Monday, March 22, 2010

TWD: Soft Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Dinner party at 6, filling prepared and in the oven by 2.....should be perfect timing! Though not a huge fan of chocolate and fruit together, I had high hopes for this recipe......the raspberries I found were surprisingly fresh and sweet, given that they are not in season yet and based on my repeat visits to the bowl for an extra lick of the smooth, creamy, chocolate filling, how could anything go wrong?!

My pistachio nut shell was prepared the night before, so all I needed to do was arrange the raspberries, fill in the spaces with the filling, and pop that bad boy into the oven! I filled a creme brulee ramekin to use up any leftover fruit and filling; seemed like such a waste to just run it down the drain! The leftover ramekin cooked up perfectly, but the tart seemed to take significantly longer than I expected. I just couldn't seem to get the middle to set up like it should have. After about 45-50 minutes, I decided to go ahead and remove it, so as not to risk overbaking the crust.

After only a short wait, so we could all attempt to recover from our full bellies, it was time for dessert....the moment of truth! I quickly whipped up some cream and each slice got it's own little dollop. Forks in hand, we all dove in! Most politely finished every crumb, with a few "yum"s here and there. The overall consensus was that it wasn't their favorite dessert they've had of mine, but that it was pretty good. I had one person say they really liked it because it wasn't too sweet.

In my opinion, something changed, flavor-wise, in the baking process, a chemical reaction of sorts between the chocolate and raspberries. Of course, the raspberries took on a cooked texture, but the two together took on a bitter quality after they came out of the oven. I took a nibble off of the edge, where no raspberries had come into contact with the chocolate, and it had a very brownie-like, flourless cake type consistency that was delicious and the perfect amount of chocolatey-sweet goodness.

I think if I were to repeat this recipe, I would make it simply a chocolate tart with fresh raspberries on top. The baking just seemed to do something weird. Anyone else feel the same?

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