february 7, 2014
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day are inextricably linked, forever. Pair chocolate with raspberries and marvel as some primordial part of your brain registers approval. Add cheese, in this case creamy mascarpone lightly flavored with cocoa and barely sweetened , and you have a complete meal. At least that’s how I justify breakfast consumption of these chocolate raspberry tartlets.
The base is a simple brownie recipe, the sweetened cheese a nice schmear atop the shaped brownie. Fresh fruit crowns this jewel and an artful drizzle of chocolate ganache makes for a pretty presentation. The ganache glaze may be drizzled atop the tarts with the aid of a sturdy zip top freezer bag : just snip a tiny edge off the bag’s corner and use it as a modified mini pastry bag.
Some recipes are simply perfect in their simplicity and you would be hard pressed to find a better, or easier, recipe than Baker’s unsweetened chocolate One Bowl Brownie recipe. With whole ingredients at the ready, who needs a boxed mix? Baker’s claim to fame is a batter started in the microwave and finished in that same bowl, thus eliminating stovetop and mixer. If you are a purist, unsure of your microwave’s ability to gently melt the chocolate with butter or simply not in possession of a microwave oven (yes, there are those people) you can slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan, as I do. I am neither a purist nor in need of a microwave oven, but I do enjoy the hypnotic slow stir over a gentle flame.
After cutting eight tartlets from your 9X13 brownie base, you will have leftover scraps, which are terrific crumbled over ice cream, mixed into Greek yogurt or frozen for whenever the urge strikes.
Storage? Refrigerate these tarts and enjoy within a day or two, if you think there will be leftovers. Shouldn’t be a problem. They’re that good.
Chocolate Raspberry Mascarpone Tarts
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
(brownie recipe adapted from Baker’s One Bowl Brownie Recipe)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarsely with serrated knife (I like Baker unsweetened bars)
¾ cup (one and a half sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour (if using gluten free flour, add ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum)*
one 8 ounce tub of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
12 ounces fresh raspberries
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate, as chips or chopped
* use all purpose gluten free flour mix, or make your own by the following formula : 2 cups white rice flour, ⅔ cup potato starch, ⅓ cup tapioca starch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 9X13 baking pan with heavy duty foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
- In medium saucepan over medium low heat melt unsweetened chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted; alternately, microwave both in glass dish on high heat in 40 second bursts, stirring, until chocolate is melted; take care to avoid scorching chocolate.
- Whisk in sugar, then whisk in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
- Use spatula to add flour, folding gently just until combined; avoid over mixing.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from the sides.
- After cooling completely at room temperature, use foil as handles to remove brownies from pan and on firm surface cut eight rounds with 2.75 inch round biscuit cutter.
- Place rounds on parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet.
- In small bowl whisk together cocoa powder with powdered sugar.
- Add mascarpone cheese and mix well with spatula.
- Top each round with about 2 tablespoons cheese mixture.
- Smooth chocolate mascarpone across brownie rounds with moistened spoon.
- Top each tart with about 8 berries.
- In small glass bowl, heat heavy cream and semisweet chocolate in microwave oven at high heat for 1-2 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble; whisk to combine well.
- Spoon ganache into quart size plastic freezer bag (or pastry bag), and cut a small piece off the far corner of the bag (this is where the ganache will exit – make the hole about the size of your desired drizzle); alternately, heat cream with chocolate in small saucepan over low heat and stir until well combined.
- Drizzle ganache onto the tarts, which will hold at room temperature for several hours until ready to serve; store tarts in refrigerator.