Hiking leads to a Ganache Filled Raspberry Tart

There is a park down the road from where we live that is just beautiful called Golden Gardens. It has nice grounds, a beach, hiking trails, an off leash dog park, picnic areas, and just about anything to make you realize how beautiful it is here.  I have been taking the girls (Martini and Latte) here since we moved and they love it as much as Brian and I do. I have had my eye on a set of stairs that runs up the big hillside with meandering hiking trails off of it since I first went here. I kept thinking to myself: Someday I will climb up those stairs…Get more active and in shape! Nearly two years have gone by and I have done no such thing. But recently Brian and I finally decided to do it. We got off to an early start and hit the park, climbed the stairs, did two of the trails and climbed our way back down. It felt good, invigorating, and also made me realize how out of shape I was. New motivation - eat better and do a good stair climb more often. So far we have been off to a great start.

But my mind wonders and as I hike I think about making Caramel! No, no, I cannot think about caramel while I am achieving a healthier living attitude. I try to rationalize with myself that this form of thinking is an occupational hazard (being a pastry chef and all). Still my mind wonders back to something sweet, like “How can I make my Peanut Butter Icing better?” Well, at least peanut butter is a protein; yes, that is how I rationalize. Yet, I want to think about food that is good for you; like berries for example. Raspberries, dark chocolate ganache, a cognac infused whip cream – and round it goes. Although; it did result in a great dessert that I created in my kitchen when I got home. You have to start somewhere I guess. I will hike more and climb more stairs to work it off. I do wonder what cooking will come from my next hike.


Ganache Filled Raspberry Tart (makes one 9 inch tart)

1 large container of fresh raspberries (or two small ), washed and picked over

4 oz of bittersweet chocolate (chopped small)

1 cup, plus 2 oz of heavy cream

2 oz of cognac

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp of sugar

Powdered sugar for dusting

½ recipe of Pate Brise

First; with your Pate Brise made, well chilled, and rolled out to about a ½ inch – ¼ inch thickness and large enough round to fit your tart pan. Place the Pate Brise gently in the tart pan and trim away the excess dough if necessary. Place in the tart pan in the refrigerator while you heat your oven.  You can then place your oven at 375 degrees.

Next, make your Ganache. In a double boiler place your chocolate and 2 oz of your cream.  Place all over medium heat and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and is all smoothly mixed in with the cream. Remove from the heat and place the Ganache in a piping bag (I prefer the disposable plastic ones) and with an elastic tie a not at the top so you do not have a lose opening.

Meanwhile; your oven should be at temperature. Place your tart pan lined with the pate brise on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden and baked though.  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature when done. (Feel free to line you pate brise with parchment and pie weights if you feel necessary to bake off.)

Then; with a plate that your raspberries can stand upright in – or lean to do so – get ready to fill your raspberries. Trim the end of your piping bag to expose a small opening and gently fill the raspberries with the chocolate Ganache. Stack and lean them as you go until you have completed all your raspberries and place them gently in the refrigerator to chill and so the Ganache has a chance to set up.

After your Ganache filled raspberries are chilling you can make your whip cream. In the bowl of a standing mixer place your 1 cup of cream, the sugar and the cognac. Place the whip attachment on and whip all together on high speed until the cream is thick and whipped.

Finally, to serve your tart remove the pate brise shell from the tart pan gently and place on your serving plate. Spread your cognac whipped crème evenly across the base of your tart bottom.  Remove your filled raspberries from the refrigerator and gently pile them onto your crème filled tart. Dust the top with powdered sugar to your liking and serve.