Heading off to a friend's house for lunch on Saturday I promised to bring along something sweet for dessert. I decided to adapt this recipe to individual tarts. You'll need a couple of 6-cup muffin tins to make this.
- ¾ cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped very finely
- 225g flour
- 125g butter, chopped into 1cm cubes and chilled
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 4 tbsp chilled water
- ½ cup heavy/double cream
- 200g semi-sweet dark chocolate
- ¼ cup crystallised ginger chopped into tiny bits
- Put the flour, sugar and pistachio nuts into a blender. Blend in the chilled butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the water 1tbsp at a time while still blending. Continue to blend until the dough starts to ball up. Turn out onto some plastic wrap, squish into a thick disk, cover fully and refrigerate for an hour before use.
- Roll the pastry out until quite thin - about 2-3mm or so. I did this in two lots to keep the rolling out easier. Use some flour (sparingly) to stop it sticking. Cut circles that are about 1cm larger than the muffin cup top. Carefully poke the circles into the holes, being sure to not create a fold. Press into the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 20minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Jab the case bases with a fork a couple of times, cover with a little bit of foil and some baking weights. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove the foil to bake a further 10 minutes. If your oven is as uneven as mine that's a good opportunity to turn the tray around to even out the bake a little. The pastry is done when you can see that there's no darker, slightly translucent bits of pastry dough left - that is, it's all cooked. Let the cases rest for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack.
- Place your ginger in the bottom of the cases. You want to see a pretty solid cover across the bottom, but not too thick.
- Now we're on to making the ganache. The key to making a ganache is to not overheat the chocolate. If you do it'll separate and you'll see it turns grainy. Chuck it at that point and start again.
- Heat the chocolate in bowl in a microwave on high for about a minute, stopping to move the chocolate around a bit halfway through. Add the cream and heat a little more. Stir the cream and chocolate together - at this point you should have a nice consistent chocolate liquid with a few chunks of chocolate. Eventually the chocolate will all melt, though do remember to keep stirring. If it's not quite all going in then you can zap it a little longer in the microwave. Go for 5 second intervals at most. I've had ganache turn bad almost a minute after taking it out of the microwave.
- Pour the ganache into the cases. Chill.
I found the pistachio flavour was pretty much lost to the chocolate. I'm going to try putting more nuts in next time and see if that helps. Even the leftover pastry bits that I baked separately don't really taste very nutty. The original recipe had some of the pistachio sprinkled over the top with the ginger, but I like the smooth, shiny, chocolate finish of the little tarts.