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Surprising companions: chocolate and rhubarb in small tarts.

The contrast of tangy red rhubarb with sweet dark chocolate is a feast for eye and palate. Here they go together in small tarts. You gently stew the rhubarb and bake the fragile cooky crumb crusts separately, then assemble just before serving.

The season for bright pink greenhouse-grown strawberry rhubarb runs from late January to the end of March. Green-tinge field-grown cherry rhubarb is sometimes available as early as October and as late as May or June. Field rhubarb benefits from a few drops of red food coloring if you want it to have the visual appeal of the greenhouse variety.

If you use home-grown rhubard, use only the ribs; market rhubarb is already trimmed. Rhubarb Tarts 3/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 6 cups rhubarb chunks, cut in 1-inch pieces 2 slices fresh ginger, each about 1 inch in diameter and 1/8 inch thick 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon grated orange peel Chocolate crusts (recipe follows) Chocolage glaze (recipe follows) Sweetened whipped cream

In a 3- to 4-quart pan, stir together sugar and tapioca. Add rhubarb, ginger, and water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is partially dissolved, about 15 minutes.

Cover rhubarb, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft when pierced, about 10 minutes; do not stir. Remove ginger. Let cool, cover, and chill (up to 2 days).

To assemble, sprinkle orange peel equally over bottom of each chololate crust. Spoon rhubarb into crusts, dividing equally. With a spoon, pour chocolate glaze on top of each tart, making thin lacy strands. To serve, lift tarts from pan rims; if made ahead, leave in pans and hold at room temperature up to 2 hours. Offer a whole or half tart per person. Pass whipped cream to to individual tarts. Serves 6 to 12.

Chocolate crusts. Finely crush enough chocolate wafers to make 2-1/2 cups crumbs (you'll need about 1-1/2 boxes, 8-1/2-oz. Size, chocolate wafers). Mix with 3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) melted butter or margarine. Press crumbs into 6 tart pans (4-1/2-in. diameter) with removable bottoms. Bake in a 350[deg.] oven for 10 minutes; crusts firm on cooling. Cool, then use; or cover airtight and hold at room temperature up to 1 day.

Chocolate glaze. In a 1-quart or smaller pan over lowest heat, melt 1 ounce each bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate with 1 teaspoon shortening, stirring until smooth. Spoon over tart at once at directed above.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipe
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1985
Words:411
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