Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Marbled Chocolate Tarts With Strawberries

Marbled chocolate tart
Marbled chocolate tart with strawberry and mint
Since strawberries last for a short season, it makes sense to include this lovely fruit in as many ways as possible. Although I have a few pots there isn't enough produce to be used in cooking or baking. The other day I got the freshest ones at our local market and since we had friends over, I decided to make these tartlets. About a decade ago, growing strawberries wasn't as common as it is now. But with farms coming up in the neighbouring state of Meghalaya, the state supplies the region with its produce. And many home gardens also grow them nowadays. One of the most well-known farms must be Sohliya which is also known as the Strawberry Village. Meghalaya is now the third largest producer of the fruit in our country with total dominance of the eastern and North-eastern market.
Marbled chocolate tarts
Dianthus from my front yard & the tarts... ready to be relished!
Coming back to my tarts, I filled them up with white chocolate and put a dollop of dark chocolate in the centre. With tarts that need not be baked (with the filling) it's so convenient as you can make them a day or two ahead. Makes it easier with the rest of the preparations when you are expecting guests.

Ingredients for the pastry:
(I used 6 tart tins)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes+ extra to grease the tins
1 egg
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
Iced water to sprinkle on the dough

Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder together in a bowl. Add the butter.
Mix till it turns crumbly.Break the egg and add it.
Mix till the dough comes together. You might need to sprinkle some water at this point.
Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Take it out and roll into a large circle. Cut out smaller circles that will fit into the tins. Take each circle and place on the tins. 
Press the bottom portion and the edges. Remove any extra overhanging dough. Prick the pastry bottom with a fork and chill for about 15 minutes before baking them blind.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Take the prepared tins out of the fridge.
Place discs of greaseproof paper on the dough. Fill with baking beans and bake for about 10 minutes.
Remove the paper discs and beans and bake for another 10 minutes or till done.
Leave to cool as you prepare the filling.

The dark chocolate had hardened a bit which is why this looks messy. Bad sense of timing!!

The filling:
300 grams white chocolate
150ml cream
25 grams unsalted butter
Break the white chocolate into small bits (or you can chop it up using a serrated knife) and place the pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream in another pan till it comes to near-boiling point.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir till no bits and pieces remain.
Let it cool down to the desired consistency before you go to the next step.
If you want to add the marbled effect to the filling, proceed as for white chocolate but with about 75 grams of dark chocolate, a dash of cream and a few dots of butter.
white chocolate tarts

Fill each of the baked tart shells with the white chocolate almost to the brim. Add a spoonful of the dark chocolate and swirl with a spoon handle to create a pattern. Chill till needed.
Take the tarts out of the fridge at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with sprigs of mint and a whole strawberry placed right in the middle of the tart. 
The strawberries in our region aren't the sweetest but they work very well in this recipe. The taste of the slightly acidic fruit creates a beautiful balance with the sweetness of the white chocolate and they look so pretty sitting on all that white chocolate! And they also HID the messy dark chocolate swirls in the middle of the tarts!;)

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