Are you ready for Father’s Day? If you need a last-minute gift and your dad loves strawberries, these strawberry chocolate tarts will win your dad’s heart!
When my parents came in town a month ago, I picked them up from the airport. On the ride to getting a quick-lunch, the first thing my dad said was “If we have time, we can get some fruits on the way.” YUP, no surprise! If you have read my mango panna cotta post, you know that my dad is CRAZY about fruits. During their stay, I made sure to stop by a Farmer’s Market. When we were there, we tried possibly every kind of fruit samples out there. My dad ended up getting 3 baskets of strawberries and a couple of white peaches. My parents both agree that the strawberries in Los Angeles are much more flavorful and fragrant than the ones in Hong Kong. No doubt my dad would love these strawberry tarts! I will make him some next time when we meet again. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! ❤️❤️❤️
Fruit tart has a special place in my heart. You can find them in every bakery in Hong Kong. That colorful and sweet fruit tarts always capture my attention in a display case. The fruits are always ripe and sweet. Then there is that buttery tart shell with a thin chocolate coating. Not to forget that creamy pastry cream too. Just the perfect kind of breakfasts that I love! Back in the days, my mom bought us those tarts for breakfasts every once a while. Those were the happy days for me!
To highlight the wonderful ripe strawberries of California, these tarts are all covered strawberries. For a little twist, I made a chocolate pastry cream instead of traditional vanilla. I always think there isn’t enough chocolate in a fruit tart, so why not put chocolate in pastry cream? (Let’s do a chocoholic dance!) It was the best decision! There can’t be any better combination for those juicy strawberries. These tarts will take a little time to make, but you will not regret it. They are delightful! Make them for your dad this Father’s Day or save them all for yourself. It’s all up to you! No one will judge. 😉
Strawberry Chocolate Tarts
8 (3-inch) tarts
– 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
– 24 – 32 strawberries (rinsed and removed stems)
– 3 tablespoons apricot jelly
– 1 teaspoon water
Chocolate Pastry Cream:
– 1¼ cups whole milk
– 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
– 3 egg yolks
– ¼ cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
– 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
– ¼ cup sugar
– ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
– ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 large egg yolk
– 1½ cups cake flour
- Start with the pastry cream, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, add the milk and warm until it starts to steam. Once it is steaming, add the melted chocolate and whisk to incorporate. While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in about one-third of the milk. Once it is combined, continue to add the rest of the milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thickened, whisking constantly. Stop to check if the cream starts to bubble. If it does, cook for another minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the pastry cream into a medium bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap that is pressed right up against the surface of the cream. Transfer to the fridge and cool completely.
- For the tart dough, in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed. Mix until smooth. Scrape down the bowl if needed. Add the yolk and mix until blended. Pour in the flour. Mix on low until the dough is crumbly, about 1 minute.
- On a lightly floured working surface, press the dough together into a round disk. The dough may be a little crack and dry, it is ok. Wrap the disk with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
- Take out the chilled dough. Cut into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a round ball. Flatten each ball into flat disks with hands. Place a flat disk into a tart tin and mold the dough into a tart shape. Make sure there is no crack. Poke holes at the bottom of the tart with a fork a few times. Place the tart shells on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until golden brown throughout, about 12 – 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Tap the tart tin bottom lightly on the table a couple times. Turn the tart tin over and remove the tart shells carefully. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
- When the tart shells are cool. Brush the inside of the tarts with melted chocolate, but leaving the top edge clear. Transfer the shells to the fridge to harden, about 5 minutes.
- To assembly, stir to loosen up the cooled pastry cream. Scoop and fill each tarts. Dried the strawberries thoroughly with paper towels and arrange 3 – 4 strawberries on top of each tart.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the apricot jelly and water. Microwave for 15 – 20 seconds or until warm and the jelly is runny. Brush and cover the strawberries with warm jelly. Serve immediately or transfer the finished tarts to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. Enjoy within 4 hours.
- Quick way to melt chocolate: Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 15 seconds. Stir again and repeat to heat in the microwave until the chocolate has just melted.
- If you want to, instead of making little tarts, you can make 1 large 8-inch tart. It will take a few more minutes in the oven. Just keep an eye on it.
- There are many other fruits you can top the tarts with, like other berries, melon, and canned peaches.
- The storage time is only 4 hours, because of the strawberries. After the strawberries are cut, they start to release juice. Juice on top of pastry cream is definitely not pretty. To avoid that, you can cut and top the strawberries a few hours before serving or use whole uncut strawberries. The tart without strawberries can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.
- Tart tins can be bought from Amazon or in kitchen supply stores, like Sur La Table and Bed Bath & Beyond.