“When rolling pastry for individual tarts, I usually roll it piece by piece while refrigerating the remainder. It helps keep the pastry from becoming too soft and difficult to handle. Try to keep the flour for rolling to a minimum and always dust off any excess.”
- 200 gm softened unsalted butter
- 140 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- 200 gm (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 30 gm Dutch-process cocoa
- 200 gm fondant (see note), coarsely chopped, softened
- 10 mint leaves
- 2-4 drops mint oil or extract, or to taste
- 70 gm softened butter
- 285 gm Valrhona Guanaja chocolate, finely chopped (see note)
- 310 ml pouring cream
- 1For chocolate pastry, preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (4 minutes). Add yolk and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift flour and cocoa together, add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, then knead lightly to combine and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours). Divide mixture into 12, then roll out each piece on a lightly floured bench to 3-4mm-thick and line twelve 6cm tartlet cases sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Trim edges, refrigerate until chilled, then prick bases and blind bake until set (10-12 minutes). Remove paper and weights and bake until pastry is cooked on the base (8-10 minutes). Cool on a wire rack, then remove tart tins.
- 2For mint fondant, process fondant and mint in a food processor until smooth (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover with foil and melt over a saucepan of simmering water (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat, add 1-1½ tsp water to thin to pouring consistency, then add mint oil drop by drop to taste (use sparingly as it is very potent). Divide among tart cases and stand at room temperature until set (8-10 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, for Guanaja ganache, beat butter in a bowl with a spatula until soft and creamy. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan and pour over chocolate. Stand for a minute, then stir slowly with a spatula (to prevent air bubbles) until melted and smooth. Add butter a little at a time, stirring gently until incorporated, then pour into tart cases over fondant. Stand until set (45 minutes-1 hr), then serve.
Fondant is available from cake decorating shops. Guanaja chocolate by Valrhona is available from Simon Johnson. If unavailable, substitute another chocolate with 70% cocoa solids.
This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of