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Ultimate Chocolate Nut Tartlets

Meatland newsletter readers may not have noticed but I am very strict with myself in terms of the order of recipes released. A meat/chicken dish will never be followed by another meat/chicken dish the next week. Decadent recipes are balanced out by diet-friendly dishes. Meals that require more effort to make won't feature any more frequently than quick 'n easy. And, despite my love of desserts and sweet treats, I'm careful not to share these until they've earned the column space. It took a huge amount of self-discipline not to post the recipe for these sublime Chocolate Nut Tartlets prematurely - especially when we brought in ready-made chocolate pastry shells which made preparation even easier - but I managed to hold back. It's with my pleasure that I am finally able to reveal this truly winning recipe which is a 'must-make' even among non-bakers. It was well worth waiting me on this.


1 1/2 cups plain flour 3 tablespoons cocoa ½ cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt (Maldon is best) 125 g cold butter/margarine, cubed 1 - 2 tablespoons cold water FILLING 1/2 cup toasted nuts of your choice* 2 tablespoons melted butter/margarine 3/4 cup dark brown sugar ¼ cup golden or maple syrup 2 eggs 100 g dark chocolate 1: Place flour, cocoa, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and mix briefly, add butter/margarine and process till mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 2: Slowly add water - you may only need 1 tablespoon - and process till mixture comes together in a ball. 3: Divide pastry into little balls and press into mini muffin trays as shown. You could use bigger cupcake trays but the smaller are best. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. 4: Divide toasted nuts between muffin hollows and mix brown sugar, eggs, syrup and melted butter/margarine in a small bowl till smooth. 5: Spoon mixture over nuts to cover and bake at 180 C for 15 to 20 minutes till set. Allow to cool then remove from tray and drizzle over melted chocolate if desired. COOK'S NOTES: Recipe makes 36 mini tarts which freeze well. The pastry is amazingly delicious but, if you are scared off or want a simpler option, our ready-made parve mini chocolate tart shells are an excellent substitute. I buy my mini foil trays at Big Deal at NIS 2.60 each and these are reusable and super useful. I like a mixture of nuts and use almonds, cashews and pecans but any nuts will work. Toasting them makes a big difference to flavor and is well worth this effort.

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