Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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Craving Quest, Part 2

This is part 2 of my quest to make a sweet that will make Alex a satisfied and happily plump man. This dessert also incorporates peanut butter and chocolate but in a very different way from the brownies I made earlier. I think I picked this dessert more for myself than for Alex. It has nothing to do with taste either, I just really like making tarts. This tart is similar to the torte I made a few months ago for Tuesdays With Dorie, but it is so much more approachable than the TWD one. The crust is easy to make, the filling is light and smooth, and the whole thing comes together beautifully. I actually liked this recipe and found it to be quite delicious (I did not like the TWD one). What really did me in with this dessert was that the peanut butter taste wasn't the strongest flavor; the chocolate pastry, peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache perfectly balanced each other out to create a taste that was unique and complimentary. Now I just have to sit and wait til Alex gets home so that I can find out if either of the desserts I made today are good enough to get rid of his ultra-specific sweet tooth.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Tartlets

Source: Carole Bloom's The Essential Baker
Makes 4 tarlets or eight 2 1/2-inch round tartlets

Cocoa Pastry Dough
1 /4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, chilled
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Pulse briefly to blend.

Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until the butter is cut into very tiny pieces, about 30 seconds. The texture should be sandy with tiny lumps throughout.

Use a fork to beat the egg yolk with the vanilla in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and process until the dough wraps itself around the blade, about 1 minute.

Turn the pastry dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a flat disk and wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.

Let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before rolling to become more pliable. On a smooth, flat surface roll out the dough between sheets of lightly floured parchment paper to a large round, about 1/4 inch think. Remove the top sheet of paper and use a round cutter to cut out the circles of the pastry dough. Carefully peel the circles off the other piece of paper. Gather together the dough scraps, reroll, and cut out remaining circles. Fit the circle of pastry dough into the tart pan and trim off excess dough at the top of the pan with your fingertips. Transfer the pans to a baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

In an oven preheated to 375 degrees, bake the tarts for 10 minutes. If the bottom of the pastry shell puffs up, gently pierce them in a few places with a fork to release the air. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and transfer the tarts to a rack to cool completely.

I put the filling in by mistake before baking the crusts. Oops!

Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup natural-style chunky peanut butter, at room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place the peanut butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the sugar to the peanut butter mixture and cream together well.

Please the heavy cream in a medium mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until frothy. Add the vanilla and continue to whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in 3 stages, blending thoroughly.

Fill each tart with the filling and use the back of a damp spoon to smooth down any points on the top of the filling. Chill the tarts in the freezer for 30 minutes, until the filling is set.

Chocolate Ganache Topping
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the chocolate in a large bowl.

Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir together with a rubber spatula until very smooth. Add the vanilla and stir well to blend.

Using a spoon, cover the top of each tartlet with the ganache.

All done!


Nice layers.

I love this picture.


SpinachNPeace said...

the tarlet is beautiful!!! i can only imagine how it tastes! yums!

Maria said...

Delicious! I wish I could take a bite!

The DeL Sisters said...

You are making my mouth water! I love chocolate and peanut butter!

Erin said...

These look beautiful! Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations, so I'm sure I would love this.

jen said...

These look delicious! Fabulous job, love the toasted peanuts on top!

Steph said...

I love your filling! What can be better than pb, cream cheese and cream.