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.
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....so 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.