Saturday, May 3, 2008

chocolate strawberry balsamic and goat cheese tarts

i kept hearing about the taste sensation of balsamic vinegar over fresh strawberries, so i thought i'd try to make a dessert with both to take to dinner with friends. i had a backup plan if these didn't work-- but they were tasty. i'll make them again, with a change or two that i'll detail here.

it's a good rule to buy strawberries only when you can smell them when you're walking up to them in the grocery store. (that smell also means you should prepare them within a couple days of buying them.) i bought a pint at hy-vee and took it home and sliced the berries into quarters. i covered the chopped berries with a mix of two parts balsamic vinegar to one part moscato. i marinated these overnight, and while i liked the effect--next time i'll aim for a four-hour soak.

i bought little tart shells at leon's, and they were perfect but spendy. next time i'll just buy a box of shortbread cookies small enough to eat to eat in one bite and then top with these same fillings.

i processed some chocolate wafers into a powder (look for them in the baking aisle at leon's or ideal) and dredged half the marinated strawberries through that. i placed one piece of marinated strawberry, one piece of marinated and coated strawberry, and one dollop of pepper goat cheese on each tart and refrigerated till ready to go.

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