Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fear and Chocolate Truffle Tartlets


In his first inaugural address, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I think he was right on the money with that one.

This week I confronted one of my biggest baking fears: piecrust. And, like childbirth, I had built it up to be far more heinous than it actually was. I think I was more afraid of my fear than I was of the piecrust. I had to do the crust twice because the first batch was way too crumbly. (I did childbirth just once, and luckily Max was just the right consistency.) I think my measurements may have been a bit off on the crust. I did invest in a pastry scraper prior to attempting the second batch, and I’m glad I did.

 I made the Chocolate Truffle Tartlets for Valentine’s Day. I’m generally not too gung-ho about V Day, and I hate going out to dinner. I’d much rather stay home and cook. The tartlets were pretty good. I’m total chocolate lover, but there was something about these that just didn’t rock my world. Maybe I was tired from a long day of work, and I would have felt differently if I weren’t exhausted. I don’t know. It was probably the crust. I truly enjoyed the filling and would have been very content to consume it in its entirety with a wooden spoon while listening to Adele, who often accompanies me in the kitchen.

The recipe calls for biscotti or amaretti cookies as part of the filling. I couldn’t find biscotti that looked up to snuff and I’m not a big fan of amaretti cookies, so I used these almond thins. They are delicious, but I think the filling would have been fine without them.



 So, another baking fear conquered, and I think when I’m caught up on sleep I will feel more triumphant.  I’m looking forward to rugelach, which I’ve been wanting to make for years, on March 6. If you’ve never eaten rugelach, treat yo self and partake as soon as you possibly can.

 The recipe for Chocolate Truffle Tartlets is here, here, here and here. Or, why not buy the book?

43 comments:

  1. Here's to conquering our fears! They look great. Were they tricky to remove from the mold? I'm used to individual molds.

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    1. Nope--removable bottoms. I think I would have been crying without removable bottoms.

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    2. I do hope you're talking about the tart pans, not the childbirth part. Though I could see where removable bottoms would come in handy in either instance. : )

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  2. I love that tartlet pan. Having a million pans is the last thing I need!

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    1. I feel you there. I'm going to buy ONLY necessary things as I go along.

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  3. Your tartlet looks perfect. So glad you were able to conquer your fears on this one, but I am sorry it didn't taste like you had hoped. I have found in making pastries that the type of chocolate I use is key to the final flavor, so I use my favorite chocolates and I loved the mix of bittersweet with milk and white chocolate in this recipe. I am also looking forward to the rugelach - have never made it before.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine. I'm with you on the chocolate--I always use chocolate that I like to eat. In fact, I'm going to do chocolate rugelach because I don't like prune or apricot.

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  4. It's so funny because while I was totally let down that these tartlets didn't "rock my world" either, I felt the exact opposite--I loved the crust but just wasn't impressed by the filling. Chocolate rugelach? Yes please. I've been wondering what I was going to do about the filling as I'm not sure if I like prunes or apricots (I have the impression that I don't but I'm also not sure I've ever actually had one). I'm thinking of doing cherry and perhaps Nutella variations. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

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    1. Cherry or Nutella will be amazing! Apple is also good.

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  5. Definitely looking forward to the regeluch, too. The last time I made it was when we did it with TWD. The tarts look good. And I am so glad that your son was the right consistency. ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Pam. As a mom, you know it's hard to return the kids once they've arrived. :)

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  6. Hi Lori, I'm a transplanted New Englander! Your tarts look lovely. I have a divine fear of pie crust. I plan to use chocolate wafers for my crust when I make the tart tonight. I'm such a wuss!

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    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks! After you make the tart, you will think, "That was nothing." Chocolate wafers will make a delicious crust. Lots of very cool people who are NY and NE transplants. :)

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  7. I love your tart pan, and your tarts look great! I agree, the filling looked good enough to eat on its own!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I think I might just mix up a batch of filling to eat while I watch 30 Rock tomorrow night. I think Liz Lemon would approve. :)

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  8. Glad you faced your fear and had success! The rugelach are to die for, made them in December and last weekend. The best recipe I have found! Happy baking

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    1. Thanks, Jane! Glad the rugelach is a repeating recipe for you. I'm afraid I might make these weekly and watch my butt expand as a result.

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  9. I also made the tarts for Valentine's day. Except for the pink Peep Hearts, that was the extent of our celebration. My crust didn't turn out great, but I thought the filling was delicious and even held up well the next day. Looking forward to more BWJ.

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    1. I agree--the filling was just as good the next day and cold. It was kind of brownie-like.

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  10. I am glad I didnt have to do over either of my girls - ouch.
    I think a lot of us have the fear of pie dough. I have only started making friends with it - well, maybe just cordial acquaintances...
    Well done!

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    1. Thanks, Cher. Some of the most intimate relationships have started with cordial aquaintanceship (not totally sure that's a word).

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  11. Totally agree. Enjoyed the filling, was not a fan of the crust. (Um, I don't think I ate more than one bite of the crust, as a matter of fact.) Looking forward to the rugelach as well!

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    1. I know, even after the tarts were baked, I just ate the filling. :)

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  12. I thought these were good, but not awesome. I think I will make it again, but tweak the filling and crust. I really liked reading your post.

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    1. Thanks, Carolina. Let me know what tweaks you made if yu make these again. :)

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  13. Good job conquering a fear! Sorry these didn't live up to be outstanding for you!

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    1. Thanks, Gretchen. I'm sure the things that I find outstanding will far outnumber those I find mediocre!

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  14. I also have PAS - Piecrust Anxiety Syndrome - but your tartlets are so perfect, they give me courage! When you do the chocolate rugelach post I will lick my screen.

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    1. PAS is easily alleviated, C! I will send you some chocolate rugelach, as I'm sure there are no good places to get these near you! xoxo

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  15. Your tartlets look perfect! It always feels good to conquer our fears. I know, I have alot of them. I still struggle w/ pie crusts, but am getting better w/ lots of blog reading, practice, etc. I've only made rugelach once, and loved it. I'm wondering how easy they will be to roll up though, with so much filling.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! I was wondering the same thing about the rugelach filling. I'm not going to add any dried fruit.

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  16. Baking fears are so hard to get over. I have a couple.

    Your tartlets look great!

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    1. TWD will strip us all of any fears, I think!

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  17. You baked and conquered!! Good for you! :)


    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks, Carmen. Love the name of your blog!

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  18. Hooray for conquering fears! I loved every bite of these, but they were almost a bit too much. It's interesting to see all of these different reactions and outcomes.

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    1. I agree! I love reading about other people's baking adventures and what they like and don't like.

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  19. I also kind of felt like I didn't really need the crust. (I actually ate the middle of mine without the crust, shhh) I loved the middle so much the rest didn't bother me though. They look like they turned out great.

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    1. I did the same thing!! I swear, I'd make the filling to eat all by itself. Thanks for visiting!

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  20. Yeah I'm really regretting not trying one as a soufflé. Next time...

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