valentines day, or "heart day," as my kids affectionately called it, is synonymous with chocolate dipped strawberries. it also happens to be one of my favorite pairings. how can you go wrong dipping tart strawberries into smooth rich chocolate? answer is- you absolutely cannot. looking to put my own spin on this classic "heart day" dessert, my mind instantly went to this rose water strawberry black cocoa tart!
this decadent tart can best be described as
- similar to a grown up version of an Oreo cookie
- familiar with a fresh flavor twist
let's talk about ingredients
this rose water strawberry black cocoa tart needs just a handful of ingredients. but, some are more specialty so here's what you need to buy:
- rose water
- black cocoa powder
- almond flour
- unsalted butter
- espresso powder
- semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
- heavy whipping cream
- vanilla bean paste or extract
from these ingredients you will make: a black cocoa tart crust, chocolate ganache and rose water strawberries
layers and layers of flavor
a little more about each delicious layer of this tart
- black cocoa almond flour crust- black cocoa powder is dark, rich and slightly bitter. it brings a depth of flavor you just can't get from regular dutch process. when combined with butter, a bit of sugar and almond flour, it reminds me of an oreo cookie! so yeah, the crust is basically like a giant oreo cookie.
- bittersweet ganache- i really wanted the filling to balance out the dark, not overly sweet crust. anything from 55-70% would be delicious. when combined with the heavy cream and egg, the ganache becomes this lush, thick and utterly deliciously creamy filling.
- rose water strawberries- much like the rest of the tart, this little twist takes the flavor right over the top
- rosewater has a pretty strong and distinct flavor (much like the black cocoa), so a little goes a long way and pairing is essential.
- when paired with a bit of sugar and strawberries, the rose water acts to heighten and intensify the flavor of the strawberries, while bringing a nice floral note to the background.
- the rose water is completely optional, but if you can get your hands on some, i highly recommend it with this dessert.
a few tips for the best tart
ingredient substitutes and tips for the recipe:
- black cocoa: if you aren't able to get some or aren't sure of the taste:
- use an unsweetened dutch process or even regular, high quality cocoa powder.
- i would opt for a dark chocolate, around 70% or higher cocoa to help balance out the overall flavors of the tart
- chocolate ganache: for this i used a 70% cocoa chocolate bar
- this is the base of your ganache and a very prominent flavor in the overall tart
- whatever chocolate you go with, get the best quality you can afford
- i like to use guittard or ghirardelli as they're found in pretty much any grocery store
- espresso powder: this is completely optional, but it does bring out the chocolate in chocolate. meaning, for an even richer chocolate taste, this is definitely something you should add. i really like this brand
tips + tools:
- chill time: the crust needs time in the freezer, about 20-30 minutes
- this really helps with the overall structure of the crust
- without freezing, you risk the sides of the crust sliding down while baking
- spring form pan: i like using this type of pan when i want to show off a higher edge crust (similar to a cheesecake). plus, the removable bottom makes it much easier to slide onto a serving plate/cake stand.
- you can also use a 10" tart pan, or even a cake pan if you don't plan on taking it out of the pan
- another option would be to make this in bar from
- to do this, use an 8X8 or 9X9 pan and press the crust onto the bottom only
- lining the pan with parchment paper: this could be a personal preference, but i find it to be a second layer of insurance
- if you're using a non stick pan, everything *should* come out without issue, but parchment lining ensures this
- keep finished, cooled to room temperature tart in the fridge until ready to serve
- if making ahead by more than a day (but within 2-3 days), press plastic wrap along the filling and gently around the visible edges of the crust while still in the pan.
- then wrap the whole pan in plastic wrap and store in the freezer
- about 4 hours before you plan to serve, move the tart to the fridge
- don't add the strawberries until right before serving.
- the syrup from the strawberries can be added as a glaze or drizzled onto each individual piece
- for the cleanest cut, wipe between slices
baking with herbs, spices and flowers
- lavender triple chocolate brownies
- herbs de Provence scones
- sumac strawberry cake
- orange blossom cranberry Bundt Cake
rose water strawberry black cocoa tart
- 9" springform pan with removeable bottom
- parchment paper
- pie weights, dried rice or beans
- sauce pan
- mesh strainer
chocolate almond crust
- 2 c almond flour (225g)
- 1/4 c black cooca powder (20g)
- 1/3 c sugar (74g)
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter, browned and cooled slightly (113g)
- 2 tsp espresso powder, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz. assorted chocolate, chopped (170g)
- 6 oz. heavy cream
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (sub vanilla extract)
- 1/4 tsp salt
rose water strawberries
- 1 lb strawberries, leaves removed, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 - 1 tsp rose water, optional
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 350 F, line bottom and sides of a springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease pan with butter. I use a pastry brush dipped in some of the melted butter. To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom pot. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl, skim foam from the top and cool for 5 minutes. Whisk together the almond flour, black cocoa, almond flour, sugar, and salt. Pour slightly cooled butter into the the chocolate flour mixture. Press into prepared pan, starting 1" along the sides and working your way to the bottom. Line the crust with a piece of parchment paper, cut 2" longer than the diameter of the tart pan. Press parchment gently onto the bottom. Line with pie weights, rice or dried beans. Chill in freezer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from freezer and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, remove parchment paper and pie weights and rest on cooling rack until the ganache is ready.
- While the crust is baking, prepare the ganache. Finely chop chocolate into a large bowl where most pieces are in a single/shallow layer. Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan over low-medium heat until barely scalding, but not boiling. Pour over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 4-5 minutes. Do not disturb the chocolate during this time! Using a whisk, stir the chocolate/cream unitl well combined and silky. Add egg, vanilla and salt, stirring everything together until smooth and well combined. Pour into par-baked crust and bake at 350 F for additional 15 minutes, or until the ganache has set. Allow to fully cool to room temperature before topping. Once cooled, it can be chilled in the fridge for several hourse or topped and served.
- To prepare the rose water strawberries, place sliced strawberries, rose water and sugar into a bowl. Stir well to combine. Allow berries to macerate, (break down) over at least 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes. Strain berries through a mesh strainer, catchinfg the juices into a bowl or small sauce pan. This is to make the glaze.
- To make the strawberry/rose water glaze, add strained juices and 1 tablspoon water to small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the liquid begins to thicken and the sugar has fully dissolved, about 5-8 minutes. Cool to room temperature and pour or brush onto the strawberries right before serving.