Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration with your friends and family. As for me, besides feeling a little under the weather on Christmas Eve, I had a wonderful Christmas celebration with my family and loved ones. Of course, it's not fun being sick. But the up side was that it reminded me what's most important, my family’s health and the time we spent making new memories together.
I had been busy baking all month long in December for the holidays, special orders, and gift-givings. With the New Year and Chinese New Year coming up soon, it seems that my “bakathon” (baking marathon) never ends! It’s all good though, because I really enjoy what I do and I get to shared what I love with friends and family.
Back to these Dark Chocolate Orange Tartlets, they are simply amazing. Dark Chocolate and orange is probably one of my favorite flavor combinations. These tartlets simply brighten up my palates and my days. And I hope they'll bring some sunshine your way too, no matter where you are. The orange curd is sweet and slightly tart at the same time; the dark chocolate cookie crust is rich and super chocolate-y, buttery and crumbly, which is heavenly on its own.
Imagine having a layer of crunchy dark chocolate between the chocolate cookie crust and the refreshing orange curd, hm….I don’t think anyone can refuse these tartlets. Plus, the dark chocolate layer prevents the cookie crust from absorbing the moisture from the orange curd so it stays flaky and crunchy. The candied orange slice on top truly put a wonderful finishing touch on these tarts; not only they are pretty to look at, they are also delicious on their own. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. They are worth celebrating for.
Last but not least, I wanted to thank you all for your supports, encouragement, suggestions, and comments throughout the years on my blog. It’s wonderful to know each of you and words simply can’t describe how thankful I am to have you in my life. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I also want to wish you all a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2014! Please stay tuned for more recipes, reviews, and giveaways in the near future. Happy New Year!
Dark Chocolate Orange Tartlets: (Printable Recipe)
Ingredients for the Chocolate Cookie Crust:
3/4 cup sugar (I used homemade vanilla sugar)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Ingredients for the dark chocolate layer:
4 ounces of dark chocolate (I used 70% dark chocolate)
To prepare the crust:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, salt, baking powder and espresso powder, then, beat in the egg and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the flour and cocoa powder until just combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment papers to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut rolled dough into 4-inch rounds. Gently press the dough onto the 2-inch tart pans.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool tart shells completely on a wire rack.
To prepare the dark chocolate layer:
Finely chop the chocolate. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Or in the microwave at 30 seconds intervals until all chocolate is melted. Slightly cool the melted chocolate before use.
When the chocolate cookie tart shells are completely cooled, gently spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of melted dark chocolate on top. Spread the melted chocolate with the back of a spoon. When the chocolate layer harden, spoon 2 tablespoonful of orange curd on top and garnish with a slice of candied orange (recipes followed). Enjoy!
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
8 egg yolks
a pinch of kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks until well combined. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture is thick, about 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture coats the back of the spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate until orange curd is chilled and firm, at least 2 hours. Keep refrigerated and enjoy the curd within the next 10 days.
2 large oranges
1 cup sugar
Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut each orange into thin slices; discard seeds and ends of rind.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and add lemon slices; soak for 1 minute. Drain, and immediately plunge slices into ice-water bath. Drain.
Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium skillet, swirling to dissolve sugar. When liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low. Add orange slices, arranging them in one layer with tongs or chopsticks. Simmer until rinds are translucent, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Transfer candied orange slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Air dry for 24 hours on baking sheet.