Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Blog Showcase, Double Chocolate Pecan Tarts

I knew when I saw this tart on Thilbeault's Table blog that I was in trouble...big trouble! I didn't want to wait for an occasion to try it, but couldn't justify making such a decadent tart just because I wanted it now! So I made small tarts in 4 inch tart pans that I bought at E. Dehillerin's in Paris. I did need to break them in...didn't I?? So now I am only in a little trouble ;-) And, I can give the others away. So for this Saturday's Blog Showcase I am making Double Chocolate Pecan Tarts. This recipe has traveled like a chocolate chain letter, with each person adding their own signature. I made Ann's dough using all butter in the food processor. Ann at Thibeault's Table substituted the corn syrup with maple syrup in the tart. I substituted it with organic raw Blue Agave it's healthy, right?!

Don't break the chain...add your signature and pass it on! I'm showcasing three blogs this week, Thibeault's Table, Rollin in the Dough, and Annie's Eats.

Thanks Ann at Thibeault's Table, and Lori at All That Splatters for hosting this showcase.

Double Chocolate Pecan Tarts

For the filling:

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ tsp. salt

2 large eggs

½ cup corn syrup, maple syrup or Agave nectar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped into small pieces

1/2 cup pecans halves

3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Butter Pastry
2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

2/3 cup butter, cubed

5 to 6 tablespoons of ice water

Add the flour, sugar and butter to the bowl of a food processor and pulse. The mixture should be the size of peas. Pour the ice water into the feed tube of the processor, so that it drips down while the machine is running. Process until the mixture forms into a ball and stop. Any overworking will make the dough tough. For the tarts, cut into 8 pieces, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

On a lightly-floured work surface, roll each of the 8 balls of the pie dough out into a round. Transfer the rounds to 4-inch tart pans. Trim the edges as necessary. Freeze the dough-lined tart pans until firm and very cold, about 30 minutes.

Adjust an oven rack to lower middle position and heat the oven to 375° F. Remove the dough-lined pans from the freezer, press a sheet of foil inside the pie shell and fill with ceramic baking beads. Bake about 30 minutes, until the dough looks dry and light in color. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue baking the crust 5-6 minutes more, until light golden brown.

While the pie crust is baking, make the filling. Melt the butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the double boiler but maintain the simmering water. Stir in the sugar and salt with a wooden spoon until the butter is absorbed. Beat in the eggs, corn syrup (or substitution) and vanilla. Return the bowl to the double boiler and heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is shiny and hot to the touch, about 130° F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.
As soon as the pie shell comes out of the oven, lower the oven temperature to 275° F. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Scatter the chopped chocolate pieces over the filling and press into the filling with the back of a spoon. Arrange pecan halves in a circular pattern around the tarts.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 50-60 minutes, until the pie looks set but slightly soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 4 hours.

Makes 8-4 inch tarts or 1 large tart. The recipe may also be cut in half.

Double Chocolate pecan Tarts recipe click here.

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