Friday, January 26, 2007

Idiot-Me's Chocolate Raspberry Tart for Sugar High Friday #27

using ScharffenBerger 62%

avoca cookbook chocolate raspberry tart

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.

Bay Area Chocolate Factory | ScharffenBerger
Previous Avoca Cookbook Experience | Avoca Bread Baking
One of the many | Vists to Avoca
Avoca, Ireland | Website

2005 | Whacky Names Wines - Pansy!

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Idiot-Me's Chocolate Raspberry Tart for Sugar High Friday #27


  • At 26/1/07 09:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam this looks absolutely delicious, how i wish I was in your office. I have just made a choc cake (from guide cook book) but it won't be as good as this tart.

  • At 26/1/07 12:13, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Funny, my parents bought me the Avoca cookbook after going there years ago but I haven't made anything from it yet. Now I will!

  • At 26/1/07 13:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It sure does look good Sam. I'm sorry I missed this round of SHF but I guess with 100 entries to write up David isn't complaining.

  • At 26/1/07 13:39, Blogger Dive said…

    I often walk to work in the morning (30 minutes) and have a 1 oz. bar of the 82% Extra Dark beforehand to get my blood sugar up. With what I weigh and how fast I walk, I end up expending the energy it takes to burn off the calories (180) in the chocolate bar, plus I get the health benefits of dark chocolate.

    I had a dilemma a little while back when deciding on which chocolate to go with (due to being concerned with child labor/slavery), but Scharffen Berger seems to be a good, ethical company as far as that goes.

    BTW, if you haven't gone on the factory tour, I highly suggest it. One of the best free tours I've ever been on.


  • At 26/1/07 13:40, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Looks absolutely delicious - could go with a piece now - just had lunch at bong su and we had no dessert.....i've not heard of the cookbook but will be searching it out when i go back home...

  • At 26/1/07 14:11, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Seems like you know a thing or two about making a fashionably late and stunning entrance! Chocolate and raspberries are one of my favorite combinations!

  • At 26/1/07 17:07, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mmmmm that looks so good! My mother would love that... she's a huge chocolate and raspberry fan too!

  • At 27/1/07 00:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That looks delicious! And I did exactly the same thing regarding the deadline for SHF! Ah well, I'll just have to make sure I note it down properly in the ol' diary for next month :D

  • At 27/1/07 14:34, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mmmmm that looks so good.

  • At 27/1/07 15:38, Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said…

    I actually have that cookbook but I've never used it. It was given to me as a gift, but I didn't have a scale! I do have one now, so I will have to get it out and try something. Now the hard part will be what to choose - all of the recipes look so good!

  • At 27/1/07 15:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh! That sounds as easy as... pie!
    No, even easier.

  • At 28/1/07 09:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam (aka: My dream girl): I should create a special post just for you, but then everyone would probably be even more jealous of us than they already are (don't tell Fred either, svp)

    Great-looking tart and am almost tempted to create another post just for all the posts I received this past weekend.

    But I need to get some real work done around here. You know...the paying kind! xx

  • At 29/1/07 07:46, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    So, I'm curious...what isn't sweet? Bakers chocolate? ;)

  • At 29/1/07 08:03, Blogger Sam said…

    david - fres won't hear a whispper, promise ;)

    wmm - this is a baker's chocolate, a semi sweet one. here is the description of ScharffenBerger's baking bars:

    "Available in 62% Cacao Semisweet, 70% Cacao Bittersweet, and 99% Cacao Unsweetened, our Home Baking Bars are 275g (9.7 oz) of pure dark chocolate scored for easy measuring into 2 ounce segments. use a serrated knife or chipper to cut into meltable chunks for baking. make your own chunks for the world's best interpretation of chocolate chip cookies."

    so one of the other two would be less sweet than the one I used for its general crown-pleasing qualitites.

  • At 29/1/07 20:42, Blogger Squishy said…

    Now that just looks divine. I am in total head over heals in love with this Tart. My friends are going to love it. Thank you so much. Cheers Amelita.

  • At 31/1/07 05:38, Blogger Jeanne said…

    A chocolate tart a foot in diameter?? Oh, I'm weeping with joy at the mere thought. Looks and sounds absolutely fabulous, and a fabulously easy recipe! All chocolate recipes always welcome...

  • At 6/2/07 08:29, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a fond lover of tarts myself and I think raspberries are fantastic in these types of desserts. I found this recipe for a raspberry/pineapple tart on the website I work for. If you try it let me know what you think Sam. I have made it a few times and I loved it along with everyone else.


    1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
    1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
    1 envelope Knox gelatin
    1 C. raspberry preserves
    1 8 oz container Cool Whip
    Bake cake as directed in two 8-inch pans.


    Drain pineapple well. Reserve pineapple and chill in refrigerator. Put 1 C. of pineapple juice in small pan and sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add pineapple and chill until thick and syrupy. Fold together 1/2 C. cream and 1/2 C. pineapple mixture. Split cake into 4 layers. Fill layers alternately with raspberry preserves and pineapple cream. Spread remaining pineapple on top and whipped cream on sides. Refrigerate.


  • At 6/2/07 08:57, Blogger Sam said…

    thanks sarah for the reicpe, it looks horrific to me. To be honest - cool whip would not be seen dead in my kitchen. Nor would yellow cake mix. This is Sam Breach you are talking to, not Sandra Lee.

  • At 8/2/07 07:10, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry Sam my bad on that recipe, but it honestly really good believe it or not. I love cooking and sometime i just need an "easier approach" to making some quick food and other days I go all out and make more of the "quality" stuff.


  • At 20/3/07 08:03, Blogger Allen said…

    Sam, this looks amazing, rich and silky. I live in California and happen to be a fan of Scharffenberger which is located about an hour north of me. YUM!


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