Zeppole di San Giuseppe? Nah! Give me pasticciotto!

Pasticciotto al cioccolato

Have you ordered your zeppole yet? Saint Joseph’s Day/Festa del Papà is just 2 days away and I’m certain that the best bakeries in town are cranking out pastry shells by the thousands. Last year I made napoli-style zeppole that called for the addition of cooked potatoes, and the year before that I made the more decandent ones that are like baked and fried bignè. Well, this year is going to be different, waaay different, because earlier in the week when I was planning my dream eating tour in the southernmost region of Puglia, I came across a baked treat that had me foot-slapping my slippahs on the floor with glee. Are you ready for this? It’s called the Pasticciotto Obama! This item is a brainstorm idea from a pastry chef that took the traditional pasticciotto (double-crusted sugar dough tartlet with vanilla pastry cream) and turned it into something presidential with the magic touch of chocolate.

Think tiny chocolate cream pies with a flake-tender top crust (chocolate) instead of whipped cream. Imagine a rich and silky chocolate cream oozing between bites of buttery chocolate crumb. That gastronomic tour to Puglia may need to be put on hold for awhile, so I worked out a chocolate dough recipe that is really easy to put together. I didn’t have time to convert amounts into american measurements, but keep in mind that this will make approximately 15 miniature tarts.

200 grams all-purpose flour
80 grams granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch salt
100 grams cold butter, cut into small dice
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-3 teaspoons cold milk
1/2 recipe of your favorite chocolate pudding/cream pie filling recipe

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the diced butter and using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until evenly crumbed. Add the beaten egg and a teaspoon of the milk. Using your fingertips, work together quickly (adding more milk if necessary) until the dough comes together and holds without falling apart. The texture should be that of a medium-firm sugar dough. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using. Prep tartlet forms with cooking spray if using non-stick or improperly seasoned tins.

Roll out to a little less than 1/4-inch thickness (4mm) and line individual tart pans. Fill with cold chocolate pudding, just within the top of the rim, and press to enclose with another rolled section of top crust. Brush tops with eggwash and with a toothpick, poke 2 or 3 holes to allow steam to escape. Bake at 375°F for approximately 15-20 minutes.



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