INDULGENT MINI CHOCOLATE TARTS WITH PEANUT BRITTLE
These small chocolate tarts are fantastic for a midafternoon break, the perfect combination of rich, crumbly pastry, smooth ganache, and crunchy peanut topping. It’s so easy to make your own sweet pastry in a processor, but store-bought pastry made with all butter will work as well.
First make the pastry. Combine the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until just combined. Add the egg and process for 30 seconds. Add the flour and process for a few seconds until the dough just comes together (add 1 tablespoon of cold water if it seems too dry). Knead lightly on a floured surface, then shape into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease ten 3-inch fluted removable-bottom mini tart pans. Roll out the pastry ⅛ inch thick on a floured work surface and cut out 8 small discs using a 5-inch fluted cutter. Line the pans with the pastry, allowing it to overhang the edges, then prick the base with a fork and let rest for at least 20 minutes in the fridge. (They should be really firm and cold so they don’t burn when they are baked.)
Bake the rested tart cases on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for 12 minutes until golden. Use a sharp knife to trim off the excess pastry, then cool the cases in their pans on a wire rack.
While the tarts are cooking, make the peanut brittle. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or a lightly oiled sheet of foil. Put the sugar into a dry wide frying pan over medium-high heat for 3–4 minutes and allow it to caramelize without stirring. Once the caramel begins to form, swirl it around the pan to make sure it colors evenly. After 2–3 minutes, when it’s beginning to turn light brown, add the peanuts and swirl to coat. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet, tilting it so that the peanut mixture spreads out thinly and evenly. It should harden almost immediately. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache. Put the chocolate, cream, butter, and sugar if using, into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of gently boiling water for 7–8 minutes, stirring to combine once melted. (Taste and add a little more sugar if you prefer a sweeter ganache.)
Spoon the ganache mixture into the cooled tart cases and top with broken shards of peanut brittle. (Save the remaining brittle for snacking.) Chill for 20 minutes, then serve.