Idiot-Me's Chocolate Raspberry Tart for Sugar High Friday #27
using ScharffenBerger 62%
For some reason, I had it marked on my calendar that the deadline for David Lebovitz's Sugar High Friday event on the subject of Chocolate cooking by Brand was today. But somehow I had gotten my wires crossed and I was too late and David has already posted the roundup. I was under the impression that I do nothing but read food blogs all day long so I how I managed to not notice the over one hundred entrants in this event, I'll never know. I guess I have some catching up to do.
So since the emphasis was on brand - what brand of chocolate do I use? The staple in my cupboard is ScharffenBerger's 62%. I always have at least two 9.7oz blocks in stock. For eating purposes it is a little too sweet for my taste, but for baking I find it neatly bridges the gap between those who prefer dark and those who prefer milk. It manages to somehow get away with pleasing both parties, which is why it is my pantry standard.
One of my colleagues is leaving today and so I offered to make him a sweet treat. I asked him if there was an ingredient he is particularly fond of. "Raspberries" he replied. I teased him for a while about the fact that raspberries aren't in season, knowing full well that there was a bag of frozen organic raspberries sitting wistfully in my freezer, waiting their turn for a chance in the spotlight.
Looking for raspberry recipes, I flipped open my Avoca Cook Book and saw just the thing - A Chocolate Raspberry tart. If you have ever been to the Avoca Cafe in Ireland you will know that their desserts are huge. This makes them perfect for entertaining large groups - we have about 20 in our team at the office. The tart tin I used measures a full foot across and has high edges to boot. Anything smaller would not have had room enough for the chocolate filling.
Aside from the crust part, this tart could not be easier to make. You first need to prepare and blind bake a sweet shortcrust pastry shell. Reserve a handful of raspberries from a pound of the fruit for decoration later, and then spread the rest in the bottom of the cooled pastry case. Bring 1.5 pint of cream to the boil, take off the heat and then whisk in 18oz of finely chopped Scharffenberger 62% chocolate, until blended. Add a couple of tablespoons of rum (I didn't have any, so I added framboise), whisk again, leave to cool a little before pouring over the raspberries. Leave to cool in the fridge for at least two hours. Decorate with the reserved raspberries before serving. If you want to make a smaller version I imagine you could bake a smaller 8 inch crust and halve the ingredients for the filling without any dire consequences.
As you can see from the picture the tart, in keeping with all of Avoca's recipes, is more rustic-looking than elegant but what does it taste like? I haven't a clue. I am about to lug it off to work where it will wait in the communal fridge until it has its moment later this afternoon. And then I'll post a little update as to the reaction. Watch this space.
After the Pie Was Over
Served with a little whipped cream to cut through the richness, this huge chocolate and raspberry tart, a foot in diameter, was annihalted in a matter of minutes. Not a scrap was left over. Because the tart is so simple, it is clear when you eat it that it relies totally on the quality of its ingredients. Hence the Scharffenberger chocolate shone through and ruled the day with the organic cream and raspberries playing supporting roles that were equally appreciated. Simple to make, great satisfaction levels. Would make this again, especially when feeding a large crowd.