I've combined two of my favorite desserts from Le Cordon Bleu for maximum yumminess: almond cream tarts and raspberry crumble with chocolate sauce. In the past, I've had heated discussions with chefs over whether or not chocolate and strawberries truly compliment each other (they don't – and they're horrible in champagne too), however nobody disagrees that raspberries, almonds, and chocolate are a delicious trio.
The crust is made of a simple sweet short pastry (for a video demo of making the crust see tart aux pommes recipe) and then layered with almond cream and raspberries served with infused chocolate sauce. It's a great recipe to make a day ahead because you can blind bake the tart shell with the almond cream, refrigerate, and then add the raspberries on top the next day and bake again right before serving for warm yumminess. I put measurements in metric because it's more accurate. Sur La Table sells a really cheap digital scale and it takes up less space than cups and spoons. (no this is not a sneaky ad – those are all clearly marked)
For the recipe read on...
Raspberry Almond Cream Tart with Chocolate Sauce
Sweet Short Pastry
240g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 ml water
2 big pinches vanilla powder
60g soft butter (almost melted)
60g ground almonds
4 baskets of raspberries
4 T of warm raspberry jam
100g dark chocolate chips
100g raspberry purée
50-100g cream (if needed)
Raspberry eau de vie or kirsch to taste
1. Whisk salt, sugar, vanilla powder into flour. Sablé or cut in butter until dough resembles fine sand. Add egg and water and mix until ball forms. Knead dough lightly (2-3 times) inside of bowl to make sure ingredients are well mixed. Form into a flattened disk, cover with wrap, refrigerate.
2. Blanch sugar and softened butter in bowl with whisk until light in color. Add ground almonds and mix. Add two eggs and mix. Set aside.
3. Roll out tart shell 2-3mm thick to fit size of desired pan or ring (9-10"). Fit dough to pan and flute pastry edges. Pour almond cream into shell and smooth evenly. Cook for 13 minutes at 160˚C or 350˚F.
4. If serving straight away then brush almond cream with raspberry jam (warmed) and place raspberries in concentric circles to cover almond cream. Sprinkle a little granualted sugar over to get that dew kissed look. Place back in oven and cook for another 7 minutes. Otherwise cool and refrigerate and do the raspberries later.
5. For the choc. sauce, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler on low heat. Put honey in a separate pot on medium high heat to caramelize. Once golden brown big bubbles form quickly pour in raspberry purée. Be careful caramel can be dangerous and burn. Add raspberry/honey mixture to chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add a cream little by little if it's too thick. Before serving add desired brandy.