Friday, 13 December 2013

Chocolate mince tarts

Christmas divides us into two groups.  Those who love mince tarts and those who don't.  For me, it isn't Christmas without a mince tart.   Yet I have been seeking chocolate in my mince tarts in recent years.  I have a vision in my head that I must have seen once.  That filled me with desire.  I think I might have just found it today.

It is not that mince tarts that fill my imagination as the festive season gathers pace.  I have much festive baking I hope to do if only the weather and time are kind to me.  Mince tarts are an excellent start.  Last year I made mince tarts with chocolate chunks in them.  They were good but it wasn't enough chocolate.  I wanted a chocolate pastry.

It is not just the taste but the aesthetic.  These brown stars have a dark rich allure that a pale pastry just can't offer.  Don't you think?  I know that it will horrify the purists.  It is not intended to be traditional.  These mince tarts are to please the chocoholics like myself. 

I like fruit mince but I don't eat a lot of it.  The chocolate helped motivate me to use up the remaining fruit mince from last year's batch.  Was I tired of seeing it in the fridge!  At least I could be proud that my fruit mince lasted that long.

I made these mince tarts this morning along with jam (coming soon) and sourdough bread.  I then had lunch with a friend at Little Deer Tracks .  After a fine risotto we came back to my place for a cuppa and a chocolate mince tart.  I wasn't quite sure I got it right. 

I met E for dinner in Carlton and went to the Cinema Nova to see Night Train to Lisbon.  It was a very beautiful film with an intriguing story that unravelled at a suitably leisurely pace.  We think I might have been the youngest person in the cinema.  It is that sort of movie. 

We came home and had a cuppa and a mince tart.  This time I really enjoyed the taste of the chocolate in the pastry and the chunks in the filling.  The pastry was buttery and short.  They were as good as I had hoped it might be.  Aalmost good enough to tempt me to make more fruit mince.  Almost.  I just don't think I could bear to have fruit mince greeting me every time I open the fridge for another year.

While we are on the subject of Christmas I thought I would share bit more Christmas cheer.  Above are two advent calenders.  On the right is one that has little numbers by each hole.  Each day we add another peg to build up the nativity scene.  On the left is a calender with little pockets.  This year it is working to fill them with the nativity pegs.  Sylvia is really enjoying adding the pegs each day.  Jesus had made a few outings already though and she keeps asking when he will be born.

We also had a craft session to make Christmas cards for Sylvia's kinder friends.  Sylvia helped me paint the shapes with colours and glitter glue.  Then I attached ribbons and glued them to cards while she was feeling ill this week.  Thanks to Red Ted Art Blog for the idea.

I am sending these chocolate mince tarts to Choclette for We Should Cocoa.  The theme for this blog event is chocolate and alcohol.  The fruit mince has whiskey in it so hopefully this will fit the bill. Now I am off to clear a space for my Christmas tree.  We will be decking the halls this weekend, so to speak!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago:
A vegetarian Christmas dinner in Scotland
Two years ago: CC Chesapeake tempeh cakes for carols
Three years ago: Carols, Camels and Pate
Four years ago: Christmas Nut Roast in Scotland
Five years ago: Lentil Loaf with Chutney
Six years ago: SHF #38 Christmas Pudding

Chocolate mince tarts
From Nestle's Bakers Corner
made me about 10-12 mince tarts *

125g cold butter, chopped
1 and 1/4 cup (185g) plain flour
1/3 cup (55g) icing sugar
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa
1 egg yolk
1-2 tbsp water, or as required
1 cup of fruit mince (I use this one
1/4 cup (45g) dark choc chips
extra icing sugar for dusting

Place butter, flour, icing sugar and cocoa in food processor and blitz til you get the texture of fine breadcrumbs.  Add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water until the mixture becomes a ball of pastry.  If too crumbly add another tablespoon of water (1 tbsp was enough for me).  Wrap pastry in clingwrap and leave in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200 C.  Take the pastry from the fridge, unwrap and place between two sheets of baking paper.  Roll out to about 3mm thick (I think some of mine was thicker) and cut into circles to line greased patty pan (little cake) tin.  Mix fruit mince with choc chips and fill each circle with fruit mince mixture.  Cut out stars and place on top of fruit mince. 

