Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chocolate Pudding Poppy Seed Tart

I was so ready to go on a Hiatus and reading week till I picked up a baking book. Gosh...if there is a seasonal addiction that I have, it must be baking. And my kitchen oven is the hardest working appliance in my house, beating the dishwasher anytime.

Perhaps it was the lingering effect from all those Easter chocolate, my sweet tooth for chocolate has not subsided and looking back, I haven't done much with chocolate for fear of messiness and over indulgence. So instead of a chocolate cake, I thought of chocolate pudding but knowing my eagerness, I won't contain the pudding in a cup. And so, I thought a tart case will look nice and with the extra berries sitting in the fridge, what better way to use them up on a simple chocolate tart.

Of all my bakings, I love making tarts the most. I just think it is easier to make than cake and less complicated than pastries and doesn't require much time like bread making. As much as I like to make savory tarts, sweet ones seem to be more appealing and versatile in ingredients and colors. I would like to incorporate more ingredients that enhance the flavor of the tart crust itself and perhaps add coloring to it besides the usual baked brown. Tarts can become as interesting as any decorated cookies or cupcakes and I am looking forward to make more of them in future.

At first I thought of making a chocolate custard filling but thinking of the number of eggs and yolks used for custard, I skipped the idea. And just when I thought I had enough left over cream from the macaron making last week, I only had 1/2 cup left and had to substitute and improvise with milk instead. Fearing that the chocolate might be too runny, I added a little gelatin to the chocolate pudding and the filling did firmed up a little and flow out like the chocolate lava in molten cakes.

I have used rice flour in my Asian desserts but never in my baking. I gave it a try this time with these tarts to see on what is the difference by adding the rice flour to all purpose flour. The tart case was firm and less brittle than the usual all purpose flour made tart. When cut into, the tart case doesn't disintegrate but rather separate in a firm chunk and I think this crust is very suitable for a soft filling like chocolate pudding. I always apply egg wash after the baking beans are removed from the half baked tart shells before finishing the baking for another 15 mins. This will seal the crust bottom and sides and avoid the usual sogginess that we usually get from store bought fruit tarts. The poppy seeds added color and texture and maybe I rolled the dough a bit thin which fitted the 4 inches tart pans nicely but shrunk a bit after the baking and looked roundish and a bit flattened. There was still some strawberry mousse left from the pink macarons last week and I piped some to get the color contrast with the chocolate and berries.

Ingredients :

Poppy Seed Tart:
4 oz butter, slightly cold and almost room temperature; 1 cup all purpose flour; 1/2 cup rice flour; 1 tbsp sugar 1/8 tsp salt; 4 tbsp cold water; 1/2 tsp poppy seeds; 1 egg, beaten

Chocolate Pudding :
1 egg; 4 oz semi sweet chocolate bar; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 1/2 cup milk; 1/2 tsp gelatin powder mixed in 2 tbsp water.

Method :
Poppy Seed Tart :

1) Sift the all purpose flour, rice flour, sugar and salt together.

2) Cut butter into small chunks and using hands, rub into the flour mixture till resemble coarse crumb. Sprinkle in the poppy seeds.

3)Starting with 2 tbsp of the cold water and adding 1 tbsp continuously till the dough comes together and is not sticky but malleable. Pat into a round block and wrap in plastic, rest it in the fridge for 1 hour.

4)Take out and roll the dough to fit into the tart pans. Prick the bottom with fork and return to the fridge to rest for 15 mins. Preheat oven to 375F.

5)Line the tart shells with foil paper and put in baking beans on each. Bake for 15 mins.

6)Remove from oven and reduce the heat to 350F. Remove the foil and baking beans and apply the egg wash with a brush to the bottom and sides of the inside of the tart crusts. Return to the oven and bake for further 15 mins. Turn off heat and let the tart shells sit in the oven for further 5 mins. Remove and cool on rack.

Chocolate Pudding :
1)Heat the heavy cream and milk together over the stove.
2)Break the chocolate bars into smaller pieces in a bowl and pour in the cream mixture. Stir till all the chocolate is melted and dissolved.
3)Use the egg from the egg wash. Slowly pour some of the chocolate cream mixture into the egg and keep whisking and then return the whole mixture back into the remaining chocolate cream mixture. This is the tempering process. Pour the whole mixture back into the pot and keep stirring for 5 mins on slow heat. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.

To assemble :
1)Use a spoon to spoon even quantity of the chocolate filling into the tart cases.
2)Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and garnish with fresh cream or berries.

Makes : 6 of 4 (four) inches tarts


Holly said...

Your tarts are lovely! I just bought some tart pans after wishing for them for far too long. I can't wait to make some tarts, maybe starting with this one!

Lily Anette said...

Holly, thank you for dropping by. Tarts are a lovely thing to make and my favorite to make so far! Good luck and can't wait to see yours in your blog!