Little Chocolate Heart Tarts

Remember that lovely little Chocolate, Pear, and Walnut Tart I shared from Molly Wilkinson’s French Pastry Made Simple last month. Well, I thought it was such a wonderful base recipe that I decided to change it around a bit to create these mini chocolate heart tarts for Valentine’s Day. I swapped out the ground walnuts for almond flour and a profound revelation. The addition of almond flour to brownies would be amazing. It would create a chewy, gluten-free brownie that wasn’t too rich and wasn’t too cakey. And that is exactly what happened in this tart- the sweet and crumbly, almond infused pâté sucrée is filled with almond-flour infused chewy brownie mix and garnished with a powdered sugar heart! 

Little Chocolate Heart Tarts

Inspired by Molly Wilkinson (https://www.mollyjwilk.com)

Serves: 4 small tarts

Pâté sucrée

Makes 2–9-inch tart shells

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (14 tablespoons), cold and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 1 teaspoon water

Directions for Food Processor:

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, combine flour, sugar, almond flour, and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse exactly 15 times. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, extract, and water. Add liquid to the food processor and blend until ball of dough comes together. 
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. 

Directions for Stand Mixer:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, almond flour, salt, and cold cubed butter. Mix together on low speed until mixture looks like sandy little pebbles, about 5 minutes. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, extract, and water. Add the liquid to the mixer and mix on low speed until a ball of dough forms. 
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. 

Ingredients for Little Chocolate Heart Tarts

  • ½ recipe pâté sucrée
  • ½ cup almond flour 
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract or ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and almond meal and stir on low-speed until combined. Add in the egg and almond extract or orange zest and mix until fully incorporated. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix to combine. 
  3. Divide the pâté sucrée into 4 pieces. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll to an approximately 5-inch circle. Place in a miniature tart pan and prick the dough with a fork. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the bottom of each of the tart shells.
  4. Place the 4 tart pans on a sheet pan. Place tart into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the chocolate mixture to test for doneness. Allow tart to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Tart can be dusted with powdered sugar, if desired. To make the heart pattern, I took a sheet of computer paper and folded it in half. I then cut half of a heart out of the folded side of the paper and unfolded it. I then placed the sheet of paper over the tart and sprinkled it with powdered sugar. Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy your Mini Chocolate Tarts! 

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