Chocolate berry tarts and sluggish weather

rainThe weather in Sydney got a bit rubbish overnight. The Boy and I went to a Mexican themed birthday bash (check us out, we dressed up and everything!) and it started to rain as the night wore on, unfortunately. The company and food was good, despite the weather’s best efforts to dampen things.

Torrential rain is perfect indoor weather, which means I crave sweets. Comfort food.

If you’re anything like me, however, the wet weather also means that you’re lazy. I’m currently writing in my pyjamas and enjoying the sound of the rain. I had intended to go to the gym this morning, but as soon as I heard the rain I excused myself because rain.

NormanThat’s a valid excuse, right?

If you’re as sluggish as Norman and I are on rainy days, whip up these little gems. They’re sweet and sophisticated, and you can make them in half an hour. They’ll need to set for about 90 minutes, so you can’t eat them straight away, but they’re worth the wait!

These tarts have the same filling as the delicious chocolate tart I posted recently, it’s just halved. I got such enthusiastic complements on the tart the last time I made it that I figured it would translate well into mini tarts. And it did!

They weren’t really Mexican, but party goers didn’t seem to mind.

Chocolate berry tarts

Makes 18 tartstarts

  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 25g butter
  • ½ cup mixed berries

Preheat your oven to 200C and grease two 12 cup muffin tins.

Whip your frozen pastry out of the oven and select a round cutter that is slightly bigger than the circumference of your muffin tin. Cut out as many rounds as you can from your pastry sheets – I fit nine on each sheet.

Press each pastry round into your muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes. Don’t worry about pricking the pastry with a fork, you want them to puff up lots.

While the rounds are in the oven, break your chocolate up and pop it in a pan with the cream, vanilla and sugar. Slowly bring this mixture to a boil, add in the butter and stir regularly so that the mixture doesn’t burn.

If you want your chocolate filling to be completely velvety smooth, be really vigilant with ensuring that all of the chocolate is melted, then take it off the heat. If you’re like me, however, and like to find surprise chunks of chocolate in the tart, you can be a bit lazy. I make sure that the chocolate is about 95% melted and then I take it off the heat.

Take the pastry out of the oven and allow them to cool for two minutes. I forgot to take a picture, but they should be lovely and round, like delicious puff pastry pillows. Use a spoon with a really round bottom  to press a nice cavity into the centre of each of each of the ‘pillows.’ I used a measuring spoon, but a soup spoon would work as well.

aboveTransfer your pastry rounds onto whatever plate you’ll serve them from and start filling them with the chocolate mixture. Fill them up to just below the brim, leaving some room for the berries. You’ll probably have a little bit of chocolate mixture left over – pop it in the fridge and use it later as warmed up chocolate sauce on ice cream, or eat it straight from the fridge like fudge.

Pop a few berries in each tart, trying not to overfill the little cases, because the chocolate may overflow – as delicious as a chocolatey overflow sounds, you don’t want this.

Pop them in the fridge for 90 minutes (or in the freezer for about an 40 minutes) and serve with a nice warm cuppa.

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