(From The Wine Lover's Dessert Cookbook (Chronicle, 2005), by Mary Cech and Jennie Schact.)
These buttery, flaky tartlets with a brandy-soaked currant and chocolate filling go well with fortified wines such as port, late harvest zinfandel, Banyuls or Maury.
Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup brandy
For the Pastry Crust
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Filling
- Eight 3-inch tartlet molds or ramekins
Combine the currants and brandy in a small bowl; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the tartlet molds or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
To Make the Pastry Crust
Mix the butter and powdered sugar until smooth in the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment. Stir the salt into the flour, add to the butter and mix just until you can press the dough into a ball with your hands. (This can also be mixed by hand or in a food processor.)
Press a small piece of dough firmly into the bottom and sides of the molds, trimming the tops to even them. Bake the tart shells until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, pressing down ton the shells if they puff. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool. Leave the oven on.
While the tart shells bake, make the filling. Whip the eggs and granulated sugar on high speed until they are very pale and light, about 5 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate. Use a slotted spoon to strain the currants, reserving the liquid, and add half of the currants to the chocolate mixture. Stir in up to 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, to taste. Reserve remaining currants and brandy for garnish.
Distribute the filling among the baked tart shells. Return the baking sheet with the filled tarts to the oven and bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed around the edges and a dark, shiny circle about the size of a quarter remains in the center of each tartlet, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the tarts to cool at least 15 minutes before carefully removing them from their pans. The tarts are best served warm but can also be served at room temperature. Top with a spoonful of the reserved currants and a drizzle of the brandy soaking liquid.