Chocolate raspberry tart

October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

This past weekend our friendly downstairs neighbors/landlords were kind enough to invite us over for dinner.  They offered to prepare a delicious feast, complete with tasty margaritas, and in return, we offered to bring dessert.  Since I didn’t have a lot of time to be slaving over a dessert, but I wanted to bring something that both appeared and tasted impressive, I opted for this chocolate raspberry tart. (It also didn’t hurt that we  had recently purchased a full flat of raspberries as a last-ditch effort to hang on to summer.)

I have made this before for another dinner party, and posted some photos of it earlier (here), following a recipe from Fine Cooking Chocolate!, but I wanted to change it up just a bit.  The original recipe calls for a gingersnap crust.  I’m a pretty big fan of gingersnaps, but for my taste, I felt like this detracted from the main show here: chocolate and raspberries.  So, in this version, I substituted a chocolate cookie crust, which I think added the same great texture as the gingersnap crust, but kept the flavors balanced and highlighted the richness of the chocolate. This tart could be made in many different ways, so feel free to use your own favorite crust, but here’s how I did it:

For the crust:

  • 6 oz. finely ground chocolate cookies (I used Newman’s Own Chocolate Alphabet Cookies)
  • 2 1/2 tblsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tblsp melted, unsalted butter

    For the filling:

    • 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
    • 10.5 oz chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • pinch of table salt

    To prepare the crust:

    YUM!

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 11 inch tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    2. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together the

    ground cookies and sugar.

    3. Drizzle the melted butter over the cookie crumbs and mix well with a fork.

    4. Pour the cookie crumb mixture in to the tart pan and spread it evenly over the bottom.  Use your fingers or a hard object to press the crumbs in to the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan, trying to achieve just under 1/4 inch thick crust.

    5. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Set aside to cool.

    To prepare the filling:

    1. Process 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries in a food processor or blender and then pass through a fine sieve.  Collect 3/4 cup of strained, raspberry puree and set aside. 

    2. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and heat it until it just boils.  In the meantime, chop the chocolate and place it in a medium size bowl.  (I used this 73% Dark Chocolate Cacao from Alter Eco.  We are limited to soy-free and non-nut contaminated chocolates in our house, so this often means splurging a bit for chocolate-centric desserts.  This chocolate also has some cacao nibs in it, which adds a very small amount of crunch.)

    3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk quickly, melting all of the chocolate.

    4. Mix in the raspberry puree and the salt.

    5. Pour the ganache in to the cool tart shell.  Refrigerate until the ganache is firm (approximately 1 hour).

    5. Add the raspberries (as many as you’d like! I accidentally ground up too many of them and didn’t have as many left as I wanted for tart decoration) around the edge of the tart and chill again in the refrigerator before serving to make sure the ganache is firm.

    Ready for service at the dinner party!

    Notes on this tart: This tart is really quite simple, but tastes decadent, so there’s no reason not to make it.  I also recommend adding a dollop of softly whipped cream as a sweet complement to the rich chocolate.  My only complaint about this particular recipe is that the crust turned out a bit too crumbly.  Keeping the crunch in the crust is very important for having some contrasting texture in the tart, but I was a little worried about it crumbling in to too many pieces (mostly on the sides were the crust was a bit thinner) and ruining the otherwise elegant presentation.  So, I might add more butter next time, or maybe just make a larger amount of the cookie crumbs to make it a tad thicker.  I’ll definitely be sticking with the Chocolate Alphabet cookies though– they aren’t overly sweet and they have a deep chocolate flavor.  And who doesn’t want alphabet cookies in their dessert?

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