It’s the first of December here in New Zealand! That is crazy. Having been away for so long I am mentally two months behind which means I am actually two months behind in Christmas preparation.
However I have been doing a bit of experimenting with Christmas dessert ideas this week to try and get myself back into the swing of things and I was rather pleased with these. This isn’t so much a recipe as a guide for assembling. What I liked about them is you can make as much or as little of them from scratch – depending on time, patience, confidence, inclination or stress level.
Mini lemon and chocolate tarts
You will need:
Mini pastry cases. I made mine in mini muffin tins using a polenta pastry, but you could make any sweet pastry, use store bought, or use ready-made cases.
Lemon curd. Either home-made from your favourite recipe, or from a jar you bought at the supermarket…either is fine. I had some in the fridge that I made last week as we have a surfeit of lemons. Lime curd would also be delicious.
Ganache. Ganache is so quick and easy to make that I would recommend making this rather than buying it. Make it at the beginning so it can cool down in the fridge.
Ganache is basically equal proportions of good quality dark chocolate and cream. I used 250gms of each. Heat cream until nearly boiling, place roughly chopped chocolate into the cream and wait a few minute. Stir together until smooth. Cool in fridge until firm. If you want to use some later as an icing or chocolate sauce just gently reheat. It will keep in the fridge for at least several weeks.
Toppings: Strawberries, mint leaves, pistachio nuts chopped finely, whipped cream and raspberry powder (optional). Chop a few strawberries finely, add a few drops of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of caster sugar and a few chopped mint leaves. Obviously you can add or change these toppings. It’s a great way to use up Christmas ingredients that may be languishing in the fridge or pantry.
To assemble:Fill half the cases with curd and half with ganache. Top with cream and fresh raspberries (and freeze-dried raspberry powder if you have some); and the other half with cream, chopped pistachios and the strawberry mixture.
Easy! Festive! Delicious!