Thursday, March 11, 2010


I think spring has sprung here in Chicago. Well maybe it is still in the process of springing, but close enough right?

This year it seems spring = wedding season. Not mine of course, but I am involved in one of my close friend's wedding festivities. This morning her bridesmaids threw her a shower, full of friends, flowers, presents, champagne, and way too much delicious food.

I was in charge of desserts and decided to make a few different items to cater to many people's tastes. It was also an excuse to purchase some super cute tartlet pans. For the fruit lovers there was a lime, coconut, and macadamia nut tartlet, and for the chocolate lovers: (including the bride herself) a chocolate truffle tartlet with raspberries. For the cookie lovers, I brought some green and pink macarons, to coordinate with her wedding colors.

Also, we were asked to decorate wine bags, with a bottle wine wine inside for the bride-to-be to guess who brought it. I may or may not have gotten a little ambitious here...but look at how cute my little sushis turned out :-) Me (unemployed designer) + craft store + too much time on my hands = sushi wine bag.

The shower was gorgeous, the bride was beaming, and the guests' tummies were full and happy.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tartlets
adapted (barely) from

This makes 6 5-inch tartlets or 8 4-inch tartlets.

The crust:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

The filling:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brewed coffee, use a dark, flavorful roast for this
4 eggs

The ganache:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

To finish:
1 1/2 pints of raspberries (or about 15 raspberries per tarts)
powdered sugar for dusting

For the crust:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar together and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and salt and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and cocoa powder and mix just to combine. Turn dough out onto floured surface, and knead breifly just until the dough comes together, about 10-15 turns. Flatten dough into disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Place your tart rings on a heavy baking sheet.

Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 7-inch rounds from the dough and press them into the tart pans. If there is not enough area for 6 rounds, re-roll scraps once and cut from there. If the dough tears while you are putting it into the tart pans (and it most likely will) just press it back together. Gently prick the tart dough with a fork all over the bottom surface, this will help the bottom from bubbling up too much.

Bake shells for 12 minutes, turning the pan front to back halfway through the baking time.

For the filling:
While the tart shells are par-baking, place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the butter, sugar, and coffee in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring just to a boil then remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes.

Whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time while whisking, until incorporated and smooth.

When tart shells have finished par-baking, remove them from the oven and gently press down the bottoms if they have bubble up at all. Divide batter evenly among tart shells, leave about 1/4 inch room from the top for the ganache. Bake for another 12 minutes until filling is set and cooked through.

Let cool completely then remove from tart pans.

For the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Pour over chocolate and let sit undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then add in the butter, whisking vigorously until smooth and shiny.

Divide evenly among tarts and smooth with an offset spatula. Let cool for about 5 minutes before adding raspberries.

To Finish:
Arrange raspberries in concentric circles on the tarts and dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

These guys are pretty sturdy and can be made a day or two in advance, just keep them covered and chilled, saving the powdered sugar dusting for immediately before serving.

These were a huge hit at the shower. Poor little lime tarts were completely neglected next to these beauties (not to mention two flavors of macarons).

But its okay, that just left more for me to eat, and I will share them with you in the next post. Crap, I have to be in a swimsuit in two weeks...this isn't good.


Cherine said...

Beautiful strawberry tart!

Carrie said...

WOW! Everything looks amazing! You are VERY talented!

Bertha said...

It looks beautiful, you did a great job! I love making desserts or cater for a party, it gives me opportunity to explore :)

Kathleen said...

Beautiful job. All the food looks fabulous! I'm book marking the tarts

Dawn said...

Those gorgeous fresh raspberries are what caught my eye!

HollowPeas said...

Thanks Ladies!!

Don't the raspberries just beckon for spring? They weren't the greatest raspberries, but had just enough taste to wet my appetite for the great spring produce to come!

Bertha, I agree completely. I like to venture past the standard cake or cupcakes, and try something different each time!

Elga said...

What a beautiful atmosphear!
Those tartellettes looks gorgeus!

HollowPeas said...

Thanks Elga, it was a lovely shower, thanks for stopping by my blog!!

Mitzi said...

Raspberries and chocolate is my favorite combination, so this made my day. And they look gorgeous!

Zahra said...

this looks reallyyy good! :)

Jen said...

These tarts are delectable! I've been trying different recipes for chocolate raspberry tarts and here I'd found the perfect one!

Thank you for such an inspiring blog. This recipe just made my day...and Valentine's Day :)

Aaron said...

Loved this recipe, and will add it to my "Best macadamia Nut Recipes" blog over at Squidoo! I Used Hawaii macadamia nuts for this recipe. I get mine from In my opinion, Hawaii produces the best Mac Nuts!

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