Saturday, January 12, 2008

Raspberry-Almond Truffle Tart - pure decadence

Can you just leap through your screen and take a bite of this tart? Double dare you to ever find anything more heavenly than your mouth full of this creamy, buttery, chocolatey and raspberry concoction. Sinfully delicious.

This is another delectable item on the menu at the luncheon I attended the other day. The hostess, Robin, outdid herself with this spectacular dessert. The buttery short almond pastry, almost like a light cookie crust filled with chocolate, some currant jelly, topped with fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings, powdered sugar and draped with some real whipped cream. Oh my. So very good. Robin retrieved her recipe from a 1993 Bon Appetit issue to show us. I wrote down the title, and was fortunate to find it on the internet. This isn't a quick little number that you can whip out in an hour. There are a number of steps, chilling, baking, watching, more chilling, etc. But, it was definitely worth it. We gobbled up the tart - which said it served 12 - but with several of us taking tiny slivers of seconds, it left just one piece. So, I'd say this probably serves 9-10 rather than 12. If I made this, I'd probably offer a bit more whipped cream. But, however you count the slices, you need to have some of this. Now.

Raspberry Almond Truffle Tart
Recipe: Bon Appetit, December 1993, via the internet
Servings: 12
1/3 cup blanched almonds -- slivered, about 1 1/2 ounces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour -- less 2 tablespoons!
1 dash salt
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter -- cold
2 1/2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 cups currant jelly -- red currant preferred
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate -- or semisweet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate -- shaved for decorating the top
powdered sugar for dusting
1. CRUST: In processor bowl, combine almonds, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Proceed until very fine. Add the flour and salt; pulse unit well mixed. Cut butter into 10 to 12 pieces and distribute over flour mixture. Process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in water and pulse until mixture starts to form a dough. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and push together into a flat patty. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
2. Roll dough, between two pieces of plastic wrap, into a circle about 11 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Peel off top sheet of plastic. Use bottom sheet to lift pastry and invert it into tart pan. Line pan as much as possible using the plastic still attached to pastry, as an aid, easing dough into corners without stretching. Peel plastic from dough. If dough is too soft and plastic won't peel, place in freezer of refrigerator for a few minutes before peeling. Pinch dough off at upper rim of pan. Patch the dough as needed with pinched off bits of dough. Reinforce sides, strengthen corners and neaten up rim of crust, making everything as even as possible. Chill at least one hour.
3. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Prick bottom of pastry shell all over with a fork. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown Check after 6 to 8 minutes; if bottom has puffed up, prick again with a fork or skewer to deflate. While still hot, press the bottom of the pan gently just enough to release the edges of the crust from the pan. Leave crust in pan. Cool on a rack. Cool completely before filling.
4. FILLING: Simmer jelly with sugar 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Brush bottom of cooled pastry shell with just enough hot jelly to coat thinly, reserving the rest.
5. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Place chopped chocolate and butter, cut into small pieces, in a medium sized bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand one minute. Stir gently without whisking or beating until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Do not reheat; if chocolate is not completely melted, set the mixture aside for a few minutes then stir again. Pour mixture into tart shell. Refrigerate until firm.
6. TOPPINGS: Arrange berries over chocolate, starting around the edge and working toward the center, leaving a tiny bit of space between each berry so that some chocolate is visible. Reheat the red currant jelly and dab each berry lightly to give it a little shine--do not overdo--no need to use up all of the jelly.
7. Remove tart rim and place tart on serving dish. Decorate the edge or center of the tart with chocolate shavings. Refrigerate tart until 30-60 minutes before serving. To serve, use a very fine sieve or tea strainer to dust powdered sugar over berries and shavings, like a very light snowfall.
NOTES : To make chocolate shavings: Scrape a sharp knife blade across the flat side of a bar of bittersweet chocolate. The shavings will be very fine and very fragile; do not touch them with your fingers or they will melt! Transfer shavings on the knife blade.
Per Serving: 415 Calories; 26g Fat (52.5% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 40mg Cholesterol; 45mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.
For a printer-friendly recipe, click title at top.

1 comment:

Toffeeapple said...

Oh, I wish I would not read your posts before eating! I want that dessert right now! You were so lucky...drooling now.