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Chocolate-Chambord Tart with a Raspberry Crown

Recipe: Chocolate-Chambord Tart with a Raspberry Crown

Remarks:

Ingredients:

    1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough

    12 oz. bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli, Valrhona, Lindt are examples of quality chocolate brands you can use)

    6 oz. whipping cream

    2 Tbl. Chambord liqueur (raspberry flavored optional)

    Optional fresh berries and or whipped cream OR

    Optional Raspberry Crown

    3 pints of fresh raspberries

    4 Tbl. red jelly (currant, raspberry, strawberry)

    1 Tbl. Chambord liqueur (raspberry flavored optional)

Instructions:

    Preheat oven according to cookie dough directions. Open your sugar cookie dough and decide if you are going to squish it into the bottom of a fluted 10-inch tart pan or a smooth-edged springform pan. Either one will work. To keep your hands from getting all gummy, cut a piece of plastic wrap about the size of the tart pan and put it over the cookie dough so that when you are squishing the dough down you are doing it with the wrap between your hands and the dough. Now go at it like you're back in first grade. Just squash the dough down, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the pan. You'll want to get some of it up the sides of the pan so you have about a 1/4-inch rim of dough around the whole edge. Make the edge as even as possible, working with your fingers so you'll have a pretty edge to your tart. But don't worry too much. You can make it as even or as rustic looking as you want. This is just like Play-dough time when you were little. Make sure you can't see through the bottom or your chocolate will ooze out the bottom later. That would make a mess. Throw away the plastic wrap.

    When you finish spreading the dough, follow the directions on the package for baking the cookie dough. It's just like baking one big cookie and will probably take the longer cooking time (approx 9 minutes). Take the tart out of the oven when it reaches the brownness you like in your cookies. Golden works best.

    Now take a fork and go around the edges of the tart (about 1/2 inch from the edge) to squish the cookie down gently, assuring that you have an edge on your tart. You can also squish down any bubbles in the center section to flatten the middle. This way you have a place to pour the chocolate. It's sort of like you've just made a shallow swimming pool.

    Let the cookie tart almost cool. When it's almost cool, carefully loosen it from the pan and put it on your serving plate. If it's sticking, just coax the sticking parts with a sharp paring knife. (It's just like when you leave cookies on the baking sheet too long and they stick.)

    As the tart finishes cooling, you can make the ganache for the filling. Cut chocolate into small pieces. Half-inch dice is good. Big chunks don't melt very well but this is not an exact science. Just hack it up and put it in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the whipping cream in a sauce pan on medium high. Keep an eye on it. You don't want the cream to boil. You just want to see those little bubbles form around the outside that tells you it's just about to come to a full boil. That's when it's plenty hot but not a rolling boil. Pour the whipping cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for just a few seconds to heat the chocolate. Now take your whisk and start to stir slowly. The whipping cream will mix into the chocolate and you'll soon have a wonderfully shiny chocolate mixture. You can add the Chambord now to give it an extra raspberry-flavored zip, but if you don't want to have any alcohol in the recipe, you can skip it. It'll taste great either way.

    Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the tart. Depending on how "deep" your tart is it might all fit in or not. Don?t overflow. Save the extra for drizzling on the plate or some other use. Just fill it so there is a rim on the outside. You're done! Now you can let it sit on the counter to fully cool and serve it for dinner or put it in the refrigerator and serve it later. Try to serve it the same day if you want the cookie crust to be crunchy. The refrigerator has a way of making the crust mushy a day or two later.

    Keep leftovers in the refrigerator because of the cream. Take it out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of serving depending on how "hard" you want it to be. The colder it is, the more it tastes like a candy bar, but the cream will always keep it tasting more like a "truffle."

    You can stop at this point and serve it with a pile of fresh berries on top. (Blackberries and raspberries look beautiful. Strawberries are great too.) You can also just use a dollop of whipped cream or a combination of the above. People will think you've spent hours!

    If you want to add the "Raspberry Crown," you've got one more step after you let the chocolate completely cool.

    Raspberry Crown: Open your raspberries one carton at a time. Throw out the "fuzzy moldy" ones and set aside the ones that are too squishy and use those for your cereal in the AM or something else. You only want ripe, firm ones for your crown. That's why you might use all 3 pints for this project. Start in the middle of the tart with a big, juicy berry. Now just continue laying berries around it in concentric circles until you've covered the entire tart, taking care to lay each berry with its "head up" and the open side down on the tart. If you are one of those careful, picky people, this might take 15 or 20 minutes. Keep extra berries for something else or eat them now. And don't forget to scrub the red stains out of your fingernails, or they'll look like something from Halloween.

    Now go melt the jelly in a small sauce pan on the stove. Keep an eye on it on low heat, just so you melt it. Try not to boil it. Add the Chambord (optional) or a little water to thin it out. Warm it a little more. Take a pastry brush and start to "paint" the tops of your berries starting in the middle of the tart. Let the excess jelly "paint" drizzle down the sides of the berries. When you get to the edges, be careful if you don't want some of your drizzle going down the side of the tart. If you?re not picky, don't worry about it. It's beautiful either way. As the jelly cools it will become sticky again and your tart will glisten like it's in the sunshine.

    Cut the tart with a sharp knife to keep a nice edge.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy!

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