Sunday, July 17, 2011

Soft Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Let's talk about nine-inch spring-form cake pans. I think I mentioned earlier that I have six. This is partly an accident, and partly because I think they are the most useful baking tool in existence. When I was in college, I only had one cake pan. I made everything in it--cake, cheesecake, brownies. And, very importantly, I found that they make excellent substitutes for removable bottom tart pans. I bet you could even make a pie in one, but that's a little beside the point. The point is that my wealth of nine-inch spring-form pans means that when I come across  a recipe like this chocolate raspberry tart, I don't need to worry that I don't own a tart pan.

Chocolate and raspberry is possibly my favorite flavor combination (besides maybe mushrooms and port). For years I've tried to find a dessert that really melds the flavors. I've found chocolate cakes and chocolate tortes with a little raspberry jelly in the middle, and while that sounds delicious, I was looking for something more exciting. I was shocked to find this recipe, lying nonchalantly inside a book I've had for years. I had to make it at the first possible opportunity. It actually went very well with this brunch--the meal itself had a lot of fresh and light flavors, which allowed for something a little richer for dessert.

I only wish I'd found this recipe sooner. It's just about perfect: the chocolate is soft and rich, with an almost pudding-like flavor and consistency. It bakes around the raspberries, which get soft and infuse their flavor into the chocolate. And the whole thing is disgustingly easy. The only thing I'd do differently next time would be to make it with all bittersweet chocolate--I like a little bitter edge to my chocolate desserts. 

Soft Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Serves 8-10

Tart Shell
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 c finely ground almonds
1/2 c confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp salt
9 tbsps very cold butter, diced
1 large egg yolk

1. Pulse flour, grond nuts, confectioners' sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. 
2. Scatter the butter over the mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Stir the egg yolk to break it up, then add it to the batter in 3 additions, pulsing after each. Continue pulsing in long pulses until the dough begins to come together. 
4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and very lightly knead the dough to incorporate any remaining dry ingredients.* 
5. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or a 9-inch spring-form pan!). Press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides** of the pan. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking. 
6. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.
7.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil. Fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly over the frozen tart shell.
8. Put the tart shell on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Take the foil off and continue baking for another 8 minutes, watching carefully--the crust burns quickly. 
9. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.***

Soft Chocolate Raspberry Filling
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or 5 oz if you want to use only bittersweet chocolate)
2 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 tbsps sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
6 oz fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. 
2. Put chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set it over a pot of gently simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat. 
3. Meanwhile, bring the cream and butter to boil in a small pot. Pour the cream and butter over the chocolate mixture and let stand for 30 seconds. Gently stir the two together--this will take a few minutes. 
4. When the chocolate and cream are homogenous, stir in the sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time and then the yolk. Rap the bowl against the counter to release any bubbles. 
5. Scatter the raspberries over the bottom of the tart shell. Gently pour the chocolate filling over the berries. 
6. Bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until the filling doesn't jiggle if you tap the pan. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature. 

From Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan

*Probably due to the heat of my kitchen, my dough came out very wet. I smeared it in the pan and hoped for the best, sad that it wouldn't be crumbly because all the butter had melted. And then I baked it and it was crumbly and tender anyway. Go figure. 
**If using a 9-inch pan instead of a tart pan, press the dough up about one inch of the sides. be careful not to let it get too thin at the edges--that's where it burns. 
***I was afraid my tart crust would get too dark if I left it in the pan, so I took off the sides a few minutes after taking the tart shell out of the oven. I baked it the second time without the sides on, too, and it was just fine. 

1 comment:

  1. Easy to make, delicious in taste!! My husband will love it since it contains his favorite ingredients: chocolate and rasberries!