Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I have always loved this day. Even before I met my husband, I always loved the day that celebrates love. Self-love, love for life, love of friends, families, pets, food… There are so many things to love! Now, this day is, naturally, more romantic to me than it used to be, and I love it even more. So, wherever you are at in your life, let it be a day of celebrating things worth loving. And, if you’re struggling to come up with such a thing, have a Valentine’s Day dessert, all to yourself.Take Me to The Recipe!
Do you have special Valentine’s Day plans? Ours here include a date night in. Cooking is my love language, and I see no better way to celebrate it than with all of our favorites in the comfort of our home. From cocktails to dessert, I am so excited to plan and make it. I’ve found that it works best for me when there is a balance between elaborate, time consuming dishes and quick, easy to make ahead ones. As much as I love to cook, it can get tiring, and that is why these Chocolate (raspberries are optional!) tarts make for a perfect Valentine’s day dessert.
I tried making these again and again. Mainly, to test and tune the recipe for them. But also, because they are so perfect, easy, and inexpensive to make! And, other than the first time I made them, I’ve been testing them one tart at a time, so no pressure to make two of everything. Just cut the recipe in half, and go back to being good about sugar consumption the next day. Or, make two anyways, and eat one the next morning with coffee. I would call that “being good” also, but about celebrating. It is all about the angle!
I use these tart pans. They have removable bottoms, just like a traditional, large tart pan. Removable bottoms allow you to keep the shape and look of the fragile shells. Exact measurements are 6-4.5 in. x .75 in. (11,4 cm x 1,9 cm). I am sure you can use whatever size you can, you just may have to adjust the recipe to not have too little or too much. The former is worse, so it’s better to end up with extra!
The tart shell is made out of crushed up Graham crackers. The easiest way is to use a food processor, or a clean hand coffee grinder. If you don’t have either, break crackers into smaller pieces and put in a zip lock bag. Place a zip lock bag in a towel, and roll with a rolling pin, until ground.
This recipe is perfect to make-ahead. After baking, tart shell must cool completely. That should take at least an hour. Then, when filled with chocolate, they need to be refrigerated, for at least two more hours. Overnight is ideal. The hands-on part of the recipe is pretty minimal. Grind up chocolate graham crackers, mix with melted butter, and bake. The filling is just melted chocolate and heavy cream.
There are three “must use” ingredients in this recipe: salt, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and heavy cream. No substitutions.
Salt, a secret ingredient, humble hero, and the magic that ties it all together. It is true for most recipes, but especially for this one. I add a generous amount of salt to the chocolate and heavy cream mix, and also, flaky salt on top. If you choose to leave off the raspberries (as I do for my husband), flaky salt alone will make them look very attractive. Much better than with just a plain top.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips are “just sweet enough”. Milk chocolate would be too sweet.
Heavy cream will hold these together. I once made it with half & half and they melted away in front of me. The ones made with heavy cream soften up, when you first take them out of the fridge, but hold their shape for the few short minutes before they’re eaten 🙂
Chocolate Raspberry Tarts
- 2 6-4.5 in. Tart pans
- 4 chocolate Graham Crackers, ground
- 2 Tb melted butter
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C heavy cream
Toppings (optional, but recommended)
- Flaky salt
- Mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Mix the melted butter with the ground up chocolate graham crackers.
- Divide between two tart pans and press down, and on the sides, using fingers or a flat bottom glass or a cup.
- Place on an oven safe dish (for easier moving in and out of the oven) and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- When finished, take tart shells out of the oven, and let cool completely before filling.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20 second increments, whisking after each session.
- Heat the cream over medium heat and bring to a simmer (just before boil).
- Remove from the heat, and pour cream over melted chocolate. Add a pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp) and mix really well.
- Divide the mix between two tart shells, sprinkle with flaky salt, and place in the refrigerator to chill.
- If adding raspberries and/or mint leaves, place them on top (anywhere you like) halfway through the chilling time. So, if you only have an hour, set a timer for 30 minutes. If you have two hours, set it for an hour.
- When fully chilled, serve immediately after removing from refrigerator. Otherwise, keep in an airtight container for up to two days. To remove the outer ring of the pan, pop the bottom up and out. Then, using a knife, very carefully separate the bottom lining of the pan from the actual tart. Enjoy!