Dark Chocolate and Cream Cheese Tarts
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- 1 egg, beaten and another 2 eggs, whites only
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. brandy
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 pkg. cream cheese, 4 oz
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- six 3 inch tartlet pans
- parchment paper
- pie weight or dried beans
- pastry bag with 1/4 inch round tip
PERFECT PIE DOUGH, RECIPE FOLLOWS
1Preheat oven to 375. Working on well floured surface, roll dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a 4 inch ring or large cookie cutter, cut out six circles of dough and put them in the pans, using your fingers to gently press dough into bottom and up sides. Trim edges of dough, roll into ball, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for future use if desired. Cover pans with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minute. Put a 6 inch circle of parchment paper over dough. Weight down paper with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights or beans and parchment paper, brush dough with whole beaten egg, and bake for another 3 minutes. Remove from oven and put on wire rack til room temperature. Put chocolate and heavy cream in heatproof bowl. Set bowl over pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally til chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from pan of water and add brandy. Pour chocolate mixture evenly into each pan. Freeze pans for 1 hour.Meanwhile, using a hand mixer, whisk egg whites on high speed and gradually add sugar til whites are stiff but not dry. Turn off mixer and fold in cream cheese, extract and orange zest. Transfer cheese and egg white mixture to pastry bag and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove tarts from freezer after 1 hour. Using pastry bag, filled with cream cheese and egg white mixture, pip “kisses” in circular motion around tarts, starting with edges and ending in center. Serve or store in refrigerator in sealed container for up to 2 days.
Perfect Pie Dough
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (8 oz)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T. cold water
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Put butter and powdered sugar in food processor fitted with metal blade. On pulse setting, mix for two minutes. Add egg, water, and salt and pulse for another two minutes, until mixture is smooth. Add flour gradually. Pulse for another minute, until mixture forms dough. Remove ball of dough from food processor, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before use. Well wrapped, this dough can be stored in freezer for up to two months and thawed in refrigerator.
This is a great dough for any pie. It is especially important not to overwork the dough while preparing it. Make sure that all your ingredients are cold and turn off the food processor after each step.