Leftover pastry? It’s tartlet time! Not got any leftover pastry but want to make tartlets anyway? No problem, there’s a pastry recipe included here!
The recipe below makes enough chocolate and ginger filling to fill about four 7.5cm fluted tartlet tins (as I only had enough leftover pastry for four tartlets), with a little filling left over for eating with a spoon / fixing mishaps / fashioning into another delicious dessert. However, the sweet shortcrust pastry recipe below (which I have taken from my Strawberry & Peach Frangipane Tart recipe) makes enough for at least eight 7.5cm fluted tartlet tins, so if you want to make a big batch of tartlets I recommend doubling the quantities of the chocolate and ginger filling.
If you are wondering where I got my fancy little tartlet tins from, they are from John Lewis and you can find them HERE.
If you’re at a loss over what to do with your leftover filling and haven’t yet crammed it into your mouth, accidentally dropped it on the floor or dribbled it on your kitchen work surfaces, then you may want to use it to make some other kind of little dessert. I swirled the rest of my chocolate mixture together with some smooth peanut butter to make a dark chocolate and peanut butter pudding.
Specialist Utensils: Four fluted tartlet tins (I used tins that are 7.5cm in size), rolling pin, ceramic baking beans or dried pulses, potato peeler.
Top Tip: If you’re using leftover pastry which you have frozen, make sure to fully defrost it in the fridge before use. If you’re planning to make tartlets with your leftover pastry at the time of making the pastry but don’t need them for a few days or weeks, to save time you can freeze the pastry in the tartlet tins and then bake straight from frozen – if you do this you’ll need to lengthen the baking time accordingly (tag on roughly another 5 minutes but watch carefully to ensure they don’t overcook).
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (if you don’t have any leftover pastry to use)
165g plain flour
25g ground almonds
120g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
55g caster sugar
1 medium egg
Chocolate & Ginger Filling
175g dark chocolate, chopped
175ml double cream
50g soft brown sugar
40g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 balls stem ginger in syrup (dependent on how fiery you want your tartlets to be!)
1. If needed, make the sweet shortcrust pastry (you can make the pastry by hand or in a food processor) or ensure your leftover pastry is fully defrosted. If making by hand, stir the flour and ground almonds together in a large bowl, then add the chilled, cubed butter and rub in using your fingertips until the mixture looks like crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Then, break in the egg and work into the mixture with your fingers, bringing it together to form a soft dough. If using a food processor, pulse the flour and ground almonds together, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like crumbs. Add the sugar and egg and pulse until a ball of dough forms. Try not to overwork the pastry.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Flatten with your fingers to create a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 2 hours before using.
3. Line the tartlet tins: Line the bottoms of the tins with greaseproof baking paper and then grease the bottoms and sides of the tins with butter or a little oil. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and use to line the tins. Gently push the pastry into the bottom and sides of the tins and then cut off the excess pastry, being careful to leave about 1cm extra of pastry extending above the sides of each tin (this is to allow for any pastry shrinkage). Put the pastry cases back into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
4. Blind bake the pastry cases: Prick the bottom of the pastry cases with a fork then line with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for about 15 minutes, then remove the beans and foil and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry cases are a light golden brown and cooked through. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack whilst still in the tins.
5. Make the chocolate and ginger filling: Remove the stem ginger balls from the syrup, finely chop into small pieces and set aside. Chop the dark chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the double cream in a saucepan over medium heat until the cream just reaches boiling point and then pour over the chopped chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt for a few minutes before stirring the mixture until it becomes thick and glossy.
6. Tidy up the pastry cases: Once cooled, leaving the pastry cases in the tins use a potato peeler (or a knife but a potato peeler gives a better finish) to shave the excess pastry off the sides the tarts. Shave the excess pastry off until your potato peeler becomes level with the tart tin sides.
7. Assemble the tartlets: Remove the pastry cases from their tins and place on a serving plate. Split the chopped stem ginger evenly between the pastry cases and sprinkle evenly over the base of each pastry case. Spoon the dark chocolate mixture over the chopped ginger until the pastry cases are nearly full.
8. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours and then, DEVOUR! Goes well with cream, double cream or ice-cream (ginger ice-cream for a really fiery kick!).