Avocado Chocolate Tarts

I. THE CHOCOLATE TART SHELLS

Makes 6 small tart shells or two large tart shells

Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter, cubed and room temperature
1/3 cup demerara sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa (preferably raw)
1 large egg
1 cup dark chocolate pastilles

Utensils:
a mixing bowl
a tortilla press
6 tart tins and a cookie sheet
6 muffin liners
baking weights (I used dried beans)
a bain-marie (or a small saucepan in a larger pot)

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1. Sift or combine flour and cocoa powder together. Reserve.

2. Cream butter with sugar and salt in the mixing bowl. Once it is fluffy, add the flour and mix as thoroughly as possible. It shouldn’t be easy or look like dough at this point.

3. Add the egg to the dough. The dough will start to come together. Do not knead the dough – the heat of your hands will melt the butter too much.

4. Once you have a ball of dough, let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (while you clean up a bit and set out what you need next). Do not leave the dough at room temperature.

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5. Take the chilled dough and divide it in six equal parts. To roll out the dough, cut two pieces of parchment paper and roll each ball between them using a tortilla press. Be extra careful to not crease the paper too much or your crust will be uneaven. Roll until you think the disk will cover all of your tin. You actually want your crust to be a little on the thin side. Peel the papers away when you’re done rolling.

6. Now to line the tart tins. For bigger tarts, it’s okay to just place the rolled out dough in the tin and start pressing right away. Smaller tins need more precision to create cleaner corners. Cut out a circle the same size as the bottom of your tin by placing your in the middle of the disk and tracing around the bottom of the tin with a knife. Place that circular piece in the bottom of your tin. With the remaining “doughnut shape”, you should be able to line the sides of the tin. Divide the remaining dough in four quadrants. Then trim off the corners on the inside curve to get a straight edge. If you place the piece of dough in the tin, straight edge first, you should be able to easily cover the sides of the tin. Once all the pieces are in place, trim off the excess by running a knife along the top of the tart tin. Once your tart tin is lined, pass your finger on the joints where the pieces of dough meet, just to make sure it’s all one piece.

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7. Place the lined tins in the freezer as you make them to prevent any further melting. The tart shells can be kept in the freezer like this for two weeks. When you’re ready to bake the tarts, place them on a cookie sheet and prepare them for blind-baking. There’s no need to wait for them to thaw.

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8. Preheat the oven at 340F. Use your fingers to undo the shape of the muffin liner and flatten the paper as much as possible. Place it in your tart shell : it should fit perfectly. Fill the tart shells with baking weights. Bake the shells for 20 minutes.

 

9. While the tart shells are baking, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. The chocolate should be ready at the same time as the shells finish baking.

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10. Take the tart shells out of the oven and let them cool a bit before removing the baking weights and the paper. Paint the inside of the tart shell with chocolate. You can get away with applying a thin coat on the bottom of the shell, but make sure to really get the sides covered. Reserve the melted chocolate you don’t use when painting the shells. The finished shells don’t need to go in the fridge just yet. The chocolate will already start to set a room temperature, and this will be enough to pour the ganache.

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II. THE AVOCADO (and chocolate) “GANACHE”

Ingredients:
1/2 of a ripe avocado, peeled
2 tbsp cocoa
a pinch of salt
the remaining melted chocolate from making the shells
honey to taste
maybe 1/2 can of coconut milk, shake the can before opening

Utensils:
a blender or food processor

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1. Blend all the ingredients together except for the coconut milk. Since the mix doesn’t contain that much liquid, your blender may not cooperate if you start blitzing at this point. Adding coconut milk will get it going. You can start with a little and go up to 1/2 a can depending on the texture of the ganache. If it’s too runny, throw in the other half of the avocado you used.

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2. You should end up with something that looks like pudding after a few minutes of blending. Divide the ganache between the six shells. You can eat the tarts as they are now, or you can perfect the illusion that the filling is really an egg and cream ganache. Smooth the top of the tarts and put them in the fridge for at least two hours to really set the filling. This way, the consistency will be closer to a flan than a mousse.

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