TWD: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets

I am so excited to be back baking with the Tuesdays with Dorie group! We’ve started baking through a new Dorie Greenspan book—Baking with Julia. Blog groups like this are an awesome way to discover new blogs, make new friends, and try recipes I wouldn’t otherwise try…plus, any excuse to cook a bunch of delicious Julia Child recipes is fine by me.

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Today’s flower-themed shoot was inspired by a long walk I took this morning. For the past month-plus I’ve been holed up in a weird little work cave where days bled into nights and I sat for so long, my muscles would forget how to stand. I also made poor nutritional decisions regarding giant bags of kettle corn, but that’s a subject for another post. (Let us never speak of it again.)

Aaaanyhow, I finally have a little more time so I’ve started leaving the house again! The natural sunlight was a shock at first, but I’m learning to cope. It’s been absolutely gorgeous here in southern California, and on my walk this morning I was overwhelmed by all the flowers in bloom. As soon as I saw these purple lovelies on the sidewalk median, I knew they had to make an appearance on my tarts.

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The tarts themselves are my favorite kind of dessert—gooey chocolate overload. They have a crisp chocolate tart shell and a filling that’s like a baked mousse, with a rich texture and pockets of melted white and milk chocolate. I also folded in some almond amaretti cookies, but I couldn’t really taste them in the final product, and probably wouldn’t bother with them next time.

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I photographed and tasted them shortly after baking and they were insane. The top was set but they were still warm and semi-melted on the inside. As they cooled they got firmer and were still pretty tasty, but I have to say, nothing compares to a warm and gooey chocolate tart.

Since we’re not posting full recipes (buy the Baking with Julia book!) I thought I would share a little trick I use to make small amounts of fresh whipped cream instead. I love soft, pillowy whipped cream that barely holds its shape—I think it looks fantastic when piled on top of tarts or cakes. But I usually only need a small amount to put on one or two servings for photographs.

Instead of whipping up a bunch in my large stand mixer, I use an extremely expensive and exclusive tool: the $2 milk frother from Ikea. (Start saving your pennies now!) I’ve never actually used it to froth milk—although I’m sure it does a lovely job—but I use it to whip small amounts of cream at least once a week. It’s a complicated process so I’ve created a handy flow chart for ya:

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The only secret is to use a small amount of cream—I doubt it would work with a full cup. But for an inch or so, it only takes 1 minute to whip it and it generally makes enough to top 2-3 desserts. Ikea: is there anything they can’t do?

You can find the recipe for the chocolate tarts on the host’s blogs this week! Check them out:

Steph at A Whisk and a Spoon
Spike at Spike Bakes
Jaime at Good Eats and Sweet Treats
Jessica at Cookbookhabit

20 Responses to TWD: Chocolate Truffle Tartlets
  1. iluvsweets says:

    Lovely presentation! And beautiful tarts!

  2. Kim says:

    I just love your pictures…wow! Great job :)

  3. OH! you can use that for cream! I didn’t know!

  4. Jill says:

    Happy to have you in the group! I’m putting one of those frothers on my Ikea shopping list. I usually don’t bother whipping cream for two people, but that looks like a great solution!

  5. Hey! You have a new blog (I’ve been out of it for a while). Looks great. :) Your tarts look gorgeous.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hah, I’ve been out of it for awhile too–kind of fell off the TWD wagon last year! Good to see you again, and thanks. :)

  6. Erin says:

    I love your photos! I used to live in So Cal and love that you used flowers in your pictures. Gorgeous flowers and tarts!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! SoCal has really grown on me and I admit it’s hard not to love it when it’s gorgeously sunny in February. So spoiled!

  7. Teresa says:

    The tarts look lovely and I’m going to use that whipped cream method. My milk frother is a lonely little thing right now.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Mine would be so lonely if I didn’t use it to whip cream. One of these days I swear I’ll actually try to froth milk, though.

  8. Krissy says:

    Beautifully done…love the flowers and the whipped cream. And, thanks for the milk frother tip…I have one that goes with my hot chocolate frother from Williams-Sonoma…because of you, it now has an additional use. Thanks!

  9. Emese says:

    Amazing photos. Very intriguing. Congrats for the beautiful tartlets.

  10. spike says:

    Oh, so so beautiful!

  11. Beautiful light on your pictures, and the cream looks great on it.

  12. Rachel B says:

    Gorgeous tarts and blog. I’m adding you to Google Reader!

    Cheers, Rachel
    http://www.tangerine-tart.blogspot.com

  13. Leslie says:

    I skipped these because the cookie pieces had me puzzled, but after reading about yours I want to make it without the cookies. It looks so yummy! And I want one of those cream whippers! Glad you’re back in the sunlight. :-)

  14. Jessica says:

    Not only does your tart look incredible, but I learned a very important lesson about my milk frother! I’ve had the thing for years and have never thought to use it for cream. Revelation! And I am jealous of your SoCal sunshine and pretty flowers. I haven’t lived there since 1993 but still miss those things!

  15. Cher says:

    Beautiful presentation!
    I am so jealous of the flowers – we have another 3 more months before blooms start arriving up here in the Northeast…

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