Monday, March 14, 2011

The Radical Cook - Chocolate Berry Tart



Cooking (and baking)
outside the take out box



We almost never buy desserts from fancy pastry shops.

With a name like Cheesecake Farms that probably doesn't surprise you but the real reason is that they NEVER taste as good as they look and they cost way too much.

Yes, butter and chocolate are pricy but that's no reason for a small fruit tart to cost $20 or $30.  

This recipe is the one that pastry shops don't want you to have because, if it got out, people would realize how easy and inexpensive it is to make.  It's a real little charmer that will have your gourmet pals thinking you went to the Cordon Bleu.

While most people are foolishly over spending on disapointing, purchased desserts, you' ll be making a knock their socks off,  fancy berry tart that's quick and easy, doesn't cost much and no great skill was required.  Good for you!   That's pretty radical!!



An easy to make chocolate shell
lusciously filled with berries and cream

Fast & Easy Chocolate Berry Tart

Looks like you fussed all day.

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Makes 1 (7 inch) tart serving 6
Uses a 7 inch metal pie or tart pan
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Chocolate Shell
3/4 cup chocolate confectionery coating discs (not chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons white vegetables shortening

Put chocolate into a microwave safe bowl with shortening on top.  Heat until almost melted - about 1 minute. Stir till smooth.  Do not over heat.

Spread evenly onto the bottom and sides of ungreased pan. (Spreading with the back of a coffee spoon works well.)  Refrigerate till firm - about 10 minutes.  Do not freeze as quick chilling may crack shell.

Remove shell from pan and place on serving dish.


Karla's Tips:
Chocolate will effortlessly pop out of the pan when cold enough.  If you are having trouble removing the shell from the pan, it's not cold enough.  Put it back into the fridge or freezer to let it get colder.

Did you break or crack the shell?  No problem!
Hide the crack with the filling or melt a little more chocolate (no shortening necessary) and patch the crack.

Too broken to fix?
Re-melt the shell (no additional chocolate or shortening necessary) and start over.

The shell will crack and crumble when cutting for serving making gorgeous large chucks of chocolate to nibble with the fruit.  Do not expect to cut neat slices although a sharp knife dipped in hot water may be helpful.


Cream and Berry Filling
(assemble tart not more than 2 hours before serving)

1 (4 oz package) cream cheese (softened - any type)
Powdered sugar to taste (we like 2 tablespoons but you can add more or less as desired)
Milk or cream to taste (enough to make the cream cheese fluffy)
1/2  a  (19-22 oz.) can regular cherry pie filling  (low sugar not recommended )
2 cups berries (any type or a combination - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red or golden raspberries etc.)

By hand or with a mixer, mash cream cheese and sugar together till fluffy.  Add milk or cream a drop or two at a time to make the mixture light and fluffy.  (The exact amount will depend on the brand and type of cream cheese.)

When ready to assemble tart, dollop the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the tart shell.

Fold the berries into pie filling (cut strawberries in half, if large) and spoon into shell on top of cheese mixture mounding the berries to make it look nice.

Refrigerate assembled tart up to 2 hours. (Longer will make the berries go soggy.)


Karla's Make Ahead Tips:
The chocolate shell can be made days or even weeks in advance. Cover well and refrigerate for storage up to 2 days. Wrap well and freeze for longer storage. Use caution that it does not get broken in storage.

The cream cheese mixture can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated.

Berries can be washed and drained up to 1 hour ahead of assembling the tart.

Tart can be assembled up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerated.

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Need the 7 inch pan we used for this recipe?

Click here to order    

We'll even send along a step by step recipe for oh so easy (and oh so yummy) giant peanut butter cups that you can make using the same pan!

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