Baking ugly, and tasting pretty: chocolate truffle tartlets

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.

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This entry was posted in family, food, winter and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Baking ugly, and tasting pretty: chocolate truffle tartlets

  1. I think they look great!

  2. Jennifer says:

    You’re clearly living a different winter than we are, what with all of that snow!

  3. Piebird says:

    Goodness, I guess I shouldn’t complain about the February snows we’ve been getting here in Colorado. At least the sun is shining today! Those two kids are the cutest, even if you thought your tartlets were not! This was a challenging dough in terms of crumble-ness. Check out my work-arounds in case you decide to try again (I used the whole egg instead of just the yolk; hate to waste and it needed more liquid). http://cookteachgrow.wordpress.com

  4. mireia says:

    Even if you had some problems while baking the tartlets look delicious I’m sure you enjoyed them, and, btw, I’m very jealous it snowed so much, we haven’t had a snow day in Madrid at all this year!

  5. I had a lot of trouble with the dough too!

  6. Kim says:

    Oh my gosh that is a lot of snow!!

  7. smarkies says:

    am impressed you ventured out to even look for biscotti! even with your issues with the dough, the tarts do look good.

  8. Cher says:

    Ah, have to love those winters 🙂
    And why is that the girls always want the “pretty dessert” – mine are the same way.
    It looks like everything worked out despite your dough issues.

  9. Alice says:

    WOW the snow!! … maybe try using the full egg in the tart dough next time, or really working it slowly so you dont overwork it… but remember sometimes you just have a bad day in the kitchen. 🙂 Great job either way and love your cute little helpers! 🙂

  10. Wendy says:

    They’re not ugly!!

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