Monday, November 11, 2013

Chocolate Crème Brûlée Tarts - IHCC Are You Calling Me A Tart?

This week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is pies and tarts as we continue to cook with featured chef Donna Hay. I was in the mood for something sweet, specifically chocolate, and thought that a cool, creamy chocolate custard nestled in a buttery crust would satisfy that craving perfectly!
The recipe for Chocolate Crème Brûlée Tarts is for an easy, no-bake custard and calls for store-bought shortcrust pastry sheets for the tart shells; no messy water baths or pastry making required. Except that I couldn't find pre-made pastry sheets in the grocery store* (only frozen pre-formed shells) so I did make my own.
I used the Sweet Pastry recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook that I discovered in the summer when I made Strawberry Tartlets; the dough behaved beautifully in hot, humid weather so I figured the recipe was foolproof! The pastry turned out well again (made sans lemon zest this time). I painted the interior of the baked, cooled tart shells with a little (40g) melted chocolate so they wouldn't get soggy.
I changed the custard making method slightly in a few places adding the chocolate to the boiled milk off the heat, stirring until it melted, before adding the mixture to the eggs. Also, I added the vanilla and coffee liqueur after the custard had cooked and strained the mixture before filling the tart shells.
The custard took over 6 hours to set but even then was quite loose; for a firmer set, perhaps an additional tablespoon of cornstarch would help or an additional egg yolk to compensate for the smaller size of North American "large" eggs (50g vs 59g).  
Apart from eating them, the next step was the best part.....torching the sugar topping! 
These were fantastic! The custard was satisfyingly rich and creamy with great chocolate flavour and the crunchy burnt sugar was a wonderful complement since the filling wasn't too sweet. Very delicious, it really didn't need to be tarted up ;)!

* I found the pastry sheets! I wouldn't have used them anyway because they were made with some lard....I have to watch my ingredients so vegetarians in the family can enjoy my baking too.

Check out the other Donna Hay pies and tarts here.


  1. I made a chocolate tart this week as well...but unlike you, I don't care for chocolate (a gift of love for my husband who does!). Your styling is so was all I could do to get it on a plate and snap a photo of it and here your photo has everything arranged so nicely and a fork to eat it with, and those cute little sprinkles all around it. I aspire. Great read on your post.

  2. Yum! I love the tip about painting the pastry shell with a bit of melted chocolate! Brilliant! Love how you dressed up these little tarts too!

  3. Hi Zosia,
    A beautiful delicious looking creme brulee tart! And a great idea to paint the insides of the pastry with chocolate! My kids would fall for these tarts, chocolate is their favourite dessert!

  4. Wow! These certainly are beautiful! I'm really a sucker of individual sized desserts. It's always nice to have your own special treat! I really loved reading your tip about painting the tart crust with chocolate to keep it from getting soggy. I never knew that before. And, I must say, I read through all your changes and would have proceeded the same way. In fact, I get a little miffed when recipes don't share those tips because the wrong move on some of that stuff can ruin a recipe! Looks gorgeous as always!

  5. Chocolate and I are best friends so I would love to have these on my table. They look like a fun dessert. Good Donna Hay choice.

  6. Have been making savory dishes recently, your lovely chocolate tart makes me carving for sweet treat!

  7. Yes, Please,!! I like the idea of brushing melted chocolate on the bottom.

  8. Utterly gorgeous and decadent tarts. I'm an absolute sucker for anything chocolate - a bruleed sugar topping is a complete clincher!

  9. These look wonderful. I love a good chocolate pie or tart and with a crisp brulee top--it's even better. ;-)

  10. Oh brûlée is one of my favourite desserts & these look delectable!


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