Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little Bite of Chocolate

Last October, before Kelly started her first rounds of chemo, she wanted us to go to the quaint little tea house in Lexington, The Greentree Tearoom, for a girl's day out.  I remember the University of Kentucky had a home football game and the guys were all going to watch it on television, so it was a good day for us to get away.

The menu was wonderful; starting with a Roasted Red Pepper Soup, then, Oatmeal Scones with Orange Marmalade and, Kelly's absolute favorite, Fayette Cream.  We were served a Broccoli & Smoked Gouda Fritatta before we got up to see what was on the tiered serving area.  A variety of tea sandwiches awaited our palettes.  During our feast, we were served Earl Grey Tea, steeped perfectly.  If that wasn't enough, the tiered serving area of tea sandwiches had been exchanged for an assortment of desserts.  Of course, we saved room.  Bite sized samplings of a Pumpkin roll, Bourbon Chocolate Pots de Creme, and Hot Apple Spice Cake drew us towards the arrangement.

It is these bite sized desserts that inspired me today.  Longing for another tea date with my daughter, but having the memory of a perfect day, full of hope.   I also wanted to replicate a wonderful treat I shared with my friend, Eric in Chicago last week at Bittersweet Pastry Shop.  We sampled the chocolate tarts and couldn't help but take one or two (or three) more before sitting down to eat our French macaroons and for Eric, a cappuccino and me, Peach Lemonade.

Chocolate Truffle Tarts are easy, using a disk of pie dough, then, filling them with a decadent chocolate confection.  Today, I chose chocolate, but you could easily fill them with a citrus curd; lemon or lime.  You could even do a fruit filling made with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.  Whatever you choose, these easy tarts are a wonderful tea time treat or add them to celebratory buffet.

Chocolate Truffle Tarts

Pie Dough

Truffle Filling:

8 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 T unsalted butter, softened

Finely chop the bittersweet chocolate and place it in a medium bowl.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until bubbles form around the edges (just before a rolling boil).  Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate and let it stand for one minute.  Start stirring the mixture until the chocolate is smooth and fully incorporated.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface (like you would do for chocolate pudding).  Let the ganache cool completely.

Take out a disk of chilled pie dough and roll it to 1/8-inch thick.  Use a 2 1/2" Petal cutter to create shapes.
Lightly spray two mini cupcake pans with a nonstick baking spray.  Use a fork to prick the surface for blind baking.
Place shapes in the openings.
Bake in a 375F-degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  Remove to a rack and cool completely.
At this point, after they have cooled, you can freeze the shapes for later use, especially if you're planning a party.
While the pastry cools, use a whisk and incorporate the softened butter into the ganache, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth.
Pipe or spoon the filling into the pastry cups.  Chill for one hour, or more, before serving. 
I enjoyed some tea with my "bites" and remembered a perfect day.  Enjoy!


  1. What a wonderful blog! I have just found it and have fallen in love. YUM

  2. What a beautiful memory to share with us. I am glad you were reminded through such a sweet confection of this time in a tea house with Kelly.
    You have created these so beautifully.