Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chocolate Valentines~

Kate@ Serendipity..organized a Valentine Chocolate Extravaganza~!Her idea was heartfelt and grand!Thank you Kate~!
She is hosting a Valentine's party all about chocolate:)

And ♥s of course~:)

I used Dorie Greenspan's Sweet tart crust recipe~That book is such a favorite!!

And filled my little heart tarts w/ a creamy chocolate and topped each w/ half a Chocolate Truffle..

Dorie's Sweet tart recipe~La Recette~

SWEET TART DOUGH (Adapted from BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, but taken from my manuscript, so the wording may be a little different from the way it appears in the book)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (4 1/2 ounces) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
To make the dough: Put the flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely - you'll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that's just fine. Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before your reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change - heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface.
Very lightly and sparingly - make that very, very lightly and sparingly - knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
If you want to press the dough into a tart pan, now is the time to do it.
If you want to chill the dough and roll it out later (doable, but fussier than pressing), gather the dough into a ball (you might have to use a little more pressure than you used to mix in dry bits, because you do want the ball to be just this side of cohesive), flatten it into a disk, wrap it well and chill it for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
To make a press-in crust: Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Don't be stingy - you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it. Also, don't be too heavy-handed - you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don't want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbreadish texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
To make a rolled-out crust: This dough is very soft - a combination of a substantial amount of butter and the use of confectioners' sugar - so I find it is easier to roll it between wax paper or plastic wrap or, easiest of all, in a roll-out-your-dough slipcover. If you use the slipcover, flour it lightly. Roll the dough out evenly, turning the dough over frequently and lifting the wax paper or plastic wrap often, so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases. If you've got time, slide the rolled out dough into the fridge to rest and firm for about 20 minutes before fitting the dough into the buttered tart pan. Trim the excess dough even with the edge of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.
To partially bake the crust: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust. Bake the crust 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack; keep it in its pan.

I love this dough..I made enough to make a nice Lemon Tart for a guest this weekend~
Cooled..filled w/ a teaspoon ofcreamy chocolate ..and then the half truffle..I know too easy..but I was so pressed for time..My husband did can make those anytime:)
Happy Valentine's Day..

This little girl stole my heart with her joy in Italy..her frilly shoes.. joyful expressions.. warmed my heart.I took many photos of small children when I could..I missed mine so much!

These are wonderful memories..I can still see her and even the joyful pigeons in the Piazza~
I think Kate made some joyful Bloggers with her Chocolate Valentines~

P.S. I know my post seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors and a much more exuberant post than usual..~It is..
I was a participant from the beginning to celebrate Valentine's with Kate and a group of Bloggers..Unfortunately La Poste Canada/Europe is not always perfect.Some casualties happen..
My Belgian Chocolates have been eaten by a pilot..or a postman..or will be here soon..The latter is my humble opinion..
Everyday I have been asking Jacques..did they arrive? He knew the daily drill~
I waited till the last moment.. and then winged it w/ this dessert above..
Kate..I'll try and make you prouder soon:)
I do have a funny anecdote if you are still reading and not fast asleep by now..zzzz ..
the doorbell rang at dinner time near the last day.. the doorbell never rings in the dark at dinner..unless it's my DSIL or DD..It was a delivery..that we had to sign for ... a huge box..huge..I was serving dinner..and Jacques walked in with the box.. he said nothing really just gave me the box and smiled..but then said:"I thought it was the wonder it took so long.."
The box was ap. 3ft x2 ft:)

You must admit that's funny:)
My Funny Valentine~

An even funnier Valentine~

Poor Kate .. and the mail system..I apologize Canada/Europe:)And Kate!

I had insisted Kate NOT send me the chocolate..that I had chocolate..and forgot I guess..Because I did insist and made her promise:) Imagine that!
It's funny what we tuck behind our brain..I got carried away in the idea..and forgot about that piece of the puzzle~
I need to have less on my mind:)


  1. mmm, sweet buttery tarts are the perfect vehicle for that luscious chocolate. nicely done!

  2. Happy Valentine's Day! I wish I have not had so much to eat these couple of days - for I am sure if less overfed, I would still be salivating for your chocolate dessert. For now, I am feeling so bloated, I only wish for a cup of hot ginger tea.... and oh, don't give up, your chocolates may turn up eventually.

