Raspberry Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust
Summer vacations and celebrations sometimes call for decadence.
It’s been two solid weeks of decadence around here.
Today concludes my (family reunion slash) eating tour of the Midwest: this afternoon Paula and I will fly back to California after spending two weeks doing all of the eating we possibly could in Madison and Chicago.
My personal highlights include all the food at my family’s summer solstice party, not to mention going out for Nepali, Middle Eastern, East African, and Korean food in Madison; deep dish pizza, Costa Rican, and Ethiopian food in Chicago; and, you know, lots of beer, cheese curds, and ice cream.
For those who know Madison, never fear: I made sure to take Paula to the Union Terrace for Babcock Ice Cream (orange custard chocolate chip!) and to Michael’s Frozen Custard—which I’m willing to bet for some people is just about synonymous with Madison (we went three times!).
I also somehow found time to bake this raspberry tart for my mom and step-dad.
My mom can’t enjoy many rich (i.e., restaurant) foods right now because of all the remission maintenance drug (aka chemo) side effects, but I wanted her to be able to partake in just a little of the decadence herself.
I’d packed my 9½-inch tart pan in my carry-on hiking backpack (which has accompanied me to five continents, but has never been used for actual hiking), expecting to make a version of this tart for the solstice party, but the weather was too hot and the oven too in demand, so my baking project got relegated to the second week of my visit.
I think that was for the best, though, since that way my mom (and I) got to enjoy more of the tart.
The recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert (as are my blood orange tart and zesty lemon lime bars; I love that cookbook!). I’ve made her “Really Raspberry Coconut Tart” several times now—mostly without modifying it at all—but at Paula’s request, I adapted it to include a hidden layer of chocolate.
(Because why not pile on the decadence while you’re at it? That must have been my guiding philosophy, anyway, when I decided to melt a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips together with several pats of butter and a spoonful of triple sec. Although, in my defense, I decreased the sugar in the coconut crust.)
A lovely gooey chocolate layer emerged to balance out the tartness of the fresh raspberries. Yet another recipe success story that I owe to Paula!
I had no bittersweet chocolate in the house at the time, but I’m sure you could substitute bittersweet or dark chocolate, with a tweak here or there, to an equally nice effect.
Alice Medrich suggests dusting the tart with powdered sugar, or serving it with vanilla ice cream on the side… I skipped the chocolate layer for my parents, but we made up for that by pairing it with nothing less than vanilla custard from Michael’s Frozen Custard; it made for a lovely celebration of summer.
p.s. Many of you may have noticed the demise of Google Reader, as of July 1st. Last week, I must have been too busy enjoying my eating tour—and not on top of things enough—to remind you about exporting your RSS feeds into Bloglovin’ or Feedly, but they both seem like excellent Google Reader substitutes, with very nice visual interfaces (despite needing some getting used to…). I encourage you to follow Spontaneous Tomato through Feedly or Bloglovin’ if you prefer an RSS reader to e-mail updates (or sign up for e-mail updates to the right, for a new recipe every Thursday!).
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Raspberry Chocolate Tart with Coconut Crust
(Adapted from Really Raspberry Coconut Tart in Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich)
Ingredients for the Crust:
~ ⅔ cup unsweetened finely shredded dried coconut (start with just over a cup if chopping it more finely yourself in a food processor)
~ ¼ cup sugar
~ 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted and still warm
~ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
~ ¼ tsp. salt
~ 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the Chocolate Filling:
~ ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
~ 2 Tbsp. butter, chopped up
~ 1 Tbsp. triple sec or cointreau
For the Raspberry Filling:
~ 12 oz. fresh raspberries (set aside for the topping at the end)
~ 12 oz. frozen raspberries (or use fresh for these as well)
~ 2 Tbsp. sugar
~ 1 Tbsp. flour
~ powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Special equipment needed:
~ a 9½-inch tart pan with removable bottom
~ square of tin foil
1. Place a heavy baking sheet in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat to 425 degrees. Place a medium bowl near the stove, and toast the coconut in a large, heavy skillet (over medium heat until it starts to change color, then over much lower heat) for 4-6 minutes, stirring it the entire time so that it doesn’t burn. Transfer toasted coconut to the medium bowl.
2. Add the sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt to the coconut and mix well. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Turn out dough into tart pan and press it evenly around the sides, into the corners, and across the bottom. Place tart pan on a square of tin foil and fold the foil loosely around the edge of the crust to protect it from browning too much during the first part of baking. Place the foil-protected tart pan with crust onto the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl (the same one if you like, or a clean one), combine the frozen raspberries, with the 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. flour, and gently mix, then set aside.
4. Make the chocolate filling: in a small, heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate, butter, and triple sec over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. (This should only take 3-4 minutes.) Remove the tart crust from the oven– by taking out the entire baking sheet– and prick down any raised parts of the crust with a fork. Then evenly spread out the chocolate filling across the bottom of the crust. Next, gently layer the frozen raspberries onto the chocolate, spreading them evenly without moving the chocolate around too much. Return to the oven– with the tin foil still protecting the crust edges– for another 10 minutes.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and use tongs to completely unfold the tin foil (you can also use them to spread out the raspberries a little more evenly if necessary). Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Remove tart and place fresh raspberries upside-down and close together, pressing them gently into the hot berries. Let cool completely on a rack. Dust with powdered sugar to serve. Enjoy on the first day or store, covered, in the fridge.
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