Monday, August 30, 2010

Grand Marnier Chocolate Tarts

Decadent little heavenly chocolate bites made with crème pâtissière, and my standby crust from Laura Calder's pie crust recipe.
 I made these little gems from crème patissière that I had leftover from making a larger fruit tart. By adding a splash of  Grand Marnier and 80% dark Belgian chocolate to the crème pâtissière, I was able to transform ordinary mini tarts into a sophisticated adult treat.  

Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut in pieces
1/3 cup ice-cold water

In a food processor combine the flour,salt,sugar and cut in the butter until it resembles coarse meal.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and make a well in the dry ingredients.  Pour in the ice-water and quickly work in the flour to form a dough.  It is important to not over-work the dough.  Divide into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before rolling out into a 10 inch tart pan or a pie plate. reserve the second disk for the top crust.

Chocolate Crème Pâtissière
2 cups 3% milk
1 vanilla bean
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
150 grams of dark Belgian chocolate (broken into pieces)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)

Bring the milk to just below the boiling point and add the vanilla.  Set aside to allow the vanilla to infuse in the milk.  After about 10-15 minutes strain the milk and reheat to boiling point. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale in colour. Whisk the flour into the egg mixture until a smooth consistency, and gradually add the hot milk. Return to the saucepan, and on moderate heat continue whisking while bringing to a boil. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes to allow the flour to cook and custard to thicken.  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces to to the hot custard and stir to incorporate. Stir in the orange liqueur. Finish by rubbing a knob of butter on the surface or place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface, to prevent a crust from forming while the custard cools.  Fill baked tart shells and garnish with fruit.


  1. Can I substitute the chocolate with baking cocoa?

  2. Hi Jason, I found an in depth answer to your question at the O Chef site..source
    "Unsweetened chocolate is a mixture of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened cocoa powder starts out as unsweetened chocolate. Then the cocoa butter is forcibly removed, and the remaining solids are ground to a powder. So the difference between baking chocolate and cocoa is all that cocoa butter — generally as much as 55% of the baking chocolate."

    When you substitute cocoa for unsweetened chocolate, you generally use 3 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of butter, oil, or shortening to replace 1 ounce of chocolate. Since you want to go in the opposite direction, you need to find a way to remove from your recipe the extra fat you are adding. For each ounce of unsweetened chocolate you use, omit 1 tablespoon of whatever fat is called for elsewhere in your recipe, if possible."

    Depending on your recipe, you may also have to manage blending and mixing issues, as melted chocolate and cocoa do not necessarily have the same mixing properties at all ranges of temperature, but we're sure you can master that challenge." Hope this helps.