Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

21 Feb

Although I have spent the past year up to my ears in pie, I have not been inspired to make a tart.  Tarts just seem so high maintenance – so pristine with their tight little crumb and perfectly filled shells.  It’s like they are the fancy older sister of pie.  The one from the Upper East Side, with a big job and a crisp, pressed suit who comes home to see the crunchy little sister with the non-profit job who lives in t-shirts and jeans.  To me, that’s the difference between a tart and a pie.

My time to conquer the tart has come with the latest Tuesdays With Dorie challenge:  Chocolate Truffle Tartlets.  You can find the recipe at the site of one this week’s hosts:  Spike.does.stuff. You can also visit Tuesdays With Dorie to see how others fared.

I have to be honest – this challenge came very close to squashing my dreams of perfecting the art of French pastry.  I came out of the gate strong, making a chocolate dough for the tart shell.  Flour – check.  Really good cocoa – check.  Sugar – check.  5 Tablespoons of butter – FAIL.  It was supposed to be 8.

See, the recipe for the chocolate dough was on a different page than the tart recipe.  Midway through the dough, my page flipped back to the main tart recipe and I read 5T of butter from the chocolate filling recipe on accident.  I was totally oblivious to this, even as I dumped a dry pile of crumbs onto my work surface.  Honestly, did I really think this mess was going to form into dough?  Yes, I did.

I knew something wasn’t right when the recipe instructed me to do the French fraisage technique to bring the dough together.  Little by little, you take your crumbs and with the heel of your hand, smear it across the work surface to stretch the butter.  This is supposed to create a delicate, flaky dough.  But, when you have not used enough butter, this technique is nearly impossible.  Rather than create a delicate dough, you just make your hand sore and sprain your finger from all the poking and patting (seriously).

I was determined to not let this dough get the best of me.  I smooshed, I smeared, I was the definition of overworking the dough.  I was still clueless to the fact that I was missing 3 Tablespoons of butter.  I refrigerated the dough and returned to prepare the tart pans.  What I pulled out of the refrigerator was not dough – it was a hard, dry hunk of chocolate something.  I broke it into as equal pieces as possible, but I was certain that I was not doing Julia Child proud.

I was too far into this to turn back.  Using all of my strength, I tamped out circles with a rolling pin and lined the pans with dough.  By the end, I was feeling like there was hope left for these to be edible.

I baked the shells and turned my attention to the filling.  This recipe is not for the person who just kind of likes chocolate.  This is a prove your devotion to chocolate, beyond chocoholic recipe.  Not only is there a chocolate crust, but there are three types of chocolate – bittersweet, milk and white chocolate.  Not to mention 8 egg yolks.

Gooey mess of melted chocolate and butter

Perfect light yellow ribbon of whipped egg yolks

I combined the melted chocolate with the whipped egg yolks, chopped chocolate and chopped biscotti and spooned the mixture into the cooled tart shells.

After the tarts were baked and cooled, I removed them from their pans.  The result was better than I expected.  They stayed in tact and made for a very pretty presentation.  The taste?  Well, the crust was pretty good considering the butter issue.  But to be honest, these were way too chocolatey for me.  I liked the rich taste and the chunks of the biscotti, but two bites was more than enough.  I just know there’s a chocolate fanatic out there that would love these!


12 Responses to “Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets”

  1. Margaret February 21, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    You are right: the concept of being too chocolatey will not compute with the chocolate addicts!

    I was there with you in sympathy as you tried to scrunch the butter-deprived dough into a pr-flaky consistency. Will you try again?

    • pieeyedbaker February 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Margaret! I missed you! 🙂 I can’t believe I confessed to thinking these were over the top on chocolate – they would earn their stripes with those who can take on a super chocolate dessert. I do want to try again and this time with the correct amount of butter and scale back the triple threat chocolate.

  2. Katie February 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    I can’t believe you made it work with the missing butter. Hurray for soldering on! They look great.

  3. gingerskeeper February 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I think you made Julia proud! And there’s no such thing as too much chocolate 🙂

  4. Wendy February 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Your tarts look great! And no butter?!

  5. Teresa February 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    I love your comparison of tart and pie personalities! I’m glad the butter deficit didn’t prevent your crust from coming together. We enjoyed these, but then we’re definitely chocolate fans.

    • pieeyedbaker February 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Hey, Teresa! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy them… they were just a little intense (and the truth is, I had also made a regular pie, so I’d eaten a piece of that before the tarts were done). 🙂

  6. Lola February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I think you’re right, this is a dessert for true chocolate lovers! I’m glad you persevered with the crust and it came out ok!

  7. Kathleen February 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Your result looks great – I’m impressed and amazed that you got the crust to work without actually having the butter amount match the recipe. I also found it confusing to have the crust recipe so many pages away from the tart recipe – it does make it easier to goof up.

    • pieeyedbaker February 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      Thanks, Kathleen! I loved your results using one large tart pan – very nice! I tried to comment on your blog, but for some reason, it won’t let me. I’m going to take a tip from you and start prepping the recipes ahead of time. These Tuesdays are sneaking up on me!

  8. cookbookhabit February 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    The tart turned out beautifully! Now, I’m the opposite with pies vs. tarts – I have had way better luck with tart dough than pie crust. To me, pie crust is way fussier (though I admit I need to practice making it). This was soooooo chocolatey. Maybe a bit much. Thanks for baking along with us this week.

  9. Cher February 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    I am right there with you – these were just too much chocolate for me. A healthy dose of vanilla ice cream helped 🙂
    Glad you survived your dough issues intact. Whew!

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