lunes, 17 de enero de 2011

Almond-chocolate tarts (Project Pastry Queen)

Note: I initially posted this recipe in both english and spanish, but decided it was way too messy and the post ended up being too long for my taste, so I separated it into 2 different posts, one for each language. Please excuse any spelling or redaction errors, english is my second language and I don't get to practice it that much.

And, well, welcome to my blog's first english post!


This is my first post for PPQ, and I'm really excited about it! Since there was a Wild Card this week I think it was the perfect week to join, and it let me make the very recipe that made me want to join, the Texas Big Hairs Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Tarts that Joelen from What's Cookin, Chicago published a few weeks ago. I loved them the moment I read the title, and even more when I saw Katy's version. It's not easy to find hazelnut's in Costa Rica, but almonds I always have in my kitchen, and I absolutely love them! So I made the recipe just as Katy made it, and I just think they're awesome!

I guess there's no reason for actually translating the recipe, since you can just follow the link, but I'm gonna anyway, just in case you find the images helpful at all.

Enjoy! I definitely did!


Quantity: 4 tarts

Ingredients:

Crust:
• 1/3 c. crushed almonds
• 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature + more for greasing pans
• 1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 1 tsp. almond extract
• 3/4 c. flour

Ganache:
• 1 c. whipping cream
• 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Meringue:
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 3/4 c. sugar

Preparation:


1. First of all, to make the crust, using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the almond extract.

2. Gradually add the flour and combine on low speed until just incorporated. Add the almonds and mix on low speed just until incorporated.

3. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can go watch TV if you want.


4. When the 30 minutes are up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and with your fingers, butter four 4 tartlet pans, using about 1 generous tablespoon softened unsalted butter total.

5. Take the dough out of the fridge, divide into 4 equal portions, and press into the prepared pans, making sure the dough comes up to the top edge of the pans. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. (Don’t worry if the tart bottoms look wrinkly.) At this point, the crusts can be cooled and stored in airtight containers for up to 2 days.


6. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter and vanilla extract. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat.

7. Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

8. Spoon the ganache into the tart shells, dividing it evenly among them. Refrigerate the tarts at least 30 minutes, or until the ganache is set.


9. 10 minutes before the tartlets are due to come out of the refrigerator, set a perfectly clean bowl of your mixer over a pot of simmering water. Pour in the egg whites and sugar. Heat the egg whites and sugar while whisking constantly until the sugar melts and there are no visible grains in the meringue. (Note: if there is a trace of fat in the bowl, the eggs won’t reach their proper volume).

10. Remove the meringue from over the simmering water and whip it with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on low speed for 5 minutes; then increase the speed to high and whisk for 5 more minutes, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.

11. Pile the meringue on top of the cooled tarts, being sure to seal each tart by spreading the meringue to the edge of the pan. Style the meringe with your fingers or the back of a spoon, by plucking at it to tease the meringue into jagged spikes. I kinda didn't get the spikes right, so it is definitely not a "big hairs" tart, but I love it all the same!
Then, either broil the tarts until the meringue turns golden brown on a preheated oven, or use a kitchen torch holdig it 2-3 inches away from the meringue until it is browned all over. Watch the tarts carefully, as they can turn from browned to burned in a matter of seconds.

The tarts should be served the day they are assembled because the meringue starts to melt down, and the crust gets all soft.

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Beautiful tarts! And welcome to the group!

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