These Irish cream mini tarts are a fantastic way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Chocolate short dough crusts are filled with Bailey’s Irish Cream mousse and they’re topped with domes of ganache-covered whipped cream.
I’ve been putting my bottle of Bailey’s to good use lately. These tarts are just one of the results (here’s another!). St. Patrick’s Day is just a couple of days away, so I made something special that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Pate sucree is my favorite tart crust. It’s a French short dough easily made in a food processor. I added some dark cocoa powder to my base recipe with excellent results. It’s the perfect foundation to hold lots of creamy toppings.
Not every home baker will have these tart rings on hand. If you’re looking to expand your pastry arsenal, then you may want to pick up some here. They make the perfect tart cases with a good fundamental tart crust recipe (like this chocolaty one).
If you’re not looking to house more pastry tools, then you can use a cupcake pan! I’ve included a picture of the pan-made tart at the end of this post.
The rings are not difficult to use. If you can use a cookie cutter, then you can master a pastry ring. You’ll roll the chocolate crust just like cookie dough, and use the ring to stamp out the bottom crust. Cut strips of dough to line the edges. Trim away the excess and brush with egg wash. The egg acts as glue to hold the two pieces together.
The cases turn out nearly perfect each time. They almost look manufactured! The interiors may puff a little, and if they do just press them down with the bottom of a cup while they are still hot. I didn’t dock the crusts, but you could do that with a fork to help steam release and prevent puffing.
The Irish cream mousse is 3-ish ingredients, and it’s easily made using the microwave and with an electric mixer. You may recognize it as a component of this pie.
Here’s a good use for those who have hot cocoa bomb molds! You can make really cool-looking half spheres of whipped cream to top your tarts. The molds I used can be purchased here.
The domes stick onto the Irish cream mousse tarts on their own, but you’ll need to freeze them solid before they get a dunk in ganache. If they’re not frozen, the domes will fall off into the ganache. I learned the hard way with my fist dip! After they were frozen they all stayed put.
Shiny ganache is so pretty! I just had to fleck the domes with some gold. This step is optional, but really nice for a special presentation. It’s simple. Gold cake decorator’s dust + vanilla extract = edible gold paint. I always use this brand, and a little goes a long way.
One of my favorite decors! Chocolate ‘wax’ seals. You may remember my first experiment with these from years ago. You can find the tutorial with a right video here.
You may need some practice to get the technique just right, but it’s not difficult. I like using semisweet chips for the ‘wax’. My theory is that the stabilizers in the chips help keep to make a clean impression. I can’t say for sure that it’s scientifically true, I just know using chips yields a good end result.
If you’d like even more bling (and who doesn’t!?) dry brush gold luster dust over the seals. This makes the design really pop!
The seals will naturally affix to the ganache. Just lay one on top of each tart.
Keep them refrigerated. I’ve been pulling them out just before dinner. The crust is so buttery that it’s quite firm when chilled. Letting them stand at room temp allows the crust to soften a little.
I really enjoyed making these! If I had a bakery I’d offer these year-round. They may look like sugar bombs but they’re not overly sweet. The whipped cream cuts the richness and makes them cloud-like.
Here’s a peek at the interior. It’s all fluffy and lightness inside! I served these on mini gold cake bases. You can find them here for purchase.
As promised, here’s the tart made in a cupcake tin. Instead of cutting the dough into rounds, you’ll treat it as a pat-in-the-pan crust. The crust looks just as nice and the cream domes fit just right, too!
You can find the Celtic knot wax seal stamp I used at this link.
Irish Cream Chocolate Tarts
- pastry rings
- silicone 6 cavity half sphere mold 3"
Chocolate pate sucree
- 1 1/2 cups 180g all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup 60g dark unsweet cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 7/8 cup 198g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup 100g fine granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Irish Cream marshmallow mousse
- 1 cup 240 ml heavy whipping cream
- 25 large marshmallows or 3 cups mini, 175g
- 3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
- 2 cups 480 ml heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ganache and gold splash
- 1 cup 6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup 120 ml heavy cream
- Gold luster dust
- Vanilla extract or vodka
- 1/2 cup 3 oz. semisweet chips, melted
- Gold luster dust
- Place the flour, cocoa, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter on top of the flour and pulse repeatedly in short bursts until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the vanilla and egg and pulse until the mixture forms a ball to one side of the bowl. Remove the dough and flatten into a circle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes before use.
- Roll the dough flat between sheets of parchment paper and chill 10 minutes. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Using the perforated tart rings, cut bottom crusts from the dough, leaving the dough rounds in the rings. Transfer the rings to a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps if needed and cut long strips of dough to line the edges of the rings. Fit the strips into the rings overlapping, then trim to size; remove excess dough. Cut away dough that is higher than the tops of the pastry rings so that the dough is even with the top of the ring. Brush the interiors of the dough cases with egg wash. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry cases are fragrant and matte. They should pull away slightly from their rings when removed from the oven. If centers have puffed, use the bottom of a small glass to flatten the bottoms while they are still hot. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Re-roll scraps and repeat process until you have 12 pastry cases. See notes for making this in a cupcake pan instead of pastry rings.
Irish cream mousse
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Microwave the marshmallows in a large heatproof bowl for 45 seconds, or until they have puffed up considerably. Remove from the microwave and stir until the marshmallows have melted and completely lose their original shape. Stir in the Irish cream and fold together until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Fold in the whipped cream. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or a zip-top bag with the end snipped. Pipe into the 12 pastry cases. Refrigerate while you make the whipped cream domes.
Whipped cream domes
- Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add the condensed milk a tablespoon at a time until the mixture form stiff peaks. Mix in the vanilla. Pipe or spoon the cream into the cavities of 12 half sphere molds (3”) and smooth well with an offset spatula. Place molds on baking sheets and rap on a work surface to remove any bubbles or air pockets. Transfer to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 20 minutes. Pop the spheres out of their molds and place on top of the chilled tarts. Freeze the assembled tarts until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Place the chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a large microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute at full power. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute, then whisk together slowly until a glossy, uniform ganache is achieved. Let cool until barely warm but till pourable, about 10 minutes.
- Mix about 1/4 teaspoon gold luster dust and drops of extract in a small cup. Mix until a loose-bodied paint form. Add more dust if the mixture is too liquid. Add more drops of extract if too thick; set aside.
- Remove half of the tarts from the freezer. Quickly dip the tops in the chocolate ganache and place on a large piece of parchment. Repeat with remaining tarts. Dip a stiff bristle brush into the gold paint and flick paint onto the tarts by bending the bristles back with a finger. You can also fling paint on in a throwing motion for larger splashes (be sure your work surface is well-covered). Refrigerate the tarts.
- Heat chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals; be careful to not over heat. Stir smooth. Place metal wax seal stamps in a cup filled with crushed ice and water. The stamp bottoms need to be thoroughly chilled before you stamp. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop dime-size amounts of chocolate onto the parchment paper. Remove a stamp from the ice and quickly wipe it free of water droplets with a towel. Place the stamp onto a mound of chocolate, press down gently. Let the stamp stand pressed in the chocolate for 10 seconds. Press down again very gently but firmly once more before you lift the stamp. You should be left with a clear impression in the chocolate.
- Replace metal wax stamp into the crushed ice until it is thoroughly chilled and repeat with remaining melted chocolate. Refrigerate finished chocolate seals until firm. Use a dry brush to lightly burnish with gold luster dust. Use a spatula to transfer the seals onto the tart tops; press gently to adhere.