Ingredients (For Shortcrust Pastry): Flour, 100 gms; butter (chilled, diced), 50 gms; yolk of one egg; cold water, 1 tbs.

For Choco Ganache: Chopped bitter chocolate, 150 gms; cream, 60 ml; yolk of two eggs; softened butter, 50 gms; rum to flavour (optional).

Method: To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a chilled bowl. Rub in the chilled butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk and enough water to form a firm, not dry or sticky, dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface until it turns smooth.

Wrap the dough in butter paper and let it chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll it out on a floured surface (to prevent sticking), until it is one-eighth of an inch thick. Stamp out circles, each with a diameter of an inch, or alternatively use small petit four tin moulds, if available. Place circles on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven (190oC/ Gas No. 5/375oF).

To Make the Ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl with the cream, and melt over a double boiler. While it is still warm, beat in the egg yolk, and then the softened butter one teaspoon at a time. Flavour with rum, if desired.

Let the combination chill. When the ganache is firm, either spread it onto the pastry circles, or fill into a rosette nozzle, and practise your piping skills with the ganache, aiming for a neat whirl of chocolate. During summer, keep these sweet meals chilled. Decorate with chopped pistachios, or, if you are feeling rather extravagant, a hint of silver leaf.

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