rich chocolate-berry tart

I’ll just come right out with it – this tart is amazing. I’ve always been a fan of real raspberries and chocolate (as opposed to fake-flavored raspberry chocolate ‘combos’), but this one really takes the cake.

I’ve had this recipe for years but have never made it because I didn’t want to go out and buy the raspberries (I guess they were not in season and therefore too expensive when I’ve looked at the recipe). But as we are in the middle of berry season now, I decided to have a go at it.

This is a rather rich tart, so one will easily feed 8 people for dessert. If, however, you have a number of young men (or other sorts of people not concerned with the two cups of whipping cream in the ganache), you might want to make it for just 4-6 people. My uncle, for example, ate a good third of the torte the other night, and then had another third the next morning.

It might look like there are a lot of steps to this tart, but it’s actually quite simple (and not overly technical) and is a great make-ahead recipe for entertaining guests.

Rich Chocolate-Berry Tart

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pound fresh berries for topping (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries…)

For the chocolate ganache filling
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup seedless blackberry preserves
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the blackberry sauce
8 ounces fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 tablespoon blackberry liqueur (or more if it’s really tasty)

1. Prepare the pastry. Place the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a food processor and process until creamy. Add the cocoa and process for one minute. Add the flour all at once and process for 10-15 seconds, until just blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Turn out the dough onto the plastic wrap. Use the wrap to help shape the dough into a flat circle and wrap tightly (the dough will be pretty crumbly). Chill for one hour.

2. Lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap to an 11-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Peel off the top sheet of plastic wrap and invert the dough into the prepared pan. Ease the dough into the pan. Remove the plastic wrap. It might crumble and fall apart, but the dough is pretty forgiving and it’s easy to patch it up.

3. With floured fingers, press the dough onto the bottom and sides of the pan, then roll a rolling pin over the edge of the pan to cut off any excess dough. Prick the dough with a fork. Chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the tart with foil or baking paper; fill with dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes; lift out the foil with the beans and bake for 5 more minutes, until just set (pastry may look underdone on the bottom, but will dry out). Remove to a wire rack to cool.

4. Prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and blackberry preserves to a boil. This will give you a beautiful purple cream.

Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Stir in the butter ands train into the cooled tart, smoothing the top to get rid of any bubbles. Cool the tart completely (I refrigerated mine overnight).

5. Prepare the sauce. IN a food processor combine the blackberries, lemon juice and sugar and process until smooth. Strain into a bowl and add the liqueur. If it is too thick, thin with a little water.

6. To serve, remove the tart from the pan. Place on a serving plate and arrange the berries on top. With a pastry brush, brush the berries with a little of the blackberry sauce to glaze lightly. Serve the remaining sauce separately.

Here is a photo of the tart without the berry topping yet. In the background is this torte.


1 Response to “rich chocolate-berry tart”

  1. 1 Sarah
    July 30, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    That looks incredible!

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