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Verses from my Kitchen: Chocolate Cream & Raspberry Tartlets

May 10, 2011

Chocolate Cream & Raspberry Tartlets

I love early mornings during the week. The alarm starts singing before six each weekday and at first I pretend not to hear her warning. I play coy, although I finally succumb to the song that ends up playing on repeat in my mind for the next few hours. Once out of bed, I look out the back window and stare at the soft clouds dancing across the sky.

The beautiful beginning.

I head downstairs and start the coffee maker, and at that moment it's the only sound heard in my house. I pull back the curtains in the kitchen and watch the sun skip across my kitchen floor. And I pull up a seat at the high top in the kitchen with my morning cup of coffee and feel blessed that my life has unfolded in this manner. The day is ahead of me but the beginning has set the tone.

Usually while sitting at that table and watching the clock, I start to think about dinner. And I start to drift towards dessert and tartlets and this dessert. I love the explosion of flavour that comes from these small tarts, so I'm often experimenting with the base and the filling. And we're always so happy with the results. So much so, I made this to cap Mother's Day off right.

Each day as spring unfolds with whispers of warm air and rebirth, I tend to let it penetrate my soul and fall in love with the new beginnings and new season. It's hard not to feel her charm and love. It's all around me and brings me hope. And when I see a new example of spring unfolding before my eyes, I think about the fruits and produce being picked locally. New season, new charm.

I recently picked up a few pints of berries from the market and was itching to add them into a dessert. A perfect balance of cream and fruit with dessert. And I love the harmony of chocolate and berries, so this Chocolate Cream & Raspberry Tartlet came to me quickly and without warning.

I made these Lime Cheesecake Tartlets  and also these Lemon-Blueberry Tartlets both for weekday desserts. The combinations are endless, but the results all have the same brilliant taste. So this time I started with graham cracker crumb for the base and worked from there. One bite reads like the first chapter from spring's book. Fresh and vibrant and new.

It is the perfect ending to a beautiful spring day. As I turn into our driveway and park beside my wife's car, I sit inside for a minute after I turn the car off. The kids are outside in the neighbourhoods again after months of hibernation and you can hear their laughter from a block away. Some are in their front yards playing games and enjoying the chance to be outside again. And I take it all in with a smile.

The smile that sits on my face is because my wife is inside ready to go on a long walk with me. And when we return we have a spring dessert waiting to be enjoyed. I can hardly contain my excitement.

It's amazing that we all have this connection with spring and warmer weather. And we all have certain connections to food. This particular dessert works with both of those in mind. So we sit at that high top in the kitchen and pull back the curtains and enjoy the sun as spring welcomes me home.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Chocolate Cream & Raspberry Tartlets

The Goods:
  • 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 100 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 55 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp. whipped cream (heavy cream and icing sugar)
  • handful of raspberries for topping
  1. Add the graham cracker crumbs to a medium mixing bowl and add in the butter and sugar. Mix together until combined and press into the sides and bottom of spring form tartlet pans. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set up firmly.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof pan over simmering water. Remove from heat once melted.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. In a small bowl, beat the heavy cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. Add the creme fraiche into the smooth cream cheese and add in the whipped cream. Mix until smooth and creamy.
  4. Divide the chocolate cream mixture amongst 4 tarlet pans and smooth out with a spatula or the back of the spoon. Top with raspberries and refrigerate until ready to serve.



At May 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM , Anonymous Sanjeeta kk said...

Love those tiny cute tartlet pans! The dessert look gorgeous with the lovely filling. Glad to have come here following tweet.

At May 10, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Blogger Marnely Rodriguez-Murray said...

gorgeous spring/summer dessert! :)

At May 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

Oooh, these look great! I love chocolate and raspberries so much. You have a great blog - nice and clean with great photography!

At May 10, 2011 at 7:58 PM , Anonymous Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

Gorgeous! They sound delicious too.
Your weekday morning sounds like my weekend mornings. I can't manage to drag myself out of bed early enough to really enjoy the morning during the week, but on the weekend I love sitting in the sun enjoying a nice cup of coffee and the morning silence.

At May 10, 2011 at 8:10 PM , Blogger Brian Samuels Photography said...

What a terrific dessert. I'm excited to make my first chocolate tart this weekend. And now I have yours to look at for inspiration!

At May 10, 2011 at 10:24 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thank you Sanjeeta. I'm glad you dropped by.

Thanks Marnely!

Thanks Mike.I'm hoping to make changes to the blog but plan on keeping it clean.

Lynn, I can't do it every morning but as often as possible, especially as the warmer months arrive. Thanks for the comment!

Brian, I can't wait to see the chocolate tart you come up with!

At May 11, 2011 at 12:13 AM , Anonymous Jun said...

Mmmm, it looks so delicious...

At May 11, 2011 at 4:32 AM , Blogger Restaurante Valerie said...

Everytime i see them i'm hungry! I really want to taste it, i love chocolate and raspberries, the acidity of the raspberry conbine perfectly to the sweet of chocolate.

At May 11, 2011 at 7:28 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

Gorgeous tarts. I can just see you dreaming these up as you sit at the early-morning breakfast table.

At May 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM , Anonymous RavieNomNoms said...

That is my kind of tart! And they are just so gorgeous! I am so wishing I had one of these on my plate right now

At May 11, 2011 at 12:26 PM , Blogger Annalise said...

Mike, loved this post! I stop by often but never comment, I need to be better at that. I love your writing and your photos. These tarts are beautiful! So light and summery. Going to have to try them for sure.

At May 11, 2011 at 2:21 PM , Blogger Maria said...

They look amazing Michael! I love raspberries, this is very very tempting!

At May 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM , Anonymous Kate@Diethood said...

Can you tell a story ...wow... now I can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and copy all your steps! :-)
Beautiful dessert, Mike, as always... have a wonderful day my friend!

Congrats on Top 9!!!

At May 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM , Anonymous George said...

Looks great. I naturally would have made a lemon or vanilla filling, but I think the chocolate would work really well with the raspberries.

At May 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Blogger gastronomic nomad said...

I love your story and pictures! What a gorgeous dessert. Congrats on top 9!

At May 12, 2011 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Michelle Benoit (Chocolate Central) said...

I never imagined that making tart shells could be so simple. I've never thought of making a basic graham cracker crust. Now, what does one do when there are no graham crackers to be found in Mexico? I enjoyed reading about how your morning unfolds. Nice site. Oh, and Congrats on making Top 9 on Foodbuzz.

At May 14, 2011 at 8:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ravishing these tartlets look. The pans cuter than ever. Have. to . buy. them

At May 17, 2011 at 3:15 AM , Blogger KonstantKraver said...

These look insanely delicious GREAT photo :)

At August 5, 2011 at 4:27 PM , Anonymous Heidi / foodiecrush said...

Beauty, beauty, beauty, and I have a tub of raspberries crying for a recipe. Thank you!


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