After our loved-up dinner of Cioppino, I was compelled to further spoil my fella with the following super indulgent (and super Valentine’s Day appropriate) dessert! A raspberry & dark chocolate tart…

Started out by making a lil’ chocolate cookie crust. Couldn’t find these surprisingly elusive “chocolate wafer cookies”, so I resorted to using the sexiest of children’s cookies – Teddy Grahams. Crushed them up in my (stupid) mini food processor, mixed the cookie crumbs with a bit o’ melted butter and then firmly pressed the buttery crumbs into my fluted, removable-bottom tart pan. Baked it in a 350F preheated oven for about 15 minutes and then let it cool.

Next, it was time to handle some almond paste. The recipe I followed suggested breaking off small pieces of the paste and gently pressing and spreading it into the bottom of my baked&cooled crust. This raised a few flags for me – “Sure, this almond paste is malleable,” I thought to myself, “but doesn’t that sound a little tricky, particularly considering that this cookie crust is a bit on the crumbly side?” So I checked out a few of the reviews and saw that people had encountered exactly that problem! The solution?

Measured out how much I needed using my kitchen scale. Plopped the paste on some plastic wrap. Placed another sheet of plastic wrap on top. And rolled that bitch out with my rolling pin to roughly the size of my tart. Removed the top sheet of plastic. Carefully flipped the rolled out almond paste layer into my tart pan and peeled away the plastic.  No fuss no muss!

Time for ganache… Measured out my chocolate chips.

Brought the cream to a simmer and then poured it over the chocolate. Let it melt for a minute and then whisked to combine.

Poured the ganache onto the almond layer…

And smoothed it out with an offset spatula. Popped it into the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up. You can actually refrigerate it for up to a day, but we couldn’t wait!

Finally, the chocolate was set! Arranged my raspberries in concentric circles, with the pointy bits upward (which always looks so fancy and French to me).

Now… a quickie glaze! Combined a little raspberry preserves…

With a little Luxardo…

Stirred the two together in a saucepan over low heat until melted and warmed through.

And ever so gently, I brushed the boozy glaze over the raspberries! Take care though – the raspberries aren’t really anchored in the chocolate, so they’ll bob and twist and hightail it right off the tart if you’re not careful! I think next time, perhaps I’ll arrange the raspberries while the chocolate’s still a little tacky/malleable. That couldn’t hurt, right?

Sprinkled a few toasted sliced almonds along the edges and… voila!

Dark chocolate & Raspberry Tart!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients

Crust:
1 1/4 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (about 25) - or Teddy Grahams!
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling and topping:
6 ounces almond paste, crumbled into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups) - or just roll out a big chunk into an even layer
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 half-pint baskets fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
2 teaspoons kirsch (clear cherry brandy) – or Luxardo (a magically delicious Maraschino cherry liqueur)
Sliced almonds, toasted