These dainty little tarts are as easy to make as they are beautiful. These diminutive desserts are perfect vessels for sliced fresh fruit, a guilty shot of ganache, pastry cream or canned pie filling. They'll easily accommodate instant pudding (just use a little less milk when making it) or a dollop of ice cream.
They're so easy to make and fill, you can whip up several shapes and sizes in no time at all.
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut powder
2 large egg whites (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sugar
HEAT oven to 350°.
COMBINE coconut, egg whites and sugar and mix to form heaping tablespoon-size balls. Press into greased mini muffin tins or ungreased silicone baking cups. Press from the middle out with thumb to create a 1/4-inch thick crust.
BAKE for about 25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes. Cool before unmolding. Fill with ganache and top with a toasted almond to create almond joy.
Note: Coconut powder is ground coconut. It's available at Indian grocers.
These are most easily made with silicone baking cups. Alternately, chocolate can be melted and pressed into a plastic wrap-lined cup.
1/4 cup chocolate, white chocolate or butterscotch chips per 3-inch tart
HEAT an inch or less of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
PLACE chips into silicone cups and float the cups into the water. As the chips begin to glisten and reach melting point, press chocolate down and up the sides to 1/4-inch or more thickness. Cool and unmold.
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
BEAT egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Very gradually beat in sugar and continue to beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
BEAT in vanilla. Line a baking sheet with foil (grease lightly) or parchment paper. Pipe into shapes with a pastry bag or outline a shape on parchment paper. Fill in shape with meringue and then build up a rim around the edge of base from 1 to 2 inches thick.
BAKE at 250° for about 30 minutes, or up to 40 minutes. Outside should be crisp and the inside still a little moist. Take out of oven and let air dry or turn off oven and leave in oven for 1 hour.
Note: For chocolate meringues, gradually fold in 2 tablespoons cocoa after soft peaks form.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup