The collective noun for a group of tarts is a "jam". Rather appropriately, the DBers filled this month's crostata (Italian tarts) with endless varieties of jams, as well as fresh fruits, creams, custards and caramels. My own crostata was filled with a rich baked chocolate filling and decorated for a baby shower.
The crostata base itself is buttery and biscuity, traditionally the pastry is rolled out and then folded rustically over a jam filling, but for me it was a perfect excuse to buy my first tart tin and make something more presentable. :D
The chocolate filling was delicious, however there was a minor disaster when cooking. The chocolate filling was quite fluid and it slowly dripped through the bottom of the tart case meaning that we ended up with a half-filled tart, but it was a great tasting one.
For the full recipe, check out the pdf here, for my variation, read below.
Baked Chocolate Crostata
Pasta Frolla Base
To make the pasta frolla for the crostata base, you will need some pantry basics, caster sugar, plain flour, salt, butter, lemon and eggs.
Mix 100g caster sugar, 1¾ cup plain flour, a pinch of salt and the grated zest on one lemon into a food processor and pulse until combined.
Add 115g of cold unsalted butter, cubed, and pulse until the mix resembles course sand.
Tip the mix out onto a floured surface, make a well in the centre and add one lightly beaten egg and one egg yolk.
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solids, then switch to fingertips.
My fingers were too messy for photos at this stage sorry!
Knead lightly until the dough comes together as a ball.
Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic film and place in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
When required, roll the pasta frolla out to half a millimetre thick and drape into your tart tin.
Neaten the edges.
Now get creative with the filling, for ideas, check out the wonderful creations of the Daring Bakers at TheDaringKitchen.com.
My baked chocolate filling is below.
Whatever your filling choice, excess pastry can be rolled out and cut into lattice strips or shapes and baked on top for beautiful presentation. For the baby shower, I used people shapes and arranged them on top.
(Yes, I know it's the third month in a row these little guys have featured, but hey, I'm getting good value out of my cookie cutters!)
Baked Chocolate Filling
Preheat oven to 190°c.
Mix together 1½ cups caster sugar, 6 tablespoons of good cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of cornflour and a pinch of salt.
In a second bowl, mix together 4 egg yolks, 1 cup evaporated milk, 1-2 cups melted butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well incorporated.
Pour into the unbaked tart shell. Bake for at least half an hour or until chocolate is firm to touch.
If decorating with pastry shapes, roll out pastry, cut out but don't arrange on top until about halfway through the cooking process when the chocolate has set semi-firm. Brush the shapes with a little egg or milk so they crisp up nicely.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate coated fingers. :)