This post could have been titled: Mommy, that tart dough just doesn’t love you. Once again, when given the task of making tart dough from Dorie’s instructions, my first attempt failed — and my second attempt worked, and tasted chocolatey and crunchy, but like the 2005 World Champion White Sox who were “winning ugly,” my tarts were baking ugly. Gorilla Girl observed the process, and when, inevitably, my dough stuck to the rolling pin, broke into pieces, or needed to be scraped from the rolling surface, she commented. “Mommy, that dough doesn’t look too good,” or, “Mommy, it’s stuck!”
Ugly — see the one with no dough up the side? I had to push and prod the dough to stick together in the pan. Tart dough for some reason is my new nemesis. No matter what, the first try seems to crumble and fails to set like actual dough. The second time was the charm, apparently, but it still took considerable elbow grease. Gorilla Girl said the one missing a side was mine, noting that she wanted a pretty tart, not the ugly one.
We took two to the neighbor’s house in the afternoon, and that’s why I have only four left. DK had just finished snow blowing not only our driveway, but several other folks on the block, too, and we thought he needed a “thank you.” How better to say thanks than with a warm chocolate tart?
I had one other crisis with this tart — I didn’t have biscotti, and the local store was out, and I was not about to drive through a blizzard to find it at the non-local store. We did trudge through the snow to the local deli/bakery, but they must have been snowed in — the sign in the window said, closed. I was tempted to make my own, as Dorie’s recipe suggested, but after two tart doughs, while also making cookies for Gorilla Girl’s and Monkey Man’s classroom Valentine celebration, I was done with baking for the day. Plus, you have to bake biscotti twice (I went so far as to read the recipe, while I contemplated how much more time this would add to the process).
We admired this tree on the walk to town in our failed search for biscotti. Gorilla Girl loved the tart filling process and I was surprised by how easy it was to melt the chocolate and fold in the beaten eggs yolks (all eight of them!).
Covered in our blanket of snow, smelling the chocolate baking, we were happy to watch the weather outside. Our walk just made us more appreciative of the warmth and goodness of our chocolate truffle tartlets. Despite the ugliness of the dough, the taste was smooth, deep, and satisfying, kind of like watching the White Sox win that fated year. Hey, a win is a win.
Check out the other tartlet stories at Baking with Julia.