Baking at the Improv Kitchen
(Disclaimer) I baked these tartlets while under the influence of powerful, mind-altering, cold medicine, the kind of medicine that cautions users against operating heavy machinery like Kitchen Aid stand mixers, and motor vehicles. Consequently, I made a few mistakes/adjustments along the way. Mistake Number One: I forgot to add the sugar to the crust; I added it after I had collected up the dough to chill. Mistake Number Two (or what I prefer to call an improvisational baking technique): I eyeballed, rather than weighed, the six ounces of bittersweet chocolate from my various leftover bittersweet chocolate sources. (I don’t own a scale. Perhaps that will be my next baking investment.) Mistake Number Three: I forgot to buy the biscotti, therefore, omitted it. I’m sure the biscotti would have provided a nice textural contrast to the smooth filling, but the crust also provides contrasting texture. I did, however, add the chopped white and milk chocolate to the filling, which delivered some crunch.
Regardless of my various mishaps, I found, this recipe is quite forgiving. The only way to goof up these tartlets would be to put them on your driveway and cruise your car back and forth over them, and, given that I’m currently on cold medication and restricted from driving, that is not likely to happen. The recipe is also rather generous. It produced a lot more dough and filling than required for the requisite six, four and one half inch tartlets. I scored two bonus tartlets from my batch and still had a bit of dough and filling leftover.
All in all, I had fun. I shared some of my tartlets with family and friends, tried a recipe I would never have selected on my own, and enjoyed a decadent dessert with my girls on a President’s Day evening. This recipe is awesome! On a scale of one to ten, it is clearly a ten for hardcore chocoholics. The crust is easy to work with (you need the extra water TWD bakers recommend), the filling is a cinch to prepare, and the tartlets release easily for the pans. The crust has a delicate crumb and the filling is silky smooth and intensely chocolate. This is a good recipe to tout out for company, in that, it is relatively easy to prepare and produces a restaurant quality dessert with minimal effort. Go to TWD, or, better yet, buy a copy of Baking With Julia for the recipe.