For the dough
- 200 gr all purpose flour
- 40 gr confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tsp vanillin sugar or ¼ tsp vanilin extract
- Pinch of salt
- 100 gr cold butter
- 1-2 tbsp cold milk or water
- Sift flour, salt and confectioner’s sugar into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut cold butter into little cubes and add to the dry ingredients. Work butter into flour by gently rubbing with your fingertips until you obtain a crumbly consistency, resembling cornmeal.
- Add cold water or milk one tablespoon at a time to quickly form a nice ball of dough. Do not knead dough.
Wrap in cling film or place in a freezer bag and refrigerate at least 30 mns.
- Preheat oven to 175 C. Grease your tart tin(s) with a brush and soft butter and set aside.
- Place dough on silpat or counter lightly dusted with flour. Roll dough out to 4-5 mm thinness. If you’re using mini tart tins, cut out rounds of dough using a round cookie cutter at least the same size or a little larger than the diameter of the tins you’re using. You can cut out rounds of dough by gently placing a small plate of appropriate size onto the dough and using a sharp knife to cut around it. Roll back remainign pieces of dough, taking care not handle dough too much and repeat until you have used up all the dough.
Now place the round pieces of dough into the prepared tins and gently press with your fingertips to neatly adhere dough into the tins. Cut off any uneven pieces overlapping from the rim. Or you can skip all the fuss and just make a single tart using a removable bottom tart tin of 24 cm in diameter. Square or rectangular tart tins can be used as well.
Make a few little holes with a fork on the bases of the dough . Cut out square pieces of baking paper into appropriate size to fit in and overlap the little tart tins. If you wrinkle up the pieces of baking paper and then flatten them out again, you will obtain somewhat more pliable pieces of paper making it easier to place onto the dough. Now place the baking papers into the tins and fill them with dried legumes of your choice (which you will later on save separately for further similar use). This is necessary to prevent the dough from rising in the middle while it cooks.
- Place tins onto a tray and bake for about 10 minutes (15 minutes or a little longer as needed if you’re making a single large tart). Then take tray out of oven and remove the papers and legumes, holding carefully from the corners of the baking paper – be careful not to burn yourself!
- Now place tray back into the oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Set tray aside, leaving the tart bases to cool before you place any filling in them. In the meantime you can start preparing your chocolate ganache filling.
You can use a pastry dough cutter to make this dough manually or just make it in a food processor as well. The tricky part about making it in a food processor is to make sure you don’t add too much water or milk thinking that the dough doesn’t come together. It should remain with a crumbly consistency and you will still have to bring the dough together manually. I wouldn’t recommend using a food processor if you’re not too familiar with this type of dough. You can also try making this dough the old fashioned way, i.e. by placing dry ingredients and cubes of cold butter onto a large clean cutting board or counter and using a large bladed chef’s knife to cut the butter into the flour. This method reminds me of the unique sablée biscuits topped with slivered almonds or hazelnuts my mother used to make in my childhood. She didn’t have a food processor nor a pastry dough cutter in those years. And maybe it was all for the better!
For the pomegranate syrup
- 200 gr pomegranate seeds
- 75 gr caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Clean and deseed one large pomegranate and place about 200 gr of the seeds into a casserole.
- Add sugar and pinch of salt and place on the stove over medium heat. Do not add any water.
- Gently crush the seeds with a wooden spoon while mixing them with the sugar. The pomegranate seeds will slowly release their juice and form a light syrup with the melting sugar.
- Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 3 to 5 minutes then take off heat and set aside to cool.
- Once syrup has cooled to room temperature or is cool enough to handle, place a sieve onto a deep bowl. Then place a clean piece of cheesecloth large enough to hold the pomegranate seeds you used to make the syrup.
- Now strain the syrup. Remove the sieve once all liquid has passed through. Take the four corners of the cheesecloth and form it into a ball and firmly squeeze out any remaining juices.
- You should obtain at least 100 or 120 ml of pomegranate syrup after this process.
The amount of sugar you need to add to the pomegranate seeds totally depends on how sour your pomegranate is. So the key here is to taste the pomegranate first and also take into consideration the type of chocolate you will use to make the ganache. The amount of sugar I suggested in this recipe here is for a really sour pomegranate. It’s all a matter of balancing the sweetness of the chocolate with the sourness of the pomegranate syrup.
Last but not least, if you are too lazy to fuss with the process of making this syrup or if you just want to speed things up a little you can always use store-bought pomegranate juice. In Turkey we have several good quality reliable brands that do not contain any added sugar and come in glass bottles. That is the kind of pomegranate juice I would suggest you use instead of the homemade syrup. And again, you can make a syrup from this juice or heat it up and use it directly as it is. It all depends on the sourness-sweetness balance, also considering the type of chocolate you’re using.
For the chocolate ganache filling
- 100 gr of Toblerone milk chocolate
- 80 gr plain milk chocolate of your choice
- 80 ml fresh cream
- 120 ml pomegranate syrup
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a large, preferably glass bowl.
- Heat the pomegranate syrup you have prepared beforehand until it comes to a boiling point. Take off heat and add to the chopped chocolate.
- Let stand for a couple of minutes before you gently fold the syrup into the chocolate with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Don’t worry if all chocolate pieces do not melt evenly in this step.
- Now heat the cream until it comes to a boiling point and add to the chocolate mixture. Let stand for a couple of minutes before folding into mixture. If all chocolate pieces have still not melted you can microwave the mixture on high for very short intervals of 10-20 seconds, mixing well and waiting for a few minutes between the intervals. You will probably not need to do this more than once or maybe twice. If you don’t have a microwave or are not sure about how to use if for this purpose then you can use the bain-marie method to fully melt your ganache chocolate.
- Once your ganache filling is ready let it stand at room temperature for a few minutes. Then using a small ladle, distribute filling into the tart shells taking care not to overfill them.
- Place in a cool spot or in the refrigerator until the ganache sets.
To serve and decorate
You can sprinkle your tarts with pomegranate seeds and serve as such. But if you wish you can also decorate then with white chocolate as seen in the pictures.
I recommend using the type of white chocolate that is made specifically for baking purposes but it’s ok to try with the standard white chocolate bars as well.
Just melt about 80 gr of white chocolate using a bain-marie method. Place melted chocolate into a zip-lock freezer bag or into a funnel you make with baking paper. Make a very small cut at the tip and drizzle onto the tarts to obtain any shapes of your choice. You can practice first by drizzling chocolate onto a piece of baking paper placed on a tray.