Monday, August 31, 2009
Chocolate/Raspberry Pastry Bites and Truffle Cups
I wasn't going to toss perfectly good ganache, and due to a finger injury, I'm not really able to roll truffles at the moment. Pouring the chocolate in paper cups to harden worked nicely and the clean-up was a breeze.
The pastry for this was super-simple. You could use tart tins and do this all fancy-n-stuff, but working one-handed (my right hand at that) I went for ease over looks. I fit the pastry into mini-muffin tins and the dough gave me exactly 24. I mean, how lucky was that? That never happens to me. Oh my goodness does my finger hurt like @#%$@!!!^. Considering everything, the cups look pretty good...rustic. That's it, they're rustic.
Now, ask me about the one-handed chocolate chopping-that was fuuuuun.
Plan ahead if you're making this because the dough really needs to be well-chilled. It can easily be made a day ahead and left to chill overnight.
For The Pastry:
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons (1 cup butter)
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 cups AP flour
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the flour. Divide in 2 pieces, flatten into disks and wrap in clingfilm. Chill several hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out dough to desired thickness (I did 1/2 inch)
Using a round biscuit cutter or the bottom of a glass, cut into rounds and fit into mini-muffin tins. Place tins in freezer for 30 minutes while pre-heating the oven. Press round disks of foil into pastry and weight with a few beans. Place tins on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans carefully and then continue baking until done-mine took about 20 additional minutes, which just seems wrong, but that was what happened.
While the pastry cools, make the ganache.
For the ganache:
13 ounces chocolate, finely chopped-I used a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet. I used Baker's brand because I like it. I also can't justify twenty dollar a pound chocolate and the like. I'm not being paid by Bakers chocolate to say that. I've always used the product and see no reason to go high end now.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
In a pan, heat the cream and corn syrup until steaming. Pour over chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and let stand five minutes. Add any flavourings you like (raspberry booze would have been awesome, but I didn't have any so I gave it a splash of vanilla. I really should make some while raspberries are in season, shouldn't I? Yeah, I really ought to. Dontcha just love how I use the middle of a recipe for sorting out all my thoughts and chores and problems? Dear Beth, there's this boy I know and he's really cute but my best friend said I can get knocked up if I kiss him while he's holding a slide rule and anyway....)
After five minutes, grab a whisk and have at it until that stuff is smooth and blended. Then, finish your letter to Dear Beth. Pour the ganachhe into the pastry cups and any leftover into paper cups. It helps to put the papers in the mini-tins first to keep the sides up, but if you don't have any, just use dixie cups and peel them away before serving. Sprinkle with fancy sugar so that people will know you really went that extra mile to make the leftover chocolate look nice. Look how nice I made the chocolate, people. I don't just break out the Parlsocker for anyone. Oh no, that's the good stuff. My mother-in-law ships it to me from the Pacific Northwest where you can get all sorts of Scandinavian goodies. Yep, she ships me decorating sugar. Do I have a terrific mother-in-law or what?
Decorate the tops of the pastry with raspberries and set in the fridge to chill several hours before serving.