SLIDER

little chocolate pecan pies

I've been making some sort of version of this recipe for 20 years now and I haven't stopped tweaking it yet. Here's the latest version made with my favourite chocolate pastry recipe from Isidora Popovic's book, Popina Book of Baking. 

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I had a little light corn syrup in the pantry but not quite enough and I could only find dark corn syrup at the shops so that's what I used. I've often made the filling with a combination of sugars but I've never used dark corn syrup before. I was curious to find out how it would affect the finished product.

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Pecans are one of my favourite nuts and to bring out the flavour I always toast them in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes.

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Now I don't normally blind bake pastry cases when making pecan pie but 2 of the pies suffered badly from soggy bottoms so I might think about doing so next time I make these.

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Normally I glaze the pies with a kind of ganache but this time I just used melted chocolate. I'd love to claim it as my own idea, but I saw it in the Delicious Magazine 2013 Diary and thought what a good idea.

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I met a friend for dinner last weekend and took along a few of the little pecan pies. I shared a few with my neighbours and took the rest into work.



Here's the recipe for you.


Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
25 gm (¼ cup) cocoa
125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter chilled and cubed
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar
1 egg, beaten

Place the flour, cocoa, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the beaten egg until the dough starts to gather around the blade of the processor. Remove the dough and bring together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.




Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3-4mm thick. Line 8 tart tins with the chocolate short crust pastry and trim the excess dough neatly around the edges. You won’t need all the pastry so freeze the leftovers for later use. Refrigerate the lined tins for another 20 minutes. 

If you want to blind bake the tart shells first to prevent them getting soggy bottoms, preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) then prick the pastry with a fork to prevent rising. I line the tins with paper cup cake liners before filling each tin with baking weights.  Place the tart tins onto a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are browned. Carefully remove the lining paper and baking weights and allow the tart shells to cool before filling.  

If you don't pre-bake the pastry, just follow the instructions below.   

Filling 
2 eggs 
⅔ cup sugar (I used a combination of light brown sugar and caster sugar)
1 tablespooncorn flour (optional) 
2 tablespoons melted butter 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
 cup corn syrup (I used a combination of light and dark) 
1¼ cups toasted pecans, roughly chopped   

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Place the pecans over the base of the tart shells. Lightly beat the eggs with the sugars until combined. Add the melted butter, vanilla, the corn syrup and corn flour (if using) and mix until the mixture is well combined. Gently pour the filling over the pecans. The pecans will rise to the top.

Place the tins on a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Bake the little pies for 45-55 minutes at 180˚C (350˚F ) until the tops are well browned and the filling is set.
Remove the pies from the oven and cool on a wire rack.   

Topping 
55 g (2 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Place the chocolate in a small bowl over barely simmering water. Mix well until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the basin from the heat and drizzle the chocolate decoratively over the tops of the pies. You can use a teaspoon to do this or you can fill a small plastic bag with the chocolate and snip the corner off to make a piping bag. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.



The verdict? Absolutely scrumptious and when I was asked for the recipe, I knew I was on a winner.




I hope you enjoy them,

Jillian
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