We had friends coming over for dinner and I had been lamenting whether or not I should make a dessert. You see when I do something, especially when it comes to baking; I like to do it impressively. So I spent some time on Pinterest trying to find the perfect recipe. My husband was planning a Mexican themed menu so I wanted something fairly light and fresh that would take the edge off from the copious amount of chilies I knew he’d put in the salsa.
Scrolling through hundreds of recipes I just couldn’t decide. I had to go to a coffee meeting so I settled on ‘some kind of tart’ without much conviction or enthusiasm. Just as I was about to give up, I spotted a raspberry and mascarpone recipe for individual tartlets that looked fairly easy. Done.
As I sat in Starbucks I gazed across the market square at a gorgeous little deli with beautiful meringues in the window. I quickly texted my husband (who had been aware of the dessert drama)… ‘Shall I just buy something?’. He quickly, and unsurprisingly, replied ‘YES’.
So I popped into the deli only to think ‘well not everyone likes meringues’ and they didn’t have anything else. Over to M&S I went. There were some seriously delicious looking desserts – but £4 for two! There were four of us and spending £8 on a not-that-fresh dessert just seemed wrong. Back to the drawing board I went. Oh yes, raspberry tarts, right! I quickly gathered the ingredients I thought I needed and skedaddled out of there before I could change my mind.
I arrived home to realise that we didn’t actually have individual tartlet tins. Crap. After some digging around in the cupboards, I found a larger one that would have to do. Then I quickly realised I hadn’t bought near enough mascarpone to cover the now 9” tart. Crap. After searching the depths of the refrigerator I thought maybe I could add some Nutella; that would surely work! Everyone LOVES it right? Nutella to the rescue!
I made the filling and started plopping in spoonfuls of the Nutella until it seemed about right. At this point my pastry was in the oven when I realised I made the mistake of buying regular short crust pastry – not the sweet stuff. Crap again. Never mind, I figured I’d just carry on and that hopefully we’d be too full of tacos to care.
I put my tart in the fridge to set before adding the raspberries to the top. As I placed the berries on I thought, at least it looks pretty, if not a bit plain. I love a bit of improvising (if you haven’t guessed!) so I grabbed a brick (it is an actual brick and impossible to eat, so perfect for this purpose) of dark chocolate from the fridge and grated it over the tart then sprinkled some icing sugar on top. And I was quite pleased with the finished product! Now to see how it would taste.
Our guests arrived and we had a lovely evening of tacos and chips …and then my husband asked if we should serve dessert. Ok, if we must. I served it up and waiting for the verdict… it worked!!! Everyone was rather pleased with this dessert that really could have been a disaster. The mascarpone Nutella filling was rather mousse-like and the sharpness of the raspberries was perfect against the richness – which wasn’t too strong with the Nutella flavour at all (add an extra tablespoon if you’re a Nutellaholic). Success!
It was SUPER easy – it probably only took about 20 minutes of my time and looked stunning. I highly recommend it as a new dinner party staple for when you want something simple yet impressive and delicious!
Raspberry Mascarpone and Nutella Tart
Butter, for greasing
320g Sweet short crust pastry
3 tbsps. Nutella
¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Dark Chocolate (for grating)
Icing sugar (for dusting)
1) Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.
2) Grease a 23cm (9 inch) tin with butter. I just did the bottom, as the pastry shouldn’t stick to the edges.
3) Roll your pastry out onto a floured surface. It doesn’t need much thinning out. Then carefully place it over your tin and press in, working from the middle outwards. Press into place around the grooved edges. Trim the pastry around the outside, but leave a bit of overhang. Prick with a fork all over.
4) Blind bake the pastry (I used baking beads but beans or rice work well too!) until it’s golden – I think mine was in the oven for about 20 minutes but this can very greatly so just keep an eye on it.
5) Whilst the pastry is baking, make your filling. Mix together the mascarpone, sugar, Nutella and vanilla until thoroughly combined.
6) Allow the pastry to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack.
7) Once the pastry has completely cooled, add the filling, evening it out with a spatula. Refrigerate for a couple hours (I didn’t have a few hours so put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes!)
8) Add the raspberries to the top, working from the outside in. Grate the dark chocolate over the top. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving!