crostata al cioccolato fondente e lamponi
I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like the marriage of chocolate & raspberry! The union of bitter dark chocolate with sweet-tart raspberries is heaven to me and (fortunately) to all I hold dear, so when I decide to bake this crostata for a Sunday treat (when raspberries are in abundance), it’s met with oohs & ahhs!
Raspberries are very reasonably priced at the minute whilst they’re in abundance (in season)! I know that they are available all year round, however, raspberries love the summer sun and therefore are truly at their best from about November through till end March/early April (that would be in the Southern Hemisphere)! I purchased these vivid rich ripe pinkisk-red raspberries from the growers market the other week and they were plump; bursting with flavour! So delicious! Now for this recipe, for the filling, I recommend you freeze the fresh raspberries you buy. This will make it easy to fold them through the rest of the batter and without breaking them up into a mush. And you will need to make this crostata shortly after purchasing your ripe raspberries; they don’t last long, even in the fridge!
Creamy milk chocolate is said to be a better match for raspberries than dark, however, I favour the latter! Of course, if you prefer milk chocolate, please substitute it with the dark in this recipe. It will work just the same, possibly a little lighter in appearance I imagine!
I’ll mention here too, the inclusion of almond meal and wholegrain spelt flour in this recipe! Both impart a nutty flavour, and my choice of spelt flour is two-fold; for the flavour and health benefits! As a woman in the midst of perimenopause, and too for the wellbeing of my family, I am only selecting ingredients that are more beneficial. Refined flours impact greatly on the health of all, but particularly for women with depleting hormones! Argh! Why eat crostata at all then, you may ask?! Cut out sweets altogether! Yes, you would be right to say so and healthier without this and/or other tarts, but I think it’s “healthy” to give yourself a treat “sometimes”. My kids hear this often….”treats are sometimes food!”. But when your treat embraces better nourishing ingredients, you can quite literally, ‘have your cake & eat it too’! I have cut back on baking, leaving it mostly for our end-of-the-week indulgence, aptly for a Sunday – the day of rest…..and treat! Ha!
200g or 1 & ½ cups spelt flour, stoneground, wholegrain
70g or a full ½ cup, pure icing sugar
Pinch of sea salt
30g or 2 tblsp dark dutch cocoa powder (unsweetened)
135g or a full ½ cup butter, unsalted, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk, organic or free-range
NOTE: you may need 1-2 tsp of chilled water if dough doesn’t come together with the egg yolk!
100g or just less than 1/3 cup butter, unsalted, softened to room temperature
55g or ¼ cup caster sugar
55g or ¼ cup brown sugar
100g or 1 cup almond meal
40g or ¼ cup of spelt flour, stoneground, wholegrain
30g or 2 tblsp dark dutch cooca powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 whole egg, organic or free-range, lightly beaten
1 egg yolk, organic or free-range, lightly beaten
100g or 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips, couverture
125g fresh raspberries, placed in freezer (ensure are frozen)
150g or ½ cup raspberry jam (your favourite variety)
3-5 punnets of fresh ripe raspberries to decorate
Pure icing sugar for optional dusting
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, sea salt and mix together. Add in the butter pieces and rub the butter into the dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers until you form breadcrumb consistency. This can all be completed in a food processor – just ensure to pulse the butter so as to not melt it – a consistent running blade with melt it from the heat generated! Now add in the egg yolk and mix until a dough has formed. If the dough does not come together, add a little at a time of the chilled water – just enough until a dough forms. Take this out of the bowl and on a lightly floured surface shape the dough into a round disc and flatten to about 1 cm thick. Wrap in bee-wax or sustainable cling wrap. Leave in fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight to rest.
- Preheat oven to 190°C. Have prepared on a baking tray a 24cm round flan/flute tart tin with removeable base. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface till about 30cm round shape & 3mm thick disc – this should cover the base and sides of your flan tin. Just ensure it does by hoovering the tin over your rolled pastry. When ready, line the pastry in your tin and trim the edges with a knife or by rolling the top with a rolling pin. Cover with afoil or baking paper and sit in your fridge for a 30 minute rest.
- Now it’s ready for the over. Firstly, with the afoil/baking paper lined over the pastry, fill with baking beads or rice or chickpeas, and bake in oven for 10 mins. Remove from oven and remove the afoil/baking paper with baking beads and return pastry to oven to bake for a further 8 minutes or until the pastry is dry to touch. Set aside and complete the filling.
- Reduce oven to 175°C. Using a hand-held mixer or an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugars (both caster & brown) and almond meal until pale in colour and creamy. Beat in the egg whole & yolk until all mixed through. Now fold through the spelt flour, sea salt, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and frozen raspberries.
- To fill the tart; firstly spread the raspberry jam at the base of the cooled chocolate pastry tart. Now add in the mixed chocolate/raspberry filling and gently spread using a palette knife over the jam and ensuring to fill-in the entire tart area. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Leave to cool completely.
- Decorate with fresh raspberries and dust if you like with pure icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of double cream.