  3. Tes photos sont toujours superbes !
    Je te souhaite une joyeuse Saint Valentin pleine d'amour et de joie

  4. Heart tarts! Lovely. Creamy chocolate filling...delightful.

  5. Jacques is so funny!!! He really is your funny Valentine. :) A lovely treat you made, Monique. Certainly the happiest, brightest, most colourful Valentine's photo I have seen so far ... everyone else's is sweet and romantic ... yours is just sheer joyful. :) Oh, I love the photos of that little girl!

  6. Oh my. I recently blogged about Vicenza and my childhood summers spent in Italy. I spoke of the pigeons in the piazzas-one of my favorite memories. I am thrilled that little girls today are able to feel the same joy. Tank you
    xoxo Pattie

  7. Oh, too bad about your delayed chocolate delivery! I think you had a very hungry postman.... I hope it arrives soon, or maybe you can persuade Kate to send more....

    However, this recipe looks fantastic - an easy "in-a-pinch" chocolate sweet; will have to bookmark this one.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Jacques!

    ~ Katherine @ Night Owl Chef

  8. Oh, too bad about your delayed chocolate delivery! I think you had a very hungry postman.... I hope it arrives soon, or maybe you can persuade Kate to send more....

    However, this recipe looks fantastic - an easy "in-a-pinch" chocolate sweet; will have to bookmark this one.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Jacques!

    ~ Katherine @ Night Owl Chef

  9. oh i love these tarts... they are so cute... I will try them one day..
    great posting.

  10. You are a charmer. I loved your post and I loved your tarts and I'm thrilled you will surprise us again when your "real" chocolate arrives. You do have me wondering about the contents of the large box. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Oooh! I so love your heart and chocolate display! And those tarts too ;)) Fabulous.

  12. Happy Valentine's Day! Your little tarts look adorable to me, and dangerously easy to polish off quickly :)

  13. These are so beautifully done! May I have another, because I have already eaten with my eyes!
    Happy Valentine's day!

  14. Fabulous photos of yummy chocolate. I do so love to visit your blog! Hope you're having a happy day.

  15. Even postmen and pilots need a little love! Lovely pictures. You make my heart yearn for Italy.

  16. i already told you the good stuff, but finally i could post on your blog, bad net day, even now took minutes to open, but frankly my dear, YOU ARE WORTH IT! this is always the land of pretty and perfect, happy pilots too~

  17. Cute Story Monique...
    I noticed the little pink shoes on the precious little girl are almost the same color as the pigeons feet....
    The Dancing Pink Feet post!
    As always ...I smile here,
    xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  18. Nana, you could certainly make them for me anytime! They look so luscious!
    Smoke and mirrors, I don't think so. More festive and romantic!
    Were all those decorations for your little Valentines?
    Your funny Valentine sounds pretty sweet. A keeper ;)
    Happy Valentine's Day,

  19. i am mezmorized by your ADORABLE children.... so happy to have discovered your blog... hope you had a wonderful weekend... xx pam

  20. Lovely post, great reflections... That little chocolate tart looks like a wonderful valentine's treat for your funny Jaques!

  21. Beaucoup de difficultés à afficher tes belles photos ce matin... mais la patience a fini par payer. La petite fille au pigeon me ravit! Bonne journée.

  22. So charming, as always. Who could want more than buttery crusts, chocolate, a joyful child and a funny Valentine?! So sweet.

    I mailed a birthday package to my daughter in Seoul, last August. She didn't get it after 3 weeks (usually takes 7-10 days.) I envisioned dockworkers wiping the crumbs from their mouths and spritzing themselves with girlie scents! I put a tracer on the package and it miraculously showed up a week later...fully intact!! Miracles do happen! Hope your choclate shows up soon, you will do it justice, I'm sure.

    Hope you had a great day with all of your Valentines!


  23. yes a funny valentine and an adorable little girl in her pink dress n shoes!! im sure ur chocolate will arrive soon Monique...a beautiful post and wonderful story !! (^^)

  24. How I enjoyed reading this post, your pix are wonderful & the recipe too. Hope Kate's chocolate arrives soon, you won't be disappointed.
    Thanks for visiting me in Normandy,

  25. Monique, these tarts are perfect! I love the heart shaped pans. What a wonderful idea to put half a truffle on top!

    Re: the chocolate. Check your email, ok?

  26. Those look gorgeous ofcourse and I love the little anecdote on the box that arrived... :))

  27. Ce sont des tartes qui sont très belles.

  28. Oh.....I love all the read and the cute box....and the chocolate story.....

  29. Tes photos sont une vraie douceur pour les pupilles;)

    Bonne semaine!!xxx

  30. Love it! All of it!
    But I covet that amazing silver heart!
    And that little girl is beyond precious, with her pink shoes.