Monday, August 17, 2009

Chocolate, cream and raspberry tart

I saw a version of this ages ago in Sunset magazine and ripped the page out just based on the picture.

It took me a while, but I finally got around to making it this weekend.

After reading through the recipe, I decided it was not chocolatey enough. So I basically doubled the amount for the chocolate layer. It was perfect.

My taste testers had no complaints about the extra chocolate!

Chocolate, cream and raspberry tart on almond shortbread crust

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Special equipment: 10-inch tart pan with removable rim

3/4 cup sliced almonds (for crust)

1/2 cup sliced almonds (for top of tart)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon almond extract

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (for chocolate layer)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (for cream layer)

8 ounces mascarpone or soft cream cheese

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse almonds and granulated sugar until finely ground, but NOT until they turn into nut butter.

Add flour and salt and pulse to blend. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. With motor running, add egg, egg yolk, and almond extract and whirl until dough comes together.

Evenly press dough into the bottom (not the sides) of a 10-in. tart pan with removable rim.

Bake about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature, then remove rim.

To get the base of the tart pan off, I waited until it had cooled some, then carefully slid a butter knife between the base and the crust to loosen it. Be careful not to crack or break the crust.

The crust can be made a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic.

In a the bottom of double boiler, bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Put chocolate in the top of the double boiler and stir until melted.

Stir in 4 tbsp. cream, stirring constantly to blend.

Spread chocolate on crust and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.)

In a large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup cream to firm peaks. Beat in mascarpone or cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla.

Spread cream mixture on chocolate-coated crust. Arrange raspberries on top and sprinkle with extra almond slices. (The original recipe did not call for the extra almonds, but I wanted a little more crunch. I toasted the almonds to golden brown in a dry saute pan, stirring frequently to keep them from burning.)

Serve tart immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill up to overnight.