Serve your guests these delicious and oh-so-simple to make chocolate tarts!
Enjoy these simple to make and easy to customize chocolate mascarpone tarts
We’ve all been at a dinner party and witnessed the dessert snub – a guest’s nose not-so-subtly turned up at something the host or hostess has laboured over. That will never be the case with these delectable mini tarts, thank you very much. Simple to make and easy to customize, they come with options to suit every palate. We’ll raise a dessert fork to that!
1 To make the pastry, beat the butter with the sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy; beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until combined.
2 In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir until smooth.
3 Divide the pastry among eight 4" mini tart pans with removable bottoms, pressing the pastry into the bottoms and up the sides of the pans; prick the bottoms all over with a fork.
4 Refrigerate the pastry shells on a rimmed baking sheet until chilled, about 30 minutes.
5 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line each shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 8 minutes. Gently remove the weights and foil; continue to bake the shells until the pastry is no longer shiny, about 10 minutes more. Let the shells cool in the pans on a rack.
6 Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream in three additions. Divide the mascarpone mixture among separate small bowls. Add your flavourings of choice and scoop the mascarpone filling into the tart shells.
7 Add your desired toppings; serve.
Makes: 8 tarts
Try one of our four favourite flavours
1 Double Raspberry: Fold a dash of raspberry liqueur into the mascarpone filling; top the tart with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
2 Rose & Pistachio: Stir rosewater into the mascarpone filling; top the tart with edible rose petals and chopped toasted pistachios.
3 Mocha: Leave the mascarpone filling as is; top the tart with chocolate-covered espresso beans and white chocolate shavings.
4 Pomegranate Mint: Add a few drops of mint extract into the mascarpone filling; top the tart with pomegranate seeds.
Have fun experimenting with your own flavour combinations - the possibilities are endless!
DIY project: Felt pinecones
1 Cut the felt sheet lengthwise into 4 equal strips. Snip 1/2” cuts into one side of each strip at 3/4” intervals to achieve a “fringed” effect. Round the corners of each “fringed” section with the precision scissors, so that the strip of felt has a scalloped look.
2 Starting at the short end, roll up one strip of felt until it’s approximately 1/2” in diameter; secure the inside tail in place with a dab of hot glue. Glue the felt roll to the small tip of the Styrofoam egg. Wrap the outside tail of the felt roll around the egg and hold it in place with straight pins.
3 Wrap the remaining scalloped-edged felt strips around the egg form, overlapping the edges slightly and securing strips with pins until you have covered the entire egg. (Note: You may need to snip the felt at times to get the proper positioning, especially when you get closer to the base of the egg.)
4 At the base of the egg, snip the scallops into individual pieces and apply them evenly around the base with hot glue.
5 Secure your ribbon to the bottom of the pinecone with a dab of hot glue and two or three straight pins.
Makes: 1 pinecone
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