Michel Roux’s chocolate & raspberry tart – a chocoholic’s dream


I don’t know about you but every now and again I crave chocolate – not just any block of chocolate but specialty chocolate (eg. Lindt) transformed into something special to share with friends and family.  This Michel Roux recipe is a knock out.  It’s not supposed to look as rustic as it does but I really do think that homemade tarts are the best.  There’s a genuine quality about them and they’re filled with a whole lot of love.

This tart starts off with a delicate pate sucree base, and ends with a gorgeous, glossy, dark chocolate ganache interspersed with perfectly plump raspberries & freshly chopped mint to offset the sweetness and to make the recipient feel giddy with satisfaction, not overwhelmed with richness.  It’s definitely a recipe that I would consider making to end a dinner party in the future – because everyone loves chocolate.

I think the trick to improving the presentation is to refrain from overfilling the pastry base with the luscious raspberries.  The ganache was so fluid & lustrous that the tart is destined for a perfectly flat, glossy top so long as less raspberries than prescribed are used in the actual tart filling.  Any extras will happily be strewn across the slices and enjoyed by each and every family member and/or house guest.

Ingredients (serves 8)
Pate sucree (yields about 1 lb 3 oz (520 g))
1 3/4 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 cup (100 g) butter, cubed & slightly softened
1 cup (100 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
2 medium eggs, at room temperature

Chocolate & raspberry tart
9 oz (260 g) pate sucree
2 cups (250 g) raspberries
3/4 oz (20 g) mint leaves, finely snipped
scant 1 1/4 cups (250 mL) whipping cream
7 oz (200 g) good-quality semisweet chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids, finely chopped
1 oz (25 g) liquid glucose, or light corn syrup
4 tbsp (50 g) butter, cut into small pieces

Pate sucree
Put the flour in a mound on a counter (ideally marble) & make a well.  Put in the butter, confectioners’ sugar, & salt, and mix together with your fingertips.

Gradually draw the flour into the centre & mix with your fingertips until the dough becomes slightly grainy.

Again make a well and add the eggs.  Work them into the flour mixture, using your fingertips, until the dough begins to hold together.

When the dough is well amalgamated, knead it a few times with the palm of your hand until smooth.  Roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and rest in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours before using.

When the dough is rested & you are ready to use it, unwrap & roll out on a lightly floured counter to a 1/16 – 1/8 inch (2 – 3 mm) thickness.

Chocolate & raspberry tart
Roll out the dough to a circle, 1/16 inch (2 mm) thick, and use to line a greased 8-inch (20-cm) diameter (1-inch / 2.5-cm deep) tart ring.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF / 190°C.  Prick the base of the pastry shell.  Line the tart shell with baking parchment or waxed paper & fill with a layer of pie weights (either ceramic beans or dried beans) to weigh the dough down and prevent it from rising unevenly.  Bake the shell blind for 20 minutes.  Lower the oven setting to 350ºF / 180ºC, remove the beans and paper, & bake the pastry shell for another 5 minutes.

Place on a wire rack, lift off the ring, and leave the tart shell until cold.  Set aside 24 of the best raspberries.  Halve the rest, delicately mix with the snipped mint, and spread evenly in the pastry shell.

For the chocolate ganache, bring the cream to a boil in a heavy pan over medium heat.  Take off the heat, add the chocolate & glucose, and mix with a whisk to a very smooth cream.  Still whisking, incorporate the butter, a piece at a time.

Pour the ganache over the halved raspberries to fill the pastry shell.  Set aside until cold, then chill the tart for at least 2 hours before serving.

Use a very sharp knife, dipped in very hot water & wiped dry, to cut each slice.  Place the tart slices on individual plates with the reserved raspberries.  Serve cold, but not straight from the refrigerator.

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