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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mini Chocolate Tartlets - More Eid Confections

 This post is Sponsored by Tavola, the Middle East's exclusive retailers of high quality European fine Kitchen & Tableware brands.
As part of Dima's Kitchen Ramadan SpecialTavola are sponsoring 3 Giveaways for Dima's Kitchen Readers. For details on the giveaways and how to enter the draw, please follow this link.
This post is written to explain to you how to make best use of the Staub Grill Pan (giveaway sponsored by Tavola) & to give you a delicious recipe that showcases the perfect grilling property of this cast iron grill pan.

Nothing more beautiful or more delicious than home-made confections

"We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love."  -  Mother Tereasa
Kari, Stop Laughing!

I don't think there is anything more satisfying - for the ones who love to impress with their food - than serving a whole assortment of home-made confections! I don't even think there is anything out there that tastes as good as the home-made confections, although there are many really good manufacturers there. Why? Because when you make the confections yourself you pay attention to so much detail, that no 8-hour shifter has the time or the mind set for. Worse still if these confections are machine made! They will look gorgeous, and absolutely same size and shape. But the machine, never tastes, never adjusts, never adds its mood or spirit to the food! The machine equates and calculates in its computerised mind, how to serve you the exact same formula every time! The same marzipan pear I make today, might taste slightly different if I make it tomorrow! Because today, I am feeling for cloves but tomorrow I might be more into cinnamon. But you will always have a fresh and different treat when you come here. Aren't anticipation and the surprise element way more exciting than knowing exactly what you are going to get? Not only in falvour but even in presentation. The packs are all almost identical and almost all are filled the same way! At home, you play with the design, you stack the plates, you use a cup for pops, and bowls for truffles and layers upon layers of sweetness and imagination. This is my philosophy on Home-made verses ready-packed. I am not saying that all manufacturers must shut down now! Some don't have the time, some don't have the knowledge, some can't be bothered, and somethings can be bought to save time and effort... But whenever you can, go for making things yourself. It is utmost satisfaction and a chance for complete pride in production :)

Your home, your product, your rules!

One of the best things about making your own confections tray or platter... is that you get to decide what should go in it. You get to choose whatever you fancy regardless if they belong or not to the same production unit! Meaning, it does not have to be all chocolate, or all candy, or only chocolate and candy! It can be anything you like. It is a confections tray. Provided it looks good there, any kind of confection can go on there. The only thing you must consider is storage conditions. You would want to stack the things that can be stored in the same conditions (fridge or room temperature). Other wise you will have to keep filling the plate right before your guests arrive.

Assorted Mini Chocolate Pies

In today's post, I will share with you how to make these succulent mini chocolate tartlets, which you can add to your confections trays this Eid. Whenever I have these mini tartlets on my confection trays they are usually the first to disappear! They are rich in flavour and very open for flavouring too. I have gone for nuts and fruits as toppings, but feel free to go for any topping you like.

Here are some topping suggestions to get your imagination going...

  •  Shredded Coconuts
  • Candied Orange Peel
  • Candied Fruits 
  • Maraschino Cherries 
  • Caramel Brittles 
  • even Intricate Sugar Designs...etc anything you fancy. 
Because these mini tartlets are super small in size (1-2 bites) they give the illusion that they are guilt-free! There is nothing innocent about these little cute looking tartlets, they are the maximised indulgence in its best! The rich tart shell and the even richer melt-in-your-mouth Ganache are no players in light eating heaven, they way up on the other side playing with the full on foods. But hey, occasionally even heaven needs a bit of entertainment!

Milk Chocolate Ganache

You can make these tartlets in 3 versions: Dark, Milk or White Chocolate tarts. I usually like to pair white chocolate with berries, I find them to compliment each other's flavours, also Macadamia Nuts, and rice cereals, or honey brittle all go very well with white chocolate. I like Hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds with milk chocolate. And would choose candied fruits, or Maraschino Cherries for the the dark chocolate tartlets. But go ahead and find your own flavours, you will like your tartlets better that way ;)

Mini dark chocolate pies

Ramadan Recipe 25
Mini Chocolate Tartlets
Makes 24

 I used the mini tartlet baking trays for making the shells. These trays look like a 12-hole cupcake baking tray, except the holes look like mini tart shells. I bought these from Tavola. If you do not have them and don't wish to buy them, you can use the mini cupcake tray for a rounded look. Also a very elegant look.

You Need

1 recipe shortcrust pastry 

 For Chocolate Ganache
1 cup dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate pieces
1 cup Whipping cream

Your choice of topping

Roll out your cooled pastry, and using a round cookie cutter cut into circles the size of the rim of your mini tartlet or cupcake holes. Carefully place the cut rounds in the holes, pressing down the bottom and sides. Bake in 375F oven for 15-17 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Mini White Chocolate Pies with Strawberry pieces

Make the Ganache, by heating the cream on medium heat just until it boils. Remove from heat and add the chocolate pieces to the cream and let sit for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is all melted and incorporated and the mixture is smooth and shiny. If any tiny chocolate pieces remain use an immersion blender to blend all into a smooth finish. Leave the ganache to set at room tempertaure for 15 minutes.

Put the Ganache in a piping bag, and pipe it in the centre of the tart shells. Add your chosen topping. You can sprinkle with icing sugar or cocoa powder if you like.

Just note that tarts including fresh fruits have to be consumed fast before the fruits go bad. The best is to cut the fruits and add them to the tartlets, right before serving. This way it all remains fresh and in good shape.

Store these tartlets in an airtight container the fridge, for up to a week.

Assorted Confections Platter - With Compliments from my kitchen to yours ;)

Hope you enjoyed this post. As you have noticed, I am posting Eid hospitality recipes for you this week. And would love for you to try them out. Do take photos and send them through to me. The last day for submitting any photos for Dima's Kitchen Ramadan Special contest is the first day of Eid. Any pictures submitted after the first day of Eid will not be included in the giveaways draw. So make sure you guys have taken all the photos and sent them by then. The winners will be announced on the first Friday after Eid :) So excited!! 
Staub Cocotte,
giveaway by Tavla
The photos of the foods you have done so far are amazing. I am over the moon to have over 250 photos of recipes made by you guys from this blog's recipes :) You guys Rock!

Come back tomorrow for more ideas to fill those confection trays of yours ;)

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Ramadan Kareem