Monday, March 22, 2010

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts

I saw this recipe on the Food Network website: Truffle Tarts with Raspberries. The picture looked so deliciously tempting, but I wasn't thrilled with the idea of using Oreos or chocolate wafer cookies, due to the gluten and other ingredients I try to avoid in processed foods. So, I did a little experimenting, trying to come up with a healthier version. They came out pretty good, so I thought I'd share my results. I think this recipe could be improved. Maybe next time I'll try using walnuts instead of toasted pecans.

If you're lucky enough to have individual loose-bottom or springform tart pans, now is a great opportunity to use them. Otherwise, cut strips of parchment paper to line the cavities of a standard cupcake pan like this:

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Tarts

For the crust:
3 cups pecans (I toasted mine)
3/4 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TBSP cocoa powder
1/2 cup frozen raspberries (more or less to taste)

Toast pecans on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven if desired.

Pit and chop dates.

(Sorry, the photo of the chopped dates came out too blurry to use)

Process pecans, salt, and cocoa powder in food processor until mixed into a coarse powder. Add dates and vanilla and process until well mixed.

Evenly divide and press mixture into the cups of muffin pan. Now, the reason I use frozen raspberries is because they're easier to handle and you can crumble them into small pieces. Place about a teaspoon of crumbled frozen raspberries in the bottom of each tart shell. You can use more or less to suit your own taste, or try something else like toasted shredded coconut, or add nothing.

Chocolate Truffle filling:

1 cup coconut milk
16 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate (go for the best you can find, at least 60%)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt chocolate using your method of choice (microwave, double boiler). Add coconut milk and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth then allow to cool to room temperature. Place in mixer bowl and beat at medium speed until it thickens and becomes light in color. It will go from this:

To this:

Handy tip: Place a food storage bag/plastic disposable piping bag inside a tumbler to fill it with the ganache.

Then cut off the tip and squeeze the filling into the tart shells, completely covering the raspberries.

Smooth the tops with a spatula, and then refrigerate for 2 hours. They will come out of the pan easily thanks to the parchment paper strips.

Here's a shot of the inside. Mmmm, raspberries.

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