These chocolate and raspberry tarts were inspired by a Heston Blumenthal recipe, which I mentioned only the other day. He infuses cream with passionfruit pulp and then strains it and uses it to make a ganache for a tart that has a big passionfruit flavour hit but a silky smooth consistency. It is absolutely delicious and since I originally made it well over a year ago now, I’ve also used the same cream infusion method to make passionfruit and milk chocolate truffles, lavender and white chocolate truffles and some amazing orange and dark chocolate truffles that were only flavoured with orange zest.
I have wanted to try infusing raspberries into cream for a ganache for ages now, so I thought I’d finally give it a go. These tarts are the result. The chocolate ganache definitely has a lovely tang from the raspberries and while it’s still a rich tart, the raspberry infused flavour and the fresh raspberries on top, definitely cut through some of that richness from the chocolate.
My Chocolate Melting Cheat Sheet
I have a fair bit of experience with melting chocolate as I cook with it a lot. I’ve made at least 50 truffles for about 5 years now at each Christmas, so I feel like I have some good tips to share with you. I am a chocolate melting rebel though, as I have never once melted chocolate the way that you’re ‘supposed’ to. I pop it straight into a saucepan, right over the heat. This goes against the way that so many people / recipes tell you to do it, which is to use a double boiler so that the chocolate doesn’t come into any direct heat.
By all means, melt your chocolate the proper way if you feel more confident with it, but here is my cheat sheet on melting chocolate directly in a sauce pan.
Use a heavy based saucepan for even distribution and control of heat. I’ve used heavy based normal saucepans, heavy based non-stick and my mum’s glass Vision saucepans to melt chocolate and they have all worked really well.
Use a low heat and to decrease the heat even more, take the saucepan off the heat a few times while melting it. I generally stir the melting chocolate fairly constantly and take it off when it looks like it’s melting really quickly for about 20 seconds, then I pop it back onto the heat and continue in this way until the chocolate it mostly melted. Which brings me to my next point.
Take the saucepan completely off the heat when the chocolate has mostly melted but some chunks still remain. Continue stirring it, off the heat, until the rest of the chocolate melts as well. The already melted chocolate will hold enough heat to melt the rest of the chocolate.
Use a completely dry saucepan and metal or heat safe plastic spoons or spatulas but no wooden spoons (sorry blog name) Water is the enemy of melting chocolate and even if your wooden spoons look dry, they can retain enough moisture to make melting chocolate split – no matter which method you are using to melt it.
Finally (and this is really only important if you are working with big batches of chocolate – like making over 100 truffles) work in a cool environment. Seeing as chocolate can start to melt at around 30°C, you can end up with a bit of a melty mess if your environment is too warm. I cranked the air con to a nice and crisp 22°C last year when I was making my Xmas truffles and it helped a lot. Honestly, I would not even attempt to make truffles in my Singaporean kitchen as it has no air con directly in it, so therefore sits around the 30°C mark if a hot plate or the oven is on.
Generally it is trickiest to melt white chocolate, then milk, while dark chocolate is the most sturdy. This works in the same order in terms of the time it takes to melt. I find that white chocolate melts quickest, dark chocolate the longest and milk chocolate somewhere in between those two.
PS – I plan to share some of my truffle recipes with you closer to Christmas this year :)
You do need a lot of raspberries for this recipe, but it is so worth it.
If you use this brand of chocolate biscuits you will need 16, otherwise, it’s best to weigh them out. You don’t have to use chocolate biscuits if you think it will be too much chocolate. Some plain biscuits or Anzac biscuits would also work well.
This recipes makes 4 medium tarts if you use 10cm non-stick, fluted tart shells. A removable base helps with getting the tart out, but it doesn’t have to be this style. I’ve also used a spring form, circular cake pan with good results.
Process the biscuits until they are a fine, sand like texture. A quick shake through a sieve will help get rid of any chunky bits that didn’t quite process enough. Once you have mixed in the melted butter it will still look fairly dry, but if you pick up a small amount of the mix in your hands and squeeze it, it should clump together and help assure you that it will set as a hard base in the fridge.
Press the biscuit and butter mix, evenly into the tart shells. You can come up the sides a little but don’t worry about it too much. It’s meant to be a base for the ganache to sit on top of instead of a shell that needs to hold all of the ganache
Mash all of those raspberries into the cream. This will release their juices and make the infusion a lot stronger.
Once the cream has infused, push it through a sieve to separate all of the liquid from any remaining raspberry flesh or seeds.
Melting chocolate using mainly the heat of warmed cream is my preferred way of making truffles. This recipe also takes advantage of that method, by using the still warm cream to help melt the chocolate. You will be surprised at how little heat the chocolate will need to melt.
The tarts will need a good amount of setting time. I let mine set overnight. Once they are set nice and firm they will unmould easily.
Make sure you garnish with extra raspberries just before serving.
Yes. Just…yes. So very delicious.
Chocolate and Raspberry Tarts
Ingredients – Makes 4 Medium Tarts
- 150g of chocolate biscuits, roughly broken up
- 40g of unsalted butter, melted
- 200ml of thin cream (whipping cream)
- 170g (about 1 punnet) of fresh raspberries plus an additional 85g (about ½ a punnet) for decoration
- 1/8 tsp of sea salt flakes
- 100g of dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces
- 70g of milk chocolate, broken up into small pieces
- Place the broken up pieces of the biscuits into a food processor and process them until they are a fine, sand like texture. Do this in batches if necessary. Sieve the biscuit crumbs to remove any large chunks that remain.
- Place the biscuit crumbs into a medium sized mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Stir together until all of the biscuits are coated and the biscuits crumbs hold together when you squeeze a small amount of them in your hand.
- Evenly distribute the crumbs between 4 non-stick, fluted tart shells that have removable bases and a 10cm diameter. Press the crumbs evenly into the tart bases and a short way up the edges. Refrigerate the tart shells to set slightly while the ganache is prepared.
- To make the ganache, add the cream, salt and 170g (1 punnet) of the raspberries into a medium sized saucepan. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the raspberries into the cream so that they are all broken up and start to turn the cream a light pink colour.
- Stirring occasionally, heat the cream and raspberry mix over a medium heat until it is just simmering. Once it has just started to simmer, remove it from the heat and leave uncovered to infuse for 20 minutes.
- Once the cream has infused, push it through a sieve it to remove any leftover raspberry pulp and seeds.
- Return the strained, infused cream to the same saucepan and add the broken up dark and milk chocolate. Heat it over a very low heat, stirring constantly until most of the chocolate is melted. Once the majority of the chocolate has melted, remove it from heat and continue to stir until it is completely melted and smooth.
- Pour equal amounts of the ganache into the chilled tart bases and then return to the fridge to completely set.
- The tarts will need at least 8 hours or overnight to set and then they will easily remove from the tart cases.
- To serve, decorate with the remaining 85g (½ punnet) of raspberries. Tarts will keep well for a few days in the fridge, but wait until just before serving to decorate with the whole raspberries.