For a lovely afternoon tea indulgence bake delicious chocolate tartlets with berries! Crisp chocolate shells are laden with dark summer berries and filled with a delectable chocolate cream cheese filling with subtle berry notes. A while ago I shared a recipe for a heavenly chocolate mousse tart. And while perfecting the chocolate crust, I used the leftover dough to bake cute chocolate tartlets. This dough is soft, crumbly and has an intense chocolate flavour. The silky soft filling is made with cream cheese, white and dark chocolate and a little blueberry jam to reflect the berry decoration. The recipe is based on my no-fail cream cheese icing, which really is my favourite icing for almost any baked goods. Going with the dark theme, I decided to top the tartlets with blackberries, blueberries and small blue grapes. Bliss!
Which tartlet tins (pans) should I use?
Although these chocolate tartlets look sophisticated, they’re actually very easy to make. The only remotely elaborate step is blind-baking the tartlet shells. I don’t recommend silicone baking moulds for this as the material is too soft to press the dough properly into the cavities. Instead, I baked the chocolate tartlets in deep mini fluted tart tins (Ø 6.5 cm / 2.5 in) with removable bottoms. These types of tins make it incredibly easy to lift the baked tartlets out of the tin. You can also use flatter 10 cm / 4-in loose-base quiche or tartlet tins (pans). These tartlet tins are available as aluminium or non-stick coated steel versions, which both work great. Instead of making individual tartlets, you could also opt to bake 1 large chocolate tart. Simply use the ingredient amounts and baking instructions described in the chocolate mousse tart recipe. Regardless of what type of tin (pan) you choose, always allow the tartlet shells to cool to the touch, which takes 1 to 2 hours. Otherwise, the crust will be too soft and could crumble.
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Baking Time: 15 min
Yields: 8 – 10 tarlets
I filled the chocolate tartlets with chocolate cream cheese icing and summer berries. You can also use buttercream, jam, pastry cream, chocolate mousse, or custard as a filling. Strawberry halves and other fruits are great to garnish the tartlets as well. It’s best to assemble the tartlets on the day they will be eaten as otherwise the fruits and icing will soften the tartlet shells.
For the crust
- 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 85 g (1/3 cup + 2 tsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus some extra to grease the tins (pans)
- 25 g (1/4 cup) cacao, sifted, plus some extra for decorating
- 1 – 2 tbsp milk
- 1 pinch of salt
For the filling
- 170 g (6 oz) full-fat cream cheese or soft cheese
- 85 g (3 oz) white chocolate, melted
- 85 g (3 oz) dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp blueberry or blackberry jam
- small blue grapes
1) Make and chill the chocolate crust
To make the chocolate crust, add the flour, cold butter, cacao, and salt into a large mixing bowl and knead into a soft dough using your hands. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk to make the dough smooth and pliable. Flatten the chocolate dough with the palm of your hand. Wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2) Preheat the oven
After the dough has chilled for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F / gas mark 4).
3) Roll out the crust and line the tartlet tins (pans)
Very lightly grease the tartlet tins (pans) with butter, shortening, or baking spray. Roll out the chocolate dough between two large pieces of parchment paper. Remove the parchment paper on the top and cut out dough circles using an 8-cm (3-in) round cookie cutter. Place a dough round on top of a tartlet tin (pan) and very gently press into the tin (pan). Wipe off any excess dough on the edges of the tin (pan) with your thumb. Prick the bottom with a fork to avoid that the crust cracks and bubbles while baking.
Tip: The dough becomes sticky if too warm, so work quickly. Flouring your fingertips helps with the stickiness, too.
4) Pre-bake the chocolate tartlet shells
Crumble a piece of baking (parchment) paper a couple of times to make it soft and bendable. Cover the crust with the baking (parchment) paper. Top the paper with baking beans (pie weights) and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the baking (parchment) paper and continue baking the chocolate tartlet shells for 5 minutes more. Take from the oven and leave to cool completely, then release the shells from the tins (pans).
Tip: If your tartlet tins (pans) don’t have loose bottoms, gently tab the tins (pans) against your work surface until the shells come out.
5) Make the chocolate cream cheese filling
Put the cream cheese or soft cheese into a large mixing bowl and give it a good whisk. We recommend doing this step by hand, so the cream cheese doesn’t get too aerated. Add the jam and melted white and dark chocolate to the cream cheese and immediately start whisking until all ingredients are perfectly combined. Put the filling in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
Tip: For perfect results, check out my cream cheese icing recipe!
6) Assemble the chocolate tartlets
Transfer the cream cheese icing into a large disposable piping bag fitted with a large French star piping nozzle (e.g. Acteco #868 / SF #18 / JEM #3M). Pipe a swirl of icing into each tartlet shell and decorate with berries and fruits.
Storage & Shelf Life
Store the assembled tartlets in the fridge and consume within two days. They will taste best on the first day, the tartlet shells may soften on the second day. You can bake the shells ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for a month.
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