Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Tart


I no longer remember what I set out to make when I started this project. It sure wasn’t anything involving cheesecake but I’m glad that’s what it turned into. I saw some fresh raspberries for sale at a great price and knew I needed to make a dessert with them so I scooped them up and merrily headed home. Along the way home I thought, raspberries and chocolate! Then I remembered that Chocolate Silk Pie I made and decided there just had to a be a thick layer of chocolate and a chocolate crust involved. So I thought that maybe there would be some sort of thick raspberry layer but wasn’t sure how to achieve this. I thought and thought and somehow while running through the ingredients I had on hand in the fridge and pantry, decided I wanted to use my cream cheese. So this of course led inevitably to cheesecake. So first I thought, chocolate crust, cheesecake, raspberry layer, chocolaty ganache layer, fresh berries. All of this in a tart pan because I felt bent of using that darn tart pan. Think all that would fit in a 1 inch deep pan? Hmmm, maybe not. So maybe the raspberry “layer” (composed of a raspberry sauce made from the fresh berries) would be mixed with the cheesecake, or better yet- swirled in! Maybe I should have stopped at this layer because there is nothing wrong with a raspberry swirl cheesecake in a chocolate crust! But oh, no I had to have my ganache. So that’s what I ended up with.

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Oh yea, and I made a white chocolate drizzle for the top into which I mixed raspberry sauce.

Since I hadn’t contemplated this recipe much while I was actually as the store, I had to come up with a crust made with ingredients I had in the house. I came across one called “Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie Tart Crust” in a fabulous book I have been reading through: The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rosie Levy Beranbaum. I highly recommend this book! It is indispensable to me already for the amount of pie and pastry knowledge within it’s pages all easily there for my reference! She goes into the intricacies of making the dough (of which there are MANY), rolling and cutting dough, baking the dough, adorning the dough and of course, filling the dough! I have a lot of reading to do in the book still and I’m sure I’ll walk away a better baker for it!

The crust I chose is basically cookie dough cooked into a crispy crust! I have made many, many crusts with crushed already baked cookies so why not make a crust with the dough for cookies themselves? I have to give some credit to a good friend and co-worker of mine, Caroline, who approached me about a week ago to get my thoughts on making a cheesecake with pumpkin cookie dough for the crust. A light when off in my head! I really liked this idea. So I felt like a huge dork because I thought on that for a while before bombarding her with all kinds of random baking knowledge that came to mind when contemplating such an idea. You should chill the dough before baking (yes), it should be blind baked (yes), with beans in parchment (yes or no if you let it chill at least 6 hours before baking)… make sure you grease the pan (yes or no depending on the dough but probably not necessary in hindsight if you use enough butter in the dough)… or you could bake the cookies first and turn them into crumbs making a crumb crust (I’m sure that would be delicious)… Did I overwhelm her? I’m not sure. Oh well. I get easily excited about such things…

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I digress. Besides the basic cheesecake recipe, the crust and the ganache I needed a raspberry “sauce” of some sort. I found a good solution via Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours which I obviously refer to a lot. She has a very basic no-brainer raspberry sauce recipe which basically involves cooking the berries with some sugar, passing them through a sieve to remove the seeds and mixing in some vanilla (you can add some lemon zest as well if you desire).

To touch on the ganache, you can choose to add raspberry sauce into this to reinforce that flavor in this layer, or not. I chose not to but I kinds of wish I had so maybe next time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this dessert but I will admit if you are CRAVING cheesecake you may want to DOUBLE to cheesecake filling part of this recipe and cook the whole thing in 9-inch spring-form pan instead of a tart pan so that this layer can be much thicker. If you go this way, make the crust as stated but realize it will only go part of the way up the inside of the spring-form pan.

So yea, there was a lot of thought that went into this dessert. Overkill? Perhaps. But I had a lot of fun making it and it turned out pretty darn delicious if I do say so myself. There are a lot of components but it’s worth it for the wow factor and/or for a special occasion.

I have listed the crust, sauce and cheesecake recipes separately since I think I might be referring to this crust and sauce again in the future. They are good ones to have in your arsenal! I recommend prepping the tart shell and sauce the night before so the tart dough can chill properly in the fridge overnight before blind-baking.

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***PRINTABLE RECIPE (CHOCOLATE SANDWICH COOKIE CRUST PDF)***

Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie Tart Crust

(from The Pie and Pastry Bible, Beranbaum)

*Prepare at least 6 hours before blind-baking and then filling

*Makes one 9 ½ or 10 inch tart shell

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dark chocolate)
  • Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beated

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and salt
  • In a food processor fitted with a metal blade pulse the butter and sugar until incorporated
  • Add the flour/cocoa mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand
  • Add the egg and pulse until just incorporated

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  • Dump the mixture into a ziplock bag and knead it together until it holds together
  • Flatten into a 6-inch disc, seal the bag and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (alternately freeze for 10 minutes)

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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Roll the dough between two sheets of lightly-floured plastic wrap into a 1/8-inch-thick circle, at least 12 inches in diameter, lifting the plastic wrap occasionally and sprinkling again with flour as necessary if sticking

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  • Transfer the dough to your ungreased tart pan by rolling over the back of your rolling pin and carefully moving over the tart pan and fitting it into it (with the plastic wrap removed of course) OR by draping the dough over an upside-down 8-inch cake pan,

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  • removing the plastic on the upward facing side, fitting the tart pan over the dough over the pan (upside down), flipping, removing the plastic and then gently pressing into the pan. There should be at least 1/8 inch above the top edge of the tart pan’s sides to allow to shrinking

