Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CHERRY MASCARPONE AND CHOCOLATE BERRY MINI TARTS

I love tarts with fresh berries, they are easy to bake and look absolutely fantastic! The most popular recipe on my blog so far is this wonderful tart with mascarpone and berries. And no wonder: crispy crust, rich cream and berries combine in a treat that's twice as delicious as the sum of its parts!
This time I decided to bake mini tarts, mini everything is better, don't you think? They look so cute, plus you can easily make two different tastes to keep everybody happy. With chocolate ganache, berries and fruits for girls, mascarpone cream with cherries for boys or another way around, it doesn't matter.
Everybody would love them, trust me.


INGREDIENTS:
For the pastry (for 8 mini tarts):
200g plain flour, sifted
16g dark, bitter cocoa powder, sifted
130g cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus 10-20g to grease the tart tins
90g icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
26g almond flour
1 egg
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
For the mascarpone filling (4 mini tarts)
50g icing sugar, sifted
200g whipping cream
100g mascarpone
1 tbsp kirsch
200g fresh cherries
50g good quality chocolate for decoration
For the chocolate filling (4 mini tarts)
100g good quality chocolate, finally chopped
100ml whipping cream
2 tbsp golden syrup (or glucose syrup)
1 tbsp kirsch
Special equipment:
8 mini tart tins (10-12 cm in diameter) like this (I bought mine in Albert Heijn, but you can also find them in Dille & Kamille).

DIRECTIONS:

The pastry (pate sablee)*:
1. In a food processor, combine sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, plain and almond flour, cocoa powder and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. With the running machine, add the egg and whizz until well combined.
3. Gather the pastry into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
* If well wrapped, this pastry will keep in the freezer for up to 3 month.

Crust:
1. Lightly butter tart tins and chill on a baking tray.
2. Roll out the pastry (pate sablee) on a lightly floured surface to a round, 3-4mm thick. Cut 8 circles and line greased tart tins.
3. Trim off the excess pastry, gently press the pastry edges up the side of the tins to form a nice line. Chill for 20 minutes in a fridge.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).  Prick the chilled pasrty all over with a fork. Line each tart tin with baking paper, fill with beans or peas (it will prevent the dough from rising or "sliding").
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
6. Leave to cool in a tin completely. Remove the tarts from the tins and place on a serving plate.

Mascarpone filling:
1. Combine mascarpone, sugar, kirsch and cream in a bowl, whip with an electric mixer until thick and smooth. Place the bowl in the fridge for the filling to thicken.
Chocolate filling:
1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and set aside. In another pan heat the cream with kirsch and syrup until almost boiling, then pour onto the melted chocolate and beat until glossy and smooth.

To assemble:
1. Chocolate berry tarts: top with the chocolate ganache and garnish with berries and fruits of your choice (I used cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries).
2. Mascarpone cherry tarts: top with mascarpone filling, garnish with whole cherries and grate the chocolate on top.

Serve and enjoy!

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