Sunday, February 15, 2009

In England a 'tart' is an insult

Chocolate Truffle Tarts

It only seems appropriate my first blog here (and ever!) is of tarts.

I stole and mixed this recipe from two other sites which i will post below, so technically this is 4 recipes (it's finite math, trust me), not just 1!

Crust site:

Filling site:

This recipe makes enough dough for probably 8-10 tart shells and more than enough chocolate truffle to fill these cups sufficiently. If you have excess filling, consider covering your hand in the chocolate for a tasty treat for the grad student on the go!

Crust Ingredients

- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/8 cup sugar

- 1/16 teaspoon salt

- 1/4 cup vegan margarine

- 2-3 tablespoons ice cold water

- Apricot preserves

Crust Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Blend the flour, sugar, and salt until well-mixed.
  3. Chill the flour mixture in the freezer for 15-20 minutes
  4. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands, cut the margarine into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles small pebbles.
  5. Chill this mixture in the freezer again for another 15-20 minutes.
  6. Slowly add water by the tablespoon incorporating it with a wooden spoon until it just holds together. Do not add too much water and definitely do not overmix.
  7. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and lightly flour the surface you will roll it out on. Take off a small walnut-sized portion for a 3-4 inch tart tin and roll it into a circle that is about 1" larger than the size of the tin. The dough should be about 1/8" thick.
  9. Place the dough in the tart tin (I didn't have a tart tin so I used muffin tins) and press down lightly to fit the shape of the tin. Do not stretch the dough to fit the tin. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent excessive bubbling.
  10. Bake the tart at 400°F for about 15 minutes. The edges should be turning slightly brown and the body should look dry and flaky. Remove from the oven and cool.
  11. Once each tart has cooled to room temperature, brush a light coating of apricot preserves. This layer forms a barrier between the crème filling and the crust keeping the crust light and flaky.

Chef James’ Note: I didn’t do the apricot coating cuz I didn’t think it would jive with the chocolate filling, but might be worthwhile if you had a different filling.

Chocolate Truffle Filling

- 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp coconut milk, using thick cream (the junk from the top of the can, suggested you leave the can in the fridge, not shaking before opening and extract your portion from the top layer of coco milk, the fatter portion)

- 3 1/2 tbsp - 4 Tbsps organic unrefined virgin coconut oil (coconut butter) [I used sunflower oil cuz I couldn’t find coco butter]

- 3/4 tsp pure almond extract (or can use pure vanilla)

- 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips (or can use non-dairy chocolate bars)


  1. In a double boiler (or fit a metal/glass bowl over a saucepan filled with several inches of water) over medium-low heat, combine coconut milk, oil, and extract, stirring occasionally for several minutes until melted.
  2. Add chocolate chips (reserving a small portion, about ¼ cup), and stir until the chocolate chips are just about melted. Then, turn off the heat and add remaining chocolate chips and gently stir through.
  3. Once just melted (do not overwork the chocolate), remove saucepan from heat and place in fridge to cool mixture while cleaning up.
  4. After the filing has cooled slightly (maybe 10mins) pour the filling to the top of the cups. Place back in fridge for another 15mins to let the mixture solidify before arranging your own fruit mixture.

The incredibly artistic fruit decorations on the top (in case you didn’t notice i cut the strawberries into hearts as these were Valentine’s Day gifts) were my own creative genius. But I invite you to create your own designs! Possibly commemorating some other important days, such as Martin Luther King Day, Roshashana, or Waitangi Day (Feb 6, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document). One can only imagine what innovative designs you can cut strawberries into to celebrate these momentous occasions!


Chef James

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