Happy Monday, friends.
I currently have a to-do list three miles long, an unedited book manuscript positively glaring at me from my dining room table, and the overwhelming desire to burrow under my covers and go back to sleep for the next six hours. And did I mention I haven’t even had time to watch the new Mad Men episode yet? Obviously my life is a mess.
But let’s not talk about my tragic first world problems. Let’s talk instead about good things…like the monster storm yesterday that left gorgeous snow low on our hills. And my upcoming girl’s weekend to Palm Springs with my college BFF. And these dreamy Chocolate-Raspberry Tarts, or as I like to think of them, the perfect cure for a case of the Mondays.
These tarts have a crunchy chocolate shell and an intensely fruity chocolate-raspberry ganache filling that is soft, rich, and creamy at room temperature. The secret to getting the POP of raspberry flavor is to reduce the raspberry puree by at least half, so that it’s really strong before mixing it with the chocolate and cream.
Of course, I usually fall into the “more stuff is more better” camp, so I like to top these tarts with an extra spoonful of raspberry puree and some fresh berries. But they’re also perfect with just a dollop of whipped cream.
Don’t have raspberries? Try this recipe with strawberries or boysenberries instead! If you’re feeling extra frisky, blueberries might even work. Happy Monday indeed!
yield: 4 6-inch tarts or 1 9-inch tart
For the chocolate tart dough:
1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk
For the chocolate-raspberry ganache:
5 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
To finish the tarts:
Whipped cream, raspberry puree, fresh raspberries, or chocolate shavings
To make the chocolate tart shells:
Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to blend. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it is in small pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and pulse in 5-second bursts until the dough starts clumping together. Turn it out of the food processor, press it into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap, and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, about 1-2 hours.
Lightly dust 2 sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper with flour and roll the dough between the sheets into a thin layer less than 1/4 inch thick. Spray 4 6-inch tart pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the dough into circles slightly large than the tart pans and press each one into the pans. If cracks develop, simply press the dough together or use extra dough to patch them up. Freeze the shells for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the tart shells with foil and fill the foil with dry beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake the shells for 12 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes to fully bake the shells, until puffed, dry, and fragrant. Let the shells cool completely while you make the chocolate-raspberry ganache.
To make the chocolate-raspberry ganache:
Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
Place the raspberries in a saucepan over medium heat and heat them until they release their juices. Put them in a blender or food processor and puree them until they are liquid, then pass the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer until you have a raspberry puree without seeds. You can use this puree as-is in the recipe, but for a stronger raspberry flavor I like to reduce it. If you want to skip this step, measure out 1/4 cup of puree to use in the ganache, and reserve the rest for another use.
To reduce the puree, place it in a small saucepan over medium heat and heat it, stirring frequently, until it has reduced and you have 1/4 cup of thickened raspberry puree.
Combine the raspberry puree, the cream, and the corn syrup in the saucepan and whisk everything together. Bring it to a boil, and once boiling, pour the hot liquid over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate melts. It will not look completely smooth due to the texture of the fruit puree. Add the softened butter and whisk it in.
Pour the ganache into the cooled tart shells, and refrigerate them until the ganache is firm, about 2 hours. These tarts have the best taste and texture when served at room temperature, so bring them out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan to serve them.
Garnish the tarts with whipped cream, berry puree, fresh raspberries, and/or chocolate shavings.