The prep for this is best done the night before you would like to assemble it, and serve it. You can also make individual tarts, or smaller ones instead of a larger 11 inch.
Some important tips:
**When you cut it, you must be sure to clean your knife with hot water between each cut, so that the slices are beautifully clean, and you can see sections of the whole berries. (This is actually a standard I use when cutting ALL cakes and desserts!)
** It's important when making filled tarts that you line the shell with melted chocolate. The chocolate not only adds a depth of texture and flavor, but seals the shell, and keeps it nice and crisp- protecting it from getting soggy from the filling.
Yield: 1- 11inch Tart or about 24 mini tarts
Chocolate Mousse Filling:
1- 12 oz. bag of Semi- sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 pt. of whipping cream
Chocolate Sugar Dough Crust:
2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 cup of sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1 t. salt
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 cups of all-purpose flour
additional flour for rolling
11 inch tart pan w/ removable bottom or 24 individual tart shells or pan
1cup of melted/ tempered dark chocolate
2 Quarts of Strawberries, cleaned, dried, & stems removed
1- 10 oz. bag of 60%+ Dark chocolate chips
3/4 pint of heavy cream
1 T. unsalted butter
Powdered sugar/ sifter
1) To make the tart dough: In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, (or you can mix by hand), cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly. When the dough forms, remove from the bowl, and flatten into a disc- wrapping well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night, or for 3-4 hours until well chilled.
2) To make the mousse: The night before, place the chocolate chips in a medium size bowl. Bring the cream to a rolling boil, remove quickly, and pour over the chocolate chips. Whisk until incorporated. Allow to set for an hour or so. Using a stick or conventional blender, blend the mixture for about 30sec. Pour back into the mixing bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate to completely chill overnight.
3) Roll out the dough: When the dough has been well chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator, and allow to set out for about 10min. prior to rolling. On a clean and floured surface, sprinkle some flour, and roll out the dough to about 1/8- 1/4 inch thick. The dough may crack easily, so be careful when trying to roll onto the rolling pin to transfer to the pan. Carefully unroll the dough over the pan, and press into the seams, etc. If the dough cracks or separates, just press in more dough to fill, etc. Cut off excess dough at the edges, (no need for overhang- as this dough does not shrink much!) Using a fork, make some pricks along the bottom and edges, and return to the refrigerator for about 15-30min. to firm up. ***If you have leftover dough, freeze or refrigerate for cookies, or future tarts!
In the mean time, preheat oven to 350F.
Bake the crust for 12-15min. at 350F. (If making mini or smaller tarts, baking time may be 8-10min.!)
Remove, and allow to cool.
4) To fill the tart (s): After the crust is cooled, melt and temper the 1 cup of dark chocolate. Using a spoon or, spatula, spread a thin layer of chocolate over the entire base and up the sides of the tart shell. Place back in the refrigerator to set up. In the meantime, remove the mousse base from the refrigerator, and using a whisk attachment, whip up on medium to high speed, until thickened. Remove the tart shell from the pan, and place on a platter or cardboard. Spoon the mousse filling into the shell, and spread the mousse evenly. (If making mini tarts, it may be easier to pipe the mousse into the shells!)
Make the ganache at this time: place the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the butter and cream to a rolling boil- remove quickly from heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk together until combined. Allow to cool for at least 30min. Take the whole strawberries, (cleaned and with stems removed), and begin placing on top of the mousse layer- fairly close together, until the entire tart is covered. (Refer to pic above.)
Place in the refrigerator. When the ganache has cooled to slightly warm, place the tart on a rack and ladle ganache over the tart- making sure to cover strawberries as completely as possible! Transfer tart back to the platter or board after ganache has set a bit, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firmly set and chill.
When ready to serve, sift some powdered sugar liberally over the tart, slice and serve!
***Make sure to refrigerate, and this is the best consumed within 2-3 days after making- due to the fresh fruit!