do.
I felt like 14-15 ounces of dark chocolate was a lot for the 6 mini tarts I was making, so I used closer to 10 ounces. I had just a little bit of filling left over, so ‘twas a good move. Also, I used Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips from Sprouts (on sale at the time of this post!) and they worked delectably well!
I don’t have a double boiler, but who needs one? Just use a saucepan half-filled with boiling water (but is NOT on the stove anymore) and put the bowl (of chocolate + milk + salt + cream) on top of it. If you’re lucky, the sizes of the pan and bowl will fit together well enough to where the bowl isn’t quite IN the pan. But in this case, even if the bottom of the bowl touches the hot water, it’s okay. Just whisk constantly.
You might not have to add the egg yolks to the chocolate filling, but they definitely make the filling look more glossy!
Also if anyone’s wondering like I was, “blind bake” simply means to bake the crust without the filling in it. If you don’t have pie weights (me neither), you can use some crumpled foil fit to the size/shape of the tart shell and it will help in keeping its form. You crumple the foil a bit because it’ll act as a form rather than as a sheet of paper (which would have no beneficial effect).
Be sure to use a sieve (like the recipe recommends) to pour the filling through because it gets rid of lumps and air bubbles and, again, contributes to the smoothness of the filling when it sits in the tart shell. If you do this right after mixing up the filling, you don’t have to ‘keep the mixture warm’ like the recipe mentions (which can get a bit complicated). Just begin pouring it through a small/medium sieve so that it can cool a little bit while you’re pouring/pushing it through the sieve. Trust me.
Remember to wait until the tart(s) has cooled before you slice it! Otherwise your crust might crack unevenly or your filling might not slice neatly because it’s still too warm to have set in place.
Those are all the tips I can think of right now. I’m going to eat my tart now. Have fun and be safe!