Sometimes life is just too short to make pastry. There are times when you have a crowd for a meal, you want to have a choice of desserts but just don’t have the time to make everything from scratch. This is when these tarts come into their own – easy, inexpensive and still very impressive.I buy the individual cases in Marks and Spencer and always try to have them in the cupboard in case of emergencies. You can of course make your own shortcrust pastry and pre-bake the cases in advance. This filling makes approx 350mls which is enough to fill 8 of those pastry cases. You could double up the filling if you want to make one large tart.
Please do not scrimp on the ingredients here. The chocolate you use will make all the difference. I like to make them with all dark chocolate, usually 70% Lindt or Green and Blacks. This time I made with some milk chocolate and others seemed to prefer that. Also, do not use vanilla essence. I use vanilla extract but you could use vanilla bean paste or split a pod if you are out of extract. If you use a pod be aware that it will make it more expensive and make sure you remove it from the cream before you add the chocolate. If you don’t have any of those, leave it out completely.
Makes 8 individual tarts
- 150mls double cream
- 100g dark chocolate
- 50g milk chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 individual pastry cases
- Pour the cream into a heavy saucepan and place over a medium to high heat. Add the vanilla.
- While the cream is heating, break the chocolate into small pieces.
- Allow the cream to heat until it is just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. It is very important to take it off the heat or you might overheat the mixture which could cause it to split.
- Stir until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream and you will have a smooth glossy mixture.
- Use a jug or ladle to fill the pastry cases with the ganache mixture and allow to cool completely and set for a few hours at room temperature.
- These can be stored in the fridge for a few days. They will loose some of their sheen but will taste perfect.
- Decorate them as you wish but they are great eaten as they are. I served them in this pic with fresh raspberries and salted caramel sauce.
NOTE: One time when I made these I didn’t pay proper attention and the chocolate and cream mixture split. After some frantic googling, I found this post on Nuala’s Kitchen and it saved my Christmas Day desserts!