I recognize this evening as a non-starter before I even order my Sauvignon Blanc. I realize before this ass of mine has warmed the bar stool. There’s no chemistry – no spice. I’m more interested in the cute, tattooed bartender (alas, a wedding ring) than the man beside me. Before my first sip of wine, my date has managed to “casually touch” my thigh and arm a half-dozen times during conversation. I don’t need to wear my body language decoder ring – I get it; you’re interested, now back off. Our tactile evening continues with me receiving a demonstration of his co-worker’s hugging techniques followed by an unsolicited and awkward one-handed back rub. He has unquestionably grabbed or stroked me at least three dozen times. Body language hint – if your date is slowly sliding away to regain her personal space, stop with the hands! Ten minutes into the conversation, he declares that he wants to “claim” me as his own and our next date should be in my neighborhood. Next date?! I’m squirming through this one – and I’m beginning to believe you’re stalker material as well. Okay…polite conversation, polite conversation; I can do this; just finish my wine and leave – fast. I’m out the door in 40-minutes flat, but he insists on walking me to my car. Please don’t try to hug, kiss, or molest me at my vehicle. Not surprisingly, I receive his text on the 10-minute drive home, “Good night, Sweetheart.” Sweetheart – already?! Disturbing.
Reaching the safety of home, I’m tempted to bee-line for the kitchen and bake up a batch of David Lebovitz’s chocolate chip cookies – culinary Xanax. This type of dating debacle deserves an edible pacifier – a dozen warm, gooey cookies or even a chocolate cake with thick chocolate frosting – devoured in one sitting. I content myself with a turkey sandwich and Netflix instead.
This recipe was especially made for my friend, Frenchy. When it comes to dating, he’s the Jerry Seinfeld to my Elaine, always good for a few dating horror stories of his own. But rather than chatting about our pitiful love lives over a “Big Salad,” we prefer coffee and dessert. This one is especially for you, Frenchy!
Frenchy’s Chocolate Raspberry Tart with Pistachio Crust
The raspberry coulis is a must to help cut the richness of this decadently sinful dessert. If you love chocolate and raspberries, this dessert is for you.
- 1 cup (about 10 cookies) shortbread crumbs, such as Lorna Doone
- 1 cup pistachios, raw
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Filling
- 1 lbs. dark chocolate
- 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
- 7 large egg yolks, beaten
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
- 12 oz. fresh raspberries Raspberry Coulis
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 12 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed
- 1 Tablespoon raspberry or orange liqueur (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine shortbread crumbs, pistachios, sugar and salt in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add melted butter and process until mixture begins to clump and resembles wet sand. Press crust along the bottom and up the sides of a 9” tart pan. Bake until crust is golden and smells like roasted pistachios, about 12 minutes. Cool.
- Chop chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in-between, until chocolate is fully melted, about 1 ½-2 minutes. Cool slightly.
- Whisk together heavy cream, beaten egg yolks, and instant espresso (if using). Add melted chocolate and whisk until fully combined.
- Fill crust with chocolate mixture and bake in a 350° F. oven until top is firm to the touch but center still jiggles slightly, 25-30 minutes. Cool 30 minutes and then refrigerate until completely cold.
- While tart is cooling, make raspberry coulis by combining sugar and water in a heat-proof liquid measuring cup. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes and stir to ensure all sugar crystals are dissolved. Combine this simple syrup with thawed raspberries in a blender. Blend until smooth. With a rubber spatula, stir and push puree through a fine-mesh strainer to catch the seeds. Add liqueur, if using. Store in the refrigerator up to a week.
- When tart is cool, heat seedless raspberry jam in a small bowl in the microwave until it is liquid. Brush top of tart with warm jam, arrange fresh raspberries on top, and brush raspberries with more jam. Serve tart with raspberry coulis.