So finally, I present the finished product for your perusal. A labor of love if ever there was one... Considering I only have 4 tart pans, and I had to make 12 shells.
Incidentally, I had to make 2 1/2 batches of my chocolate shortbread pastry recipe (pate sable) to make enough shells (12) for the double batch of Chocolate silk filling. But I have modified it here to make 6 - 4 1/2 inch tart shells. So it will match a single batch of Chocolate Silk Filling in the previous post. If you need to make 12, simply double this recipe.
French Silk and Strawberry Tartlets
OK, lets begin.... The filling is already chilling in the refrigerator, so it's time to make the pastry shells.
Chocolate Shortbread shells (Pate Sable au Chocolat?)
10 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup Confectioners' sugar
6 TB Dutched Cocoa (Alkalized)
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup AP flour
In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter, powdered sugar, salt and cocoa on low speed.
Until it is creamy, but not so much that it gets all fluffy.
Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed,
until a crumbly dough forms.
Using 4 1/2 inch tart pans with removable bottoms, press 4 TB of the mixture into the pan forming a solid shell.
Chill for 15, and preheat the oven to 325 degrees (I didn't have time to do this so I simply threw them in the oven; I needed to get the pans emptied so I could refill them again)
Prick the shells with a fork so they don't bubble as much.
Bake for about 15 -20 minutes.
Cool on a rack. (Mine pulled away from the side of the pan, just a little bit... because I didn't chill them first)
While the tarts are cooling... Make the Strawberry filling. I would have used balsamic, but I used the last of it on my BakeSpace challenge, and I didn't have time to run to Little Italy, during the week, to pick up some 2 leaf Balsamic.
6 oz Strawberry preserves
a couple grinds of Black pepper (fine)
a dash of Lemon juice
Bring to a simmer and then remove from heat.
Spoon 1 oz (approximately 1 TB) of the Jam into the pastry crust.
Spread with a small icing spatula.
Chill 15 minutes.
I would have preferred to brush the insides with Milk Chocolate first, to create a barrier against moisture, but I was out... I really need to make better grocery shopping lists... ;)
After they chill....
Fill a pastry bag with the Chocolate Silk Filling.
Pipe the filling into the shells. (trust me it makes it easier to spread in case the jam doesn't set properly)
Smooth the filling with a small icing spatula.
Chill until ready to serve.
Assembly before serving: (This really isn't a recipe, just a presentation)
Utilize a fine sieve to sprinkle dutched (alkalized) cocoa over the tarts.
Beat a little whipped cream (without Sugar) for piping.
Fan some strawberries.
Pipe the whipped cream, set a fanned strawberry on top.
Serve with a mint sprig if desired.
Then Dig in!!! The BEST part is when the filling oozes out from underneath the chocolate silk filling.. YUM!!!!
Surprisingly enough, even with all the issues I had with the Silk filling, it still turned out OK. It was slightly denser than it should have been, but still nice, and "silky" smooth. Melting quickly on the tongue, almost like a really high quality Chocolate truffle.