Just when i thought i was officially off the hook from chocolate, my dearest friend koko who is now 10 weeks pregnant, has the biggest cravings for chocolate. We were planning to have an afternoon of baking fun together at my place and she specifically wanted chocolate. Part of the pleasures of being pregnant is that everyone around you crowns you the queen and allows you to make the decision especially when it is anything related to food.
So after much "erms" and "ahhs", we decided on Truffle Brownies
and White Chocolate Creme Citron Tart
both from Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow. Baking is so much more fun when you have someone else to join in as well!
I remember baking brownies out of a Betty Crocker pre-mix box.....as a student then, it was satisfying as its a easy 1-2 steps and viola
you got brownies! But after tasting these brownies from Fran's recipe, i can assure you will never ever buy another packet of Brownies mix from Betty Crocker!Truffle Brownies
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 pound (unsalted butter, room Temp)(1 pound = 453.6g)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
6 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour, seived
Position rack in the middle of oven and pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan
In a double boiler over simmering water combine chocolate. Remove when nearly melted and continue stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars at a medium speed until light. 5-6min.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the mixture is smooth and light, 2-3min.
Pour in cooled chocolate and mix well. If butter begins to melt when the chocolate is added, stop pouring and let the chocolate cool further. The finished mixture should be glossy and smooth.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour until all traces of white have disappeared. Be careful not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and back 30min or until the crust is dull on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with dark wet crumbs on it.
Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Cut into squares and remove with a spatula. Store brownies in a sealed pleastic container for as long as a week.
Best served with your favourite ice cream!White Chocolate Creme Citron Tart andPure Chocolate Tart
Ingredients:Sugar Tart Crust
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 cup cake flour
extra flour for dustingWhite Chocolate Creme Citron filling
8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp, cut into 16 piecesPure Chocolate filling
17 oz dark milk chocolate plus 3 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 strips lemon peel, cut with a veggie peeler, 1 x 3 inch
Method:Sugar Tart Crusts
In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed, about 2 min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the egg yolk. Continue mixing on medium high speed for 1-2min until pale yellow in colour and completely smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the cake flour spoonfuls at a time. Mix on low speed just until blended, being careful not to overmix. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and gently pat into a ball. Wrap well and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Lightly butter 12 3-inch round tart pans.
Remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Let dough warm for 20min until its pliable but still cool to the touch.
On a lightly floured board gently knead the dough a few times. Pat into a ball then with your palms, flatten then start rolling from the center with a floured rolling pin until its about 1/8 inch thick. Keep dusting the board and pin with flour as needed.
With a 4 inch round cutter (what i used was a glass with a 4inch diameter) cut out circles. Transfer the circles of dough to the butter tart pans, pressing into the bottom and sides. Using a fork, pierce the bottom several times. Using a paring knife, trim off excess dough along the edges. Chill for at least 30min before baking.
To bake, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Place chilled tart shells on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25min until the top is blistered and dry and lightly brown.White Chocolate Creme Citron Tart
Place egg yolks and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Immediately whisk together until smooth. Add lemon juice and whisk again.
Place saucepan over low heat. Cook the egg yolk mixture stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula until the mixture thicken and you notice the first bubble of a boil. Immediately remove from the heat.
Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter, a piece at a time, stirring until completely incorporated.
Pour into the baked tart shells and chill to set for about 4 hours.Pure Chocolate Tart
In a double boiler melt chocolate over low heat. Remove when chocolate is nearly melted and stir till smooth.
In a saucepan, heat the cream and lemon peel over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5min.
Pour cream through a seive into the melted chocolate, stirring gently. Pour filling into the tart shells, smoothing the top. Place in fridge to set for 4 hours.
Allow tarts to warm to room temp before serving.