High County Baking: Creamy chocolate tart
Want a company-worthy dessert that’s as easy to prepare as it is pretty to serve? This tart may be your answer. A chocolate mousse-like filling that almost melts on the tongue stars in this creation and is beautifully complemented by whipped cream and fresh raspberries. It’s delicious as-is, but if you’d like a little more raspberry flavor, you can add an optional layer of jam to the tart shell and a splash of raspberry liqueur to the filling.
It’s an excellent choice for entertaining, particularly in warm weather. The crust is the only thing that gets baked, no need to turn on the oven for the filling and topping. You can make the complete tart a day before serving if you stabilize the whipped cream topping, so it holds its shape and doesn’t melt for at least 24 hours. The easiest way to do this is by adding Dr. Oetker’s Whip it, a commercial product available online, to the cream while beating it as directed in the recipe. Be sure to use heavy whipping cream in both the filling and the topping to assure the richness that is a big part of the tart’s allure.
Creamy Chocolate Tart
Works at any elevation
Make in a 7 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, double the recipe for a 9-inch tart pan
Your favorite tart shell, prebaked and cooled
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, optional
- 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur or crème de cassis, optional,
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons confectioners sugar
- Fresh raspberries
Make the filling: Finely chop the semisweet chocolate and combine it with the whipping cream in a small saucepan. Warm the two over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate is completely melted, and the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat, scrape the contents into a small mixing bowl and set it aside until the chocolate cream cools completely. When it’s cool, stir in 1 tablespoon of liqueur or crème de cassis, if using. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it’s very smooth, increases slightly in volume and holds deep beater marks. Spoon it into the tart shell, level and smooth the top, and refrigerate, loosely covered for at least five hours and up to two days before serving or topping. At this point the tart, well wrapped, can also be frozen for up to a month.
Add a layer of jam (optional): If you want to add a mild raspberry flavor to the tart, while the filling cools, stir the raspberry jam to loosen it, blend in the remaining tablespoon of the raspberry liqueur or crème de cassis and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Set it aside uncovered.
Make the topping (optional): Chill a small mixing bowl and the beaters for your electric mixer for at least 15 minutes (this makes the cream whip quickly). About one to two hours before serving, remove them from the fridge or freezer. Add the cold cream, vanilla and sugar to the bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Pipe it decoratively around the rim of the tart’s chocolate filling using a small star piping tip. Refrigerate, and serve cold with fresh raspberries.
Editor’s note: The tart recipe is a variation of one published in Perfect Party Food.
Vera Dawson’s column “High Country Baking” publishes biweekly in the Summit Daily News. Dawson is a high-elevation baking instructor and author of three high-altitude cookbooks. Her recipes have been tested in her kitchen in Frisco, where she’s lived since 1991, and altered until they work at elevation. Contact her at email@example.com.
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