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and smells cooked.  Cool on a wire rack.  Keep in an airtight container.  Dust with icing sugar to serve.

* The Baking Corner recipe said it would make 24 mince tarts but mine only made 9 with a few scraps of pastry leftover.  I am not sure I rolled the pastry out thinly enough but it seemed ok when we tasted the tarts.  Their recipe called for more fruit mince but my little tub was enough for 9.

On the Stereo:
Christmas - Low

19 comments:

  1. I do love a mince tart, although I didn't make any this year. A chocolate mince tart like this would be a special treat.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - Chocolate makes the mince tarts special for me (though my mum is not keen on them)

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  2. a chocolaty twist on traditional mince tarts is so innovative and very delectable...we are drooling looking at those yummy food clicks,thanks :-)

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    1. Thanks Kumars Kitchen - I love adding chocolate to anything

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  3. I am definitely in the 'dislike' category. Chocolate might sway me, but I suspect the filling would still let me down! I'd like eating the edges though ;)

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    1. Thanks Kari - I think the fruit mince is immeasurably improved by chocolate (my mum disagrees so each to their own). My mum and I agreed that the pastry would be good for a chocolate tart or caramel tart

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  4. I am in the mince tart group, yet have not made them before! Yours look amazing

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    1. Thanks Kate - I grew up with my mum making her own mince tarts every year so I think home made mince tarts are just part of my Christmas - but it is only in the last few years I have been making this - and not in the batches my mum churns out - I am still not sure about what is the best pastry to use

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  5. Oh my comment disappered, how odd. I was just saying I love these, making the pastry chocolate is an inspired idea and I live your term fruit mince. So much nicer than mincemeat.

    Oh an submit one of your recipe to No Croutons Required. It's the Festive Photos round.

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    1. Thanks Jac - grrr to blogger for swallowing your comment - you make me unsure when you note my use of fruit mince - I get a bit confused about whether it is fruit mince or mince meat (like the archaic nature of mince meat but worry it sounds like meat pies) and if it is mince pies or mince tarts. Argh! Have NCR in mind but am hoping to get a pic over the next few days. Love the Festive picture round!

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  6. My family never really liked mince tarts so hubby and I always tend to get the ones that they won't eat! A chocolate version sounds great! :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - oh poor you having all your family's unwanted mince tarts :-) My family loves mince tarts - my mum even sends them to Ireland to my sister

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  7. These look fabulous and I love the idea of choc pastry. I've had chocolate mincemeat before but never mincemeat in choc pastry. What a brilliant idea and I agree the smell of them in pure christmas

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    1. Thanks Katie - I think the chocolate is more noticeably in the chocolate mincemeat than in the chocolate pastry but I do like the double whammy of chocolate!

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  8. I used to love the unfortunately non-vegan mince tarts from Bakers Delight because they didn't taste as mincey as others, if you know what I mean. I'm not keen on fruit mince but I really do like it when there's a little mince and a lot of apple, so if I get around to baking mince pies this year I might experiment with that.

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - I love a good mince tart but I love the idea of lots of apple in it because while I love fruit mince, I love a good variation on a theme. We have the bakers delight ones occasionally - might even buy some to convince myself not to make more fruit mince and have it in the fridge all year again!

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  9. Your tarts look so attractive Johanna, both the colour and the stars on top make them look super glamourous. Bet they tasted fab too. Next year I think I might try making my mincemeat with whisky, sounds fabulous. Thanks for entering them into WSC.

    Hope you had a fun Christmas and I wish you and yours all good things for 2014.

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