Hanging out on Twitter late at night when I can't seem to figure out where sleep went has very very good outcomes. I get to talk to my favorite people as if they were just a few feet away and beside geeking out with Jen, ZenChef and Mark, I also get to talk gluten free with Shauna of Gluten Free Girl . I love the way she is gently coaxing me to push my own boundaries. These Chocolate Truffle Tarts for example are the pure result of an idea that Shauna unkowingly planted in my head one late night.
When we are having large gatherings of friends and family like this weekend, I always try to accomodate everyone's needs, especially when it comes to gluten free and low salt recipes since they directly affect me too. After weeks spent reading about my diagnosis last year and ways to eleviate the symptoms, I realized that a gluten free diet could help a lot with genetic diseases and there was not much around as far as treatments were concerned. Our diet is 90% gf to start with except when it comes to pastries. Even there, I take a small portion and ship the rest to the neighbors, family or friends.
I admit, beside the obvious desserts like macarons, ice creams, panna cottas and financiers, I rarely practice my gluten free flours to the most of their ability. I should, I know it. I clearly see a difference when I keep the salt and gluten under wrap. The attacks are far less and few in between, the strength a bit less violent and I recover faster from feeling on a rollercoaster for a couple of hours. Trust me, it's not only "not fun", it's rather debilitating when you are in the middle of work. And who likes to feel like they are on a plane 24/7 from the ringing and pressure?
Thus, hanging out on Twitter and chatting with people like Shauna gives me the necessary push to try making more gluten free desserts. I have played with gf mixes in the past and often ended up with a brick to cut or cement to chew. I knew it was my lack of practice, and time to persue the issue because there are millions (the gf Daring Bakers for a start) eating gf pastries that not only look good but taste great. I mean, just give a look at this pie!
I had the perfect oppportunity this weekend to tackle a gluten free dessert once again. There are full blown celiacs in our family and then there's me, who does not have the usual stomach reactions but who could benefit from a little tightening of the regimen here and there. I had just the ticket with Chocolate Truffle Tarts and since the filling is already gf, the only thing I'd have to work on was the chocolate crust. I put one of Shauna's recipes side by side with mine and went about tweaking.
Oh happy happy me! The result was exactly like the original. A crisp, deep chocolate flavored crust, filled with an amazing truffle like chocolate filling and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. If I had been looking for my chocolate cravings to be back all these weeks, well....I was surely not looking anymore with these. Decadent and rich without being heavy or coyingly sweet. My kind of chocolate heaven!
While I don't think about turning this blog into a complete gluten free one, and developing the gf recipes I want to make demands more than I can handle right now, I am looking forward to finding the right balance for you readers and us here at home. I can cheat about 10% and feel fine but I know I am also tempting my symptoms and playing with the good days. These tarts were the perfect place to start. Not a crumb was left on anybody's plates.
Chocolate Truffle Tarts:
Makes eight 4-inch tarts
Note: There are many gluten free flours out there that would work with this crust and I just used what I had available in the pantry. Here is a list of gluten free flours from which you can get inspired to try your own concoctions. For a non gf crust, use 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour instead of the 3 gf flours
For the chocolate crust: (adapted from Shauna's pie crust recipe)
1 stick (113gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (60gr) unsifted powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 cup (160gr) white rice flour
1/4 cup (30gr) amaranth flour (you could use sorghum flour)
1/4 (40gr) potato starch
1/4 cup (20gr) unsweetened cocoa powder
For the chocolate truffle filling:
8 ounces (240gr) bittersweet chocolate
12 tablespoons (170gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 (50gr)cup sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) strong brewed coffee
4 large eggs
For the chocolate ganache:
4 ounces (120gr) bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and pinch of salt and mix until incorporated. Add the three different flours and cocoa pwder and mix briefly. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Do not work the dough while in the mixer or it will toughen it up. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center. Place eight tart rings on a parchment lined baking sheet and set aside.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic. Cut out eight 6-inch-rounds into the dough and fit them into eight 4-inch tart rings. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the rings, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with pieces of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Keep the oven at 350F.
Prepare the filling:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowland set aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, bring the butter, sugar, and coffee together to a boil over medium. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and leave it undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Gently whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time whisking quickly until the mixture is smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the tart shells and bake for 10 minutes.
Let cool completely.
Prepare the chocolate ganache:
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a gentle boil. Pour it over the chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Whisk until smooth and incorporate the butter at the same time until the ganache is completely smooth. Divide evenly on top of the tarts and snooth out with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until ready to eat.