Sam’s gluten-free chocolate and orange tarts

Sam's gluten-free chocolate and orange tarts
Sam’s gluten-free chocolate and orange tarts made with gluten-free pastry

My quest to make the best gluten-free pastry in the world continues.  After my jam tarts were an instant hit with my taste testers, I thought I would have a go at adding every girl’s favorite – chocolate, but with a classic twist of orange.

This week I set myself the challenge to make the gluten-free shortcrust pastry even better.  I got some really good feedback from my taste testers and some liked the ‘thin-ness’ and most liked the texture, which was a little crisper than your wheat loaded flour.

I wanted to take on board their feedback and see if I could improve on the first trial. Blind baking the pastry in this recipe I thought really helped and it gave me the opportunity to play around with my baking beans.

I think I have just about cracked the recipe (although I know what I am going to do for my next trial and make it even better) and have got some top tips especially when it comes to rolling out the pastry.

1. To stop the pastry from cracking you need to make the pastry mix a little wetter than normal pastry.
2. When rolling out, for the first roll do it in between cling film, it will reduce the cracking. Then turn it out onto a work surface that is floured and roll out with a floured rolling pin.
3. Keep turning the pastry and work quickly. Don’t over flour the surface as you will dry out the pastry too much and it will crack.
I hope that you enjoy these chocolate orange tarts and that you successfully make gluten-free short crust pastry.
This recipe makes 24 chocolate tarts. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 5.

150g plain gluten-free flour
100g cold butter cut into small cubes
50g caster sugar
Pinch salt
100ml cold water

For the filling:
150g good dark chocolate
50g milk chocolate,
150ml double cream
zest from 2 oranges
the juice from 1 orange

1. In a bowl put the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Using the tips of your fingers and thumbs, you will need to rub the butter into the flour. Do this until all the butter and flour is combined. It should be small pea sized.
2. With a metal knife, stir the mixture through and then make a well in the middle. Add a little of the water and mix with the knife. The mixture should start to come together, then add a little more and mix. Keep doing this until all the mixture comes together and is slightly wetter than normal pastry.
3. Then turn the pastry mix out onto cling film and put into the fridge and rest for 30 minutes, I left this pastry to rest for 1 hour.
4. While the pastry is resting, butter a 12 holed tin and put to one side. You will need a cutter that will fit the holes. Also, lay out some cling film on the work surface – large enough so that you can roll out the pastry. You will need another piece the same size to put over the top of the pastry.
5. Once the pastry has rested, take out of the fridge and place on top of the cling film. Lay the other piece of cling film on top and with a rolling pin, roll the pastry out. You will find that it will stick to the cling film due to it being wetter than normal, don’t panic. Once you have done this, remove the cling film and gather the pastry up and then roll out on a floured work surface to approx 3-5mm. But the thickness is up to you.
6. Once rolled out, cut out your circles and place into your tin. You will then need to blind bake you tarts for about 8 – 10 minutes. In a small piece of baking paper place a few baking beans into the center of each tartlet.
7. Before putting into the oven, brush a little cold water around the edges of the pastry. Put the tarts into a pre-heated oven to blind bake for about 8-10 mins, or until the pastry looks almost baked.
8. Once you have blind baked, remove the baking paper and the beans and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the pastry is starting to turn golden brown.
9. Turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
10. Once the tarts have cooled you can make the chocolate orange filling. In a sauce pan you will need to heat the cream, make sure you don’t boil it, just get it hot enough so it will melt the chocolate.
11. In a bowl break up the chocolate and add the zest and the orange juice.
12. Once the cream is hot, pour over the chocolate and mix until all the chocolate is melted.
13. Using a small spoon, fill each cooled pastry case and leave to set. Once set, enjoy your tartlets as part of afternoon tea or whenever you feel like a treat.

I hope you enjoy these chocolate-orange tarts and happy gluten-free baking 🙂

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