Tuesday, March 16, 2010

TWD: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

I love this tart.


This tart is a perfect example of why I don't bother to order dessert in restaurants anymore. Even excellent restaurants. [Exceptions: the bread pudding souffle at Commander's Palace. And the chocolate souffle at Hot & Hot. Then there's the apple cake at Chez Fon Fon. Oh, and let's not forget the profiteroles at Highlands! Er, nevermind, I guess I do still bother to order dessert in restaurants. My husband told me in our early dating days that he wasn't attracted to salad-eating women, and I'm just doing my part to keep the fire burning.]

But if I wasn't bothering to order desserts in restaurants anymore, it would be because I can make THIS myself:



Dorie's recipes are delicious from top to bottom, but I think her tarts in particular are truly fabulous. After TWD is over and I look back and think about the experience and why it's been so valuable, one reason will be desserts like this one. I never would have even attempted a dessert like this pre-TWD. I would have assumed it was the kind of thing that real bakers make, not hacks like me. But Dorie has demystified the process and broken it down into manageable components, bringing these special, elegant desserts within the reach of the casual home baker.

The tart starts with Dorie's sweet tart dough, fully baked. I've made this dough numerous times, and every time I make it I'm afraid I'm handling it too much or somehow overworking it. And every time, it's delicious anyway. Delicious + forgiving = keeper.

Fill the tart shells with fresh raspberries. I know they're not in season, but mine were beautiful and really delicious.



I made two minis. Should have made the full recipe with this one - I wanted to sneak off for a good cry when this was gone.

It seems like Dorie has a hundred different recipes for ganache, and somehow one is better than the next. The ganache for this tart is made with a combination of milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, sugar, cream, butter and eggs. Dorie describes the texture of the finished product as "seductively slithery," which sounds rather snake-like to me. It is certainly seductive, though -- my intended "one bite" turned into a second, then a third, then a fourth, and then I started to think about rescinding that offer of half a tart that I had just extended to my dad. This tart turned me into a monster, a greedy monster, I tell you. Something about that slithery chocolate with the tart raspberries and the buttery shortbread crust - yup, this was pretty much heaven on a plate.

Nom nom nom . . .




Rachelle of Mommy, I'm Hungry! picked this week's most excellent recipe. Great pick, Rachelle!

26 comments:

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Thanks for baking along with me this week! I just love the little tarts! (and pac-man). I also love her crusts, and I alwas overwork the tart dough, no way can I make mine stay crumbly texture while pressing it into the pan! ha

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Katrina said...

Ha, love this post. (I always get a kick out of your posts!) Love the pacman and I'm glad to see that your chocolate looks a lot like mine, I wasn't sure if it turned out they way it was supposed to. The raspberries look de-lish. I opted for no fruit. Now I want to try it that way.

mike said...

I concur with "Anonymous". I can tell you enjoyed making these (since they look so wonderful)! Tarts & pies are not my forte... I put off rolling as late as possible. Where did you find such beautiful raspberries? My liquor-soaked dried cherries were just that - dried. These look pacman-riffic!

Kim said...

Your mini tarts look so delicious. I made a full recipe for just my husband and me and it is now gone. So very good.

Cristine said...

I loved this tart. Yours looks amazing!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I agree: Dorie's tarts are the pinnacle of a great collection of baking recipes. Your minis are adorable; love the pacman! Mine missed the slithery stage, but still were tasty.

Jennifer said...

Your tart looks absolutely amazing. I'm still working on mine.

Maria said...

Raspberries and chocolate, the perfect dessert in my book! Love the minis too!

myfamousrecipe said...

Your Pac-man tart eating the other tart is hilarious. I took too many shortcuts on this one (no raspberries, frozen pie dough... ugh) and therefore don't really have the right to offer a critique. I'm glad you loved this so much!

Di said...

We really loved this one as well. I love all the pictures, especially the Pacman one at the end. =)

natalia said...

Ciao Pacman Cathy ! I loved it too and I totally agree I don't get desserts in restaurants any more !!!

Leslie said...

I never really thought about it but all of Dorie's tarts have been great. I liked the chocolate crunched caramel tart better than this one, but that didn't stop me from hogging it. Yours looks so tempting with the raspberries peeking out.

pinkstripes said...

Oh oh. If you ever get to Bouchon you need to order the Bouchons for dessert. I swear you'll be in heaven.

I do agree about ordering dessert at restaurants though. Not worth it especially when home baked is so much better.

Your tart looks amazing!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

They do look absolutely wonderful, raspberries are my favourite.

Nickki said...

I love your little tarts, they look almost to good to eat! I know what you mean about not bothering to order desserts in restaurants. You can always make much better at home :-)

Tracey said...

Great photos Cathy!! I can really tell that your research, classes and practice are paying off :) Shane would love the pac-man tart picture - then he'd ask why I didn't do one like that! I skipped the raspberries because they were so expensive here but it was still good with just chocolate. That said, I'll definitely revisit the tart with raspberries this summer...

Debinhawaii said...

They look amazing and far better than what you could get at most restaurants. I love chocolate and raspberries--such a great combo.

CB said...

The pacman reference had me cracking me up at the end! I made the whole 9-inch tart but next time I HAVE TO make minis. You think trying to stop yourself from eating one slice of a mini is hard... try a whole 9-incher! So glad you enjoyed the tart.
-CB
http://iheartfood4thought.com

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful Cathy! I guess I should have given this one a shot.
I totally agree with you about Dorie's tarts. They are my favorite thing.
Pics look amazing!

oh, and I hardly ever order dessert either, b/c it doesn't usually measure up to what I can make at home!

Pamela said...

Love that last shot, Cathy! I know what you mean about the recipes in this book. Sometimes when I eat something we've baked, I can't believe that I actually made it or that it came from my small, out dated little kitchen. Great job!

AmyRuth said...

Cathy,
more accolades.... you know you're going to write a book some day. Don't ya hate how all this wonderful baking ruins desserts out for you. Desserts have always been the benchmark for a good restaurant for me as screwed as that might be. I know it should be the entre/service. Anyway, yes to all your remarks and great I'm glad you found solice in your chocolate haha
Perfecto Tarts
AmyRuth

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girl Japan said...

I LOVE tarts, and this looks absolutely AMAZING!!! LOVE IT!!!!! I think it's the tart which has a cookie like taste that always wins me over.

Jess said...

That settles it - I have to rewind this one ASAP. I agree that Dorie's tarts are the best I've made. OK, so I haven't actually made that many, but how can there be anything better than the extraordinary lemon tart?
Beautiful tart!

Kayte said...

I should have gone with minis on this recipe as it, for some reason, did not get eaten as fast as I imagined it would have. They liked it, they just didn't go and slice as quickly as usual. Those raspberries are gorgeous. I bet I could dream up some vanilla or lemony filling for those little tarts with those little berries! Very nice job on these, next time I am doing the minis like this.

 
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