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  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Prick dough lightly with a fork when it starts to puff and bake for another 12-15 minutes. If the dough hasn’t been refrigerated the full 6 hours you may need to blind-bake it with beans over a sheet of parchment paper placed into the shell. Remove the parchment and beans about 10 minutes in, then prick with a fork and bake another 12-15 minutes. The crust will slightly darken in color but won’t change a whole lot. Be careful not to over bake or it may become bitter tasting

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  • Slide tart onto a wire rack to cool before filling
  • It is a good idea with this shell to seal the inside of the bottom with some sort of glaze before filling or it may become soggy and loose its crispness. Glaze with fruit preserves, a sugar glaze or a chocolate glaze depending upon your recipe
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Sealed with melted bittersweet chocolate

  • Crust will keep at room temperature, well-wrapped for about 2 days

***PRINTABLE RECIPE (RASPBERRY SAUCE PDF)***

Raspberry Sauce

(based on recipe from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. fresh red raspberries, rinsed
  • 3 tbsp. granulated white sugar, preferably superfine
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest, optional

Directions:

  • Place the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir until the raspberries are giving off juice and the mixture comes to a full boil

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  • Place a sieve over a heat-proof bowl
  • Pour the raspberries into the sieve and push the pulp through the strainer with a spatula, leaving the seeds behind. This can take some work

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  • Stir in the vanilla and lemon (if using)

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  • Store in the refrigerator
  • You may boil this mixture longer to thicken it further

***PRINTABLE RECIPE (CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE TART PDF)***

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Tart

(Original Therapy Bread recipe)

*It is best to prepare the crust and raspberry sauce the day before you plan on baking this tart. Fit the crust into the tart pan to chill overnight and allow the raspberry sauce to chill. Proceed the next day by blind baking the tart shell and cooling it then proceed as stated below

Ingredients for the cheesecake:

  • 1 recipe Bittersweet Chocolate Cookie Crust fitted to a 10-inch fluted tart pan, blind-baked and cooled
  • 1 recipe Raspberry Sauce, cooled- divided use throughout recipe
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine kosher or sea salt
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Ingredients for the bittersweet ganache topping:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (up to 62% cocoa), finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. raspberry sauce (optional- if you want some raspberry flavor in your ganache- omit if you want this layer to be just chocolate)

Ingredients for white chocolate drizzle:

  • 2 oz. high quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. raspberry sauce
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries for garnish
  • ½ oz. white chocolate, shaved or very finely chopped for garnish

Directions:

  • After preparing the tart crust and the raspberry sauce, prepare the cheesecake filling as follows
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, positioning the rack in the middle or lower-middle position
  • Place 2 oz. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (will be referred to as BC from here on out) in a small ramekin and melt in the microwave on 50% heat, stirring every 30 seconds until melted
  • Using a pastry brush, brush the chocolate over the bottom of the inside of the tart shell as a glaze (if you brush too far up the sides you risk crumbling the delicate edges so stick to the bottom as it is what needs sealing since you pricked it while baking)
  • Set aside to cool, allowing the chocolate to firm up. Refrigerate to speed this up if desired
  • Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend until smooth
  • Beat in the sugar and pinch of salt, scraping down the sides halfway through
  • Beat in the heavy cream then scrape down the bowl
  • Beat in the vanilla then scrape down the bowl
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each

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  • Pour the cheesecake filling evenly into the prepared crust
  • Drizzle ½ cup raspberry sauce (cooled) over the cheesecake filling

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  • Using the back of a knife or a small spatula, gently swirl the raspberry into the cheesecake, being careful not to hit the bottom or sides

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  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is done (lightly puffed, may have a bit of jiggle in the middle still). You may cover the edges of the crust with foil or a pie crust “shield” part way through cooking if it seems to be getting too dry or dark, just take care not to cover the actual cheesecake too much (or it will stick as it cooks)
Mine stuck to my pie shield a bit so I will be more careful of that next time but no big deal.

Mine stuck to my pie shield a bit so I will be more careful of that next time but no big deal.

  • Cool on a rack to room temperature
  • While the cheesecake is cooling, prepare the ganache as follows
  • Place the bittersweet chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl
  • Bring the heavy cream to a low boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching and then pour it over the chocolate, stirring to melt until smooth. Whisk to remove lumps if necessary, but avoid working too much air into it

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  • Stir 2 tbsp. raspberry sauce into the ganache, if desired
  • Allow to cool for about 10 minutes
  • Pour ganache evenly over the cheesecake layer, spreading all the way to the edges

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  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before decorating. Prepare white chocolate raspberry drizzle in the meantime as follows
  • Place the finely chopped white chocolate in a small ramekin with 2 tsp. heavy cream and microwave at 50% heat, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth
  • Add in the raspberry sauce, stirring to combine thoroughly. Add more or less raspberry sauce to this, to taste and to desired color although as you up the amount of raspberry the sauce will become thinner
  • Refrigerate until cooled but still fluid
  • Place drizzle in a piping bag with a small circle tip or in a ziplock bag with a tiny snip cut out of one corner (snip the corner just before you’re ready to decorate to avoid spills)
  • Place cleaned and dried raspberries decoratively over the surface of your ganache layer. Be sure there is no water in the raspberries as this will mar the surface of the ganache

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  • Drizzle the white chocolate raspberry garnish over the tart
  • Sprinkle with shaved white chocolate

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  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours before removing from tart pan and serving
  • Serve with additional raspberry sauce, heated or cooled, if desired

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4 responses to “Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Tart

    • Yay! Please post a pic for me when you do! 🙂 I’m getting rave reviews from the friends I’ve shared this with so far, I’m sure you’ll love it too!!!

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