6.11.2010

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Raspberry TartNever assume that just because the ingredient list is short, the recipe is easy. Because chances are—it’s not. Somehow, what seems like a piece of cake will turn into a 2-day pain in the ass. Take this tart for example. Your basic tart dough: flour, sugar, butter, and egg. Your filling: chocolate, heavy cream, and raspberries. Simple! Well, maybe for some people. I managed to turn it into a dramatic multiple day affair.

I had the brilliant idea of making a tart with all the fruit I bought on sale when I finally went grocery shopping on Friday. Too bad I didn’t have a tart pan. So on Saturday after work, I wandered down to my favorite kitchen store, Sur La Table. Seriously. I could spend hours in that store, wandering aimlessly, reverently touching all the pans, with a blissful contented look on my face. With my brand new tart pan in hand, I started looking through my cookbooks at home for a really good tart recipe to use up my berries. Of course, they all called for heavy cream, which I didn’t buy during my grocery shopping on Friday… Sunday after work, I headed for the grocery store again on my way home with only 2 things on my list: heavy cream and a bag of beans to use as pie weights. Well I remembered heavy cream. And picked up a newspaper, a jar of jam that I didn’t need, a pint of blackberries that weren’t even on sale, and a gallon of milk that I could have gone without. But no beans. So guess where I had to stop AGAIN Monday night? If anyone wondered why I’ve had to put myself on a strict no random grocery shopping budget? Now you know.

Tuesday: I finally have all my ingredients and it’s time to bake at last. I thought I started out so well! I made sure all my tart dough ingredients were super cold and everything came together quickly and perfectly in the food processor. I started to get a little off track with the rolling of the dough and had to throw it back in the fridge to chill a bit more before fitting it into the tart pan. I may have rolled it a bit too thin because I ended up with quite a bit of scraps left over. But onward I pressed. After a chill in the fridge, into the oven it went anyway. And out it came—half the size of what it started. In some spots along the rim it wasn’t even an inch tall. There’s no way it would hold even ½ the filling the original recipe called for. So after staring at it for 10 minutes, calculating just how much filling to actually make, I decided to scrap the short shell and start over.

After sending out a desperate cry for help about my shrinking tart on Twitter, I got a bunch of responses telling me to chill the dough longer. (Thanks guys!) Also, this time, instead of rolling it out (which held the potential of overworking the dough—another no-no from the Twitterverse), I pressed it straight into the pan from the food processor. It was a bit easier, but it got way too soft on me. I ended up freezing the dough overnight, although not entirely on purpose. I had every intention of freezing it for just 2 hours, but after I stuck it in the freezer, I went to dinner with Boyfriend, then ended up watching 2 episodes of Dexter, the season finale of Glee, pretty much the entire first season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and being the world’s worst Super Mario Galaxy 2 sidekick before passing out around midnight.

Chocolate Raspberry TartApparently, freezing the dough is the trick to the unshrinkable tart. It came out perfectly in Round 2! No shrinkage at all! And the filling came out silky and fit perfectly with no overflow. And the taste? Rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious. The dark chocolate pairs amazingly with the berries, and the crust is the perfect flaky sweetness, almost like a giant sugar cookie. (I totally broke up the short tart and just ate pieces of it by itself. So good.) I took it to work, where it was promptly destroyed. And I do mean prompt. It wasn’t even 45 minutes before the last piece was gone! Which is quite possibly a new record. Even though it ended up being a bit of a pain, I’ll definitely make it again! And so many other kinds. I already have a list of the tarts I want to try next. Watch out. I’m going to be tarting it up from now on.




Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book and Martha Stewart
Makes one 9-inch tart



Tart Dough:
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Filling:
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup raspberry puree*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon raspberry extract
12 to 18 ounces fresh raspberries

1. Make Tart Dough: In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, 2 tablespoons ice water, and vanilla extract; set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to blend. Add the butter, pulsing until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (According to Smitten Kitchen, some of the butter should look like oatmeal flakes, while others look like small peas.) Add the egg mixture and pulse until dough comes together. If the dough is dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time. (Alternately, you can mix by hand, cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, and mixing the egg mixture in with a fork until it comes together.)
3. Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface, pat into a ball, and flatten into a disk. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough, making a quarter turn after each roll, until the dough is about 1/8 inch thick and 2 to 3 inches wider than your tart pan. Roll the round loosely around the rolling pin and unroll over the tart pan. Press dough into the sides of the pan and trim off the extra scraps. (Just roll your rolling pin over the top of the pan for easy trimming.) Alternately, transfer the dough directly from the bowl into the tart pan, pressing the dough into the pan and up the sides with your hands. Work quickly to keep the dough from getting too warm. Freeze the filled pan for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. (This is the important part!! Don’t get too impatient like I did, otherwise you may end up with a seriously short shell.)
4. With the rack in the lower third of the oven, preheat oven to 375F. Remove the filled tart pan from the freezer and line with aluminum foil, patting into the bottom of the pan and up over the sides, leaving a bit of overhang. Place on a cookie sheet, fill the pan with pie weights, and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until the shell is pale gold. Remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, until shell is golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Make Filling: Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour hot cream, through a sieve, over chocolate. Stir until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla and raspberry extracts and raspberry puree, mixing until smooth.
6. Pour chocolate mixture into center of cooled tart, smooth top with a spatula. Let stand until partially set, about an hour. Starting in the very center of the tart, place raspberries, stem side down, into the chocolate, covering the entire tart. Let stand until completely set, about an hour more. Alternately, chill the filled tart in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before adding raspberries, then return to the refrigerator for another 30 to 40 minutes.

*Note: To make raspberry puree, place one cup of raspberries, along with 1 tablespoon sugar and one tablespoon water in your food processor. Blend until smooth. Press puree through a mesh strainer and discard solids. You should have roughly ¼ cup of puree.
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8 comments:

sarahe said...

YAY!!! So proud of your tart!! It looks perfect! sad to say, but heavy cream is on my weekly or bi-weekly grocery list these days...and i wonder why i'm fat...

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

lol heavy cream is going to end up on mine really soon. Between tarts and summertime ice cream season, I have a feeling I'll be using quite a bit!

bigchief said...

Nae Nae's tiny tarts!

Noelia said...

It looks so cute !!!! Its almost sad to at it!

I BLEED PINK said...

The good thing is it came out looking lovely!!!

Stef said...

After all your trouble it looks amazing! I've made one similar to that, but instead of raspberries I topped them with lemon curd. A nice little zing.

Ingrid said...

LOL, you're going to be "tarting" it up?! :) Can't wait to hear about it.
~ingrid

Anonymous said...

The only reason I've ever heard as the reason for pastry to shrink, is due to stretching it when arranging it in the pie plate or pan. HTH.

Janey
janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca
(Change caps to symbols and lose the spaces.)

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