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This stunner of a tart showcases the raspberry like no other, seductively mingling with soft chocolate ganache that has been heightened with a trifling glint of almond. Think this looks too hard to assemble? Think again....
If only I could have known how beautifully beautiful this Chocolate Raspberry Tart would turn out, I'd have started making it long before now. This dessert, with all these gorgeous ripe raspberries, was a Sunday afternoon accident. YEP. This Chocolate Raspberry Tart was an accident. I was scrounging in the pantry to see what was left of anything I could create a dessert with. I had but one unopened sleeve of chocolate wafers left from a tart recipe I blogged about ions ago. With a bit of sugar and some melted butter, I could bring a quick cookie tart crust together, but what to fill it with? Enter oh sweet, tempting raspberries...
The raspberries are lively and sweet and play in perfect concert with the creamy chocolate ganache. A slender layer of raspberry filling is nestled between the ganache and a classic chocolate cookie crust.
Growing up in Basking Ridge, we had raspberry bushes. Dad made my Mom's dreams come true early one spring when he measured for and set cedar posts up in the field. He strung them tightly with wire after tilling trenches deep in the longstanding uncut ground. These trenches and the sturdy wire cages were the beginning of our raspberry patch. In less than two years, and 15 gorgeous raspberry bushes later, my brother David and I would help our parents pick berries every day during their season. We sold much of what we grew, and our raspberries were in high demand. So much so, that my Mom would take pre-orders for ladies to pick up their 'reserved pints' on specific days. David and I would amble up to the back field with our pint baskets, the dewy morning grass soaking our socks and sneakers through. Our jobs were to fill those berry baskets to the top.
The raspberries are a pleasant touch of freshness opposite the extraordinarily rich ganache. Taste buds are pirouetting when this tart is served.
When raspberries are at their peak, they require no sugar. And because I had so many berries to work with on this occasion, I took the time to spill them all out onto parchment and sort through them. Ripe, or not so much? Ripe but firm went in a pile to be used for the top of the tart. The ripe but overripe, along with just underripe went into a non-stick saucepan. I heated the overripes and underrripes together over medium heat, crushing them with the back of a spoon. To get some thickness without using cornstarch or reinventing the wheel, I added two tablespoons of a mixed berry jelly I had in the refrigerator. I let the mix become smooth and silky. I then pressed the mix through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and any pulp. What I was left with was a gorgeous purpley-red sauce, and quite a lot of it. This would be the coveted filling in contrast to two chocolates, the secret weapon of flavor separating the chocolate cookie crust from the creamy chocolate ganache...
Raspberries, chocolate morsels, heavy cream, butter, chocolate cookie wafers, jam from the pantry, a scant amount of granulated sugar, and almond extract - here is your deconstructed tart. Ready?
I know you often hear me go on about things being "easy to throw together," or recipes that are "simple and easy to follow." It is because I am an uncomplicated home cook who enjoys great cuisine. But I have never been schooled in any professional methods. Le Cordon Bleu would kick me out for dicing my onions incorrectly. So I mean it when I say it. So much of this is a breeze as long as you have the time to cook it, and take your time doing it. This tart came together in under an hour. It does require several hours to "set," and a 15 to 30 minute rest before serving to come up in temperature. You want your ganache soft...
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 24 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
For the Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate graham crackers, about 24 pieces
- 1/8 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
For the Raspberry Filling
- 2 tablespoons favorite berry jam or preserve on hand
- 10 to 15 over or under ripe raspberries
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 12 ounces chocolate, a mix of both semi-sweet and dark morsels, or chocolate baking bar, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
For the Tart Garnishments
- 40 to 50 ripe but firm raspberries
- fresh mint leaves
- powdered sugar
Begin by sorting the fresh raspberries - you need ripe but firm berries for the top of the tart. All the remaining berries may be used for the filling.
Prepare the Chocolate Cookie Crust
- Heat oven to 350°
- In a food processor, pulse the chocolate wafers and sugar together into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter to the cookie crumbs and pulse until the mixture clumps together slightly, about 5 pulses.
- Press the crust ingredients firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a rectangular or square removable bottom tart pan that has been placed on a baking sheet. It can help to use a flat-bottomed measuring cup to do this step.
- Transfer the baking sheet with the tart pan and crust to the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheet.
Prepare the Raspberry Filling
- In a non-stick saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of jam. Toss the raspberries you will NOT be using for the top of the tart into the saucepan and crush and muddle with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir until jam and raspberry pulp is somewhat smooth and glossy.
- Press the hot berry mixture through a fine mesh sieve using the back of a wooden spoon, making sure to extract all of the juice. Discard the solids. Allow the mixture to cool 10 minutes before pouring into the completely cooled chocolate cookie crust. Use a rubber spatula to spread the raspberry filling into the corners and all over the bottom. Refrigerate while preparing the ganache.
Preparing the Chocolate Ganache
- Using a clean non-stick saucepan, gently heat the heavy cream over medium heat, stirring continuously. You want the cream hot, but you do not want it boiling.
- Pour the mix of chocolate into the warmed cream. Stir using a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the chocolate and cream are combined. Add the almond extract and stir. Finally, add the butter and stir. The ganache will be very aromatic and glossy. Allow to cool off heat for 5 minutes, stirring the entire time.
- Re-whisk/stir to smoothness the ganache before pouring over the raspberry layer.
- Return baking sheet with tart to refrigerator and allow ganache to set for 2 hours.
- Once chilled, arrange raspberries conical side up, closely touching. Return to refrigerator until 15 to 30 minutes before ready to serve.
- Remove from refrigerator and allow tart to come up in temperature slightly, about 15 to 30 minutes. Remove tart pan bottom from the tart pan frame to expose the prettily fluted crust. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving, and garnish with small fresh mint leaves.