I have had a craving for these for a long time. Really, is there anything about them which doesn’t sound brilliant?
(from The Complete Book of Desserts by Ann Seranne, 1952, Faber and Faber)
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cream
¼ cup (½ stick) soft butter
¾ cup praline powder
12 baked 2 inch tart shells
Into container of an electric blender put chocolate pieces and boiling water.
Cover and blend on high speed for 10 seconds, or until chocolate sauce is smooth.
Add rum, egg yolks, cream, butter, and praline powder.
Cover and blend on high speed for 10 seconds longer, stopping to stir down if necessary.
Fill tart shell with the chocolate cream and decorate each tartlet with a rosette of whipped cream. Chill until serving time. Makes 12.
- Obviously you can also make this over a bain-marie with a whisk, if you don’t have a blender. If you choose to do this, the water you add doesn’t need to be boiling and you will need to be vigilant with regard to burning the chocolate causing it to become bitter. (i.e. the water in the saucepan should only be gently simmering.)
- I assume semi-sweet chocolate means dark. I used a very high cocoa content dark chocolate as I was worried the praline would make the tartlets too sweet.
- The chocolate cream was initially quite liquid, but cooled fast in the shells, so I could add a second layer. If they couldn’t be deeply filled with chocolate cream, they would be heaped it up with it
- I chose not to cover the tartlets with cream –I like to leave that sort of decision to my guests. I sprinkled a little leftover praline on top instead.
Initially I had some doubts: when first blended, the chocolate cream tasted bitter and the praline tasted sickly, but after a three hours in the fridge, and then 20 minutes out of the fridge before eating (so they wouldn’t have the clammy taste of overly-cold chocolate pudding), the flavours had blended together beautifully. The chocolate filling had become a truffle, with crunchy crumbs of praline and just almond, where the sugar had dissolved, adding a caramel note to the flavour. ‘Sophisticated’ was the verdict of one guest, specifically because I had used very dark chocolate.
I’m not sure about the addition of the butter – it caused the filling to set quite firm, but a softer filling using a little more cream would also be very good. I served them with cream and the consensus was that while nice, it certainly wasn’t necessary. I think making these tartlets very small is a good plan, particularly if you begin the evening by filling your guests with stew. I will definitely make them again.