This recipe started as part inspiration and part accident. Once upon a time, we had friends over for supper. For pudding, I served ice-cream, raspberries and a hot chocolate sauce made out of melted milk chocolate and cream. The inspiration happened when I tasted the raspberry and chocolate combination, which was so much better than I had imagined it would be and immediately led me to start thinking about what dishes might have just those two flavours as the stars. The accident happened the next morning when I discovered that the last bit of chocolate sauce, which I’d put in the fridge overnight, had set and was no longer runny (thereby also alerting me to the fact that I had unwittingly made chocolate ganache). And so the idea for a chocolate and raspberry tart was born. Since then, I’ve discovered multiple variations on the theme, but the basic recipe here is the one I came up with based on my inspiration and my accident. The first few times I made this, I used a crushed digestive biscuit and melted butter base instead of the pastry base I’ve used here. J says that he prefers the pastry base; I’ve not yet made up my mind. The advantage of pastry over the biscuit base I used, however, is that is it easier to take the whole tart out of the tin and serve it on a plate or cake stand if that takes your fancy. Just a quick warning – this tart is the epitome of the rule that lots of fat + lots of sugar or salt = yumminess, and you might not want to hear that if you’re on a diet right now, so if that’s you, look away right now.
Oh yes, and just in case you notice how bad the pastry is in the final photos of this tart (which of course you will all do now…), the pastry recipe I’ve given here is different to the one I used in the photographed tart, and much, much better. The method photos are a combination of pictures from the first attempt and from the second attempt. I used a 10 inch round tart tin, and the recipe makes 8-12 servings depending on how hard each eater wants their heart to work once they’ve finished eating. Ideally, you should make this at least 24 hours before you want it to give the chocolate filling time to set.
EDIT: I’ve amended the method instructions given here for making the pastry slightly to make things a bit more clear.
How to make the pastry base (cup measurements based on a 250 ml mug):
This actually makes twice as much pastry as is needed for this recipe so be prepared to make twice the filling described below, or another pie/tart or maybe even jam tarts.
What you’ll need:
2 cups plain flour
Small pinch of salt
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup margarine or butter
1 egg yolk
Up to 1/3 cup cold water
What to do:
1. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar into a bowl.
2. Rub the margarine or butter into the flour/sugar/salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Don’t be like me and do cut the fat into cubes before rubbing it into the flour (if you can be bothered, which I couldn’t right then).
3. Add the egg yolk and a very small amount of the cold water to the flour/butter/sugar mixture and then mix it with a butter knife until it all comes together (this should take just a couple of stirs). Add more cold water if necessary until you have a soft dough. The amount of water you add each time you make this dough may vary, as different flours absorb different amounts of moisture, and I’ve noticed things like room temperature also affect the dough.
4. Put the dough into a freezer bag and then refrigerate it for about an hour.
5. When the hour is up, divide the pastry in half and then roll out one half and line the tin with it (no need to grease the tin first).
6. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, to help stop it bubbling up, and then put the tin with the pastry base back in the fridge for about 10 minutes (this helps to stop the pastry shrinking too much in the oven) and turn the oven on to gas mark 5 to pre-heat. Bake the pastry base in the middle of the pre-heated oven to bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 minutes until baked but not too brown.
7. Remove the pastry base from the oven and put to one side to cool completely before filling the tart, ideally on a cooling rack.
How to make the tart filling and fill the tart:
This is enough to fill one tart – if you want to use all the pastry and make two tarts, double the ingredients or just go through this process twice.
What you’ll need:
400 grams of milk chocolate
600 mls double cream
A punnet of raspberries (about 125-150 grams should be fine). If the raspberries need washing, make sure they are thoroughly dry before you use them.
What to do:
1. Break up the chocolate and put into a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler with the cream.
2. Heat the chocolate and cream together over boiling water (or in a double boiler, if that’s what you’re using), stirring occasionally. Once all the chocolate has melted and been fully mixed into the cream, keep over the heat for a few more minutes to get rid of a bit of extra moisture, and then turn off the heat.
3. Evenly scatter the raspberries over the cooled tart base and then pour the hot chocolate and cream mixture over the raspberries. If this pouring process disturbs the evenly scattered raspberries, you may need to reposition them with a spoon. Licking the spoon after (emphasis on after!) you’ve done that is completely okay.
4. Put the tart in the fridge and wait impatiently until the filling has set – ideally about 24 hours after you first started making it. If you do things properly (which I tend not to) you might prefer to let the tart cool on your kitchen counter before putting it in the fridge.
This tart is rich enough to serve as it is, but if you want to fancy it up a bit, you could put a squiggle of chocolate sauce below or beside each slice of tart and maybe scatter some berries around the plate. Sadly, I didn’t have chocolate sauce or berries on hand when I took the final photos so you’ll just have to imagine what it might look like!