This is a European treat: Scottish shortbread cradling a delicious French chocolate cream. It’s not the world’s quickest or easiest recipe, but well worth the effort, especially if you’re hosting an elegant tea party, baby shower, or girls day in.
Shortbread Cups with Chocolate Cream
Makes 3 dozen
These are pretty as a picture, and not difficult to make—if you have nonstick mini-muffin pans and a little wooden gadget called a tart tamper to help shape the dough into cups. You can find the tamper at kitchenware shops or online.
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white rice flour or cornstarch
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 1⁄2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
12 tablespoons (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
36 fresh raspberries
1. To make the crust, sift the flour, rice flour, and salt together into a bowl. Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Gather the dough up into a thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
2. Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 3 mini-muffin pans (preferably nonstick) with nonstick spray. Roll the dough into 36 equal balls. Press each ball of dough into the bottom and sides of a mini-muffin cup. (If you have a wooden tartlet tamper, use it to press the dough into the cups.) Pierce the dough with a fork and freeze for 15 minutes.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and quickly pierce with a fork to deflate the puffed cups. Return to the oven and continue baking until the cups are golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. If the pans are nonstick, the baking time may be a little shorter because the dark pans absorb the oven heat and bake the crusts more quickly than shiny pans. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the cups from the pans, transfer to a wire cake rack, and let cool completely.
4. To make the filling, whisk the flour and cocoa together in a small saucepan. Whisk in a few tablespoons of the cream to dissolve the flour and cocoa and make a paste, then whisk in the remaining cream. Whisk over medium-low heat until thick and boiling. Transfer to a small bowl, press plastic wrap directly on the cocoa mixture surface to keep a skim from forming, and cool completely.
5. Beat the butter, 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high, beat in the cooled cocoa mixture, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
6. Transfer the cocoa filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch-wide fluted pastry tip. Pipe the filling into the cups. (Or, simply spoon the filling into a 1-gallon plastic food storage bag, snip off one corner of the bag about 1⁄2 inch from the point, and use as an impromptu pastry bag. It isn’t as decorative, but it works.) Top each with a raspberry, sift confectioners’ sugar on top, and serve.
|– From Simply Divine
by Lisa Vanderpump