Last Friday I broke my self-imposed charity shop ban and went for a cruise around a couple of my local favourites (no, I'm not telling you where they are). The do-up dolls house I'd spotted through the window of one a few weeks ago had long gone, but I did find a fabulous 70s miniature coffee set - all mine for just $5. After the Small Girl and I played tea parties for the rest of the day I was beginning to wonder if I'd done the right thing in buying it. After we made these teeny-tiny chocolate and orange curd tarts to have with our "coffee" the game got a lot more fun.
Mini chocolate orange tarts
This recipe is a mash-up of several components that have appeared in various guises on this blog. The pastry is a tweaked version of the one I use for Christmas Mince Pies and the curd in the filling is inspired by a great comment an anonymous user once left on a post. Don't be put off by the length of the recipe - you can potter about making various bits and pieces and then it all comes together at the end. You can also cheat and use storebought curd. I won't judge you. I've given the curd and pastry recipes first - keep reading for instructions on what happens when you've made these parts. I make just 12 tarts, but there is enough curd and pastry to make 24 (so you can make a batch one day and then it's each to whip up another the next).
For the orange curd filling:
4 free-range egg yolks
2/3 cup caster sugar
125ml freshly squeezed orange juice
60g butter, diced
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a small pot and beat together until well blended. Add the juice and butter. Put the pot over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it comes to simmering point. As soon as the bubbles appear, remove from the heat. Keep stirring for another minute or so, then pour into a sterilised jar. This makes about 450ml, of which you will use half in this recipe. Refrigerate when cold.
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
50g dessicated coconut
100g icing sugar
190g fridge-cold butter, diced
1 egg yolk
1Tbsp ice-cold water
Put the flour, coconut, sugar and butter into a food processor. Beat or whiz until you get a breadcrumb-y texture. Combine the egg yolk and water in a cup, then add to the bowl and beat or pulse until the mixture clumps. Press the mixture together into two discs with your hands. Wrap each one well. Put one in the fridge and the other in a cool place for 20 minutes.
When you're ready to roll, so to speak, heat the oven to 170C.
Get two large pieces of greaseproof paper or cling film and place the non-refrigerated pastry disc between them. This makes everything much, much easier and you don't have to scrape pastry bits off the worktop or your rolling pin. Roll out to about 3mm thick. Using a suitable cutter or glass, stamp out 12 rounds to fit into a greased mini muffin tin. Put the pastry-lined tin in the fridge for 10 minutes, then bake for about 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden and dry to touch. Remove to a rack to cool.
When you're ready to make the tarts, put about 150g of room temperature curd into a small bowl and mix with 150g room temperature cream cheese. Beat until smooth - it's important both are at room temperature or the mixture will be lumpy.
Divide this mixture between the cooled pastry cases, then put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
While that's happening, melt 100g good dark chocolate using your preferred method (double boiler, microwave, mind control). Remove the tarts from the fridge and spoon a little chocolate on top of each one. Let set, then take to your next tiny tea party. Store any uneaten tarts in the fridge, where they will be good for about five days.
Have a good weekend, everyone. I'm planning to throw off a last-gasp winter lurgy and plant a wildflower meadow, in that order. What are you up to?