It is only recently that I have become confident enough to make my own pastry, rather than using premade bought pastry, and I am really looking forward to going to a pastry making class with Sarah Brigden soon to learn some more techniques, tips and tricks. For a lot of people though, the thought of making pastry from scratch is quite stressful. And I think cooking should be enjoyable, not stressful.

These tarts are a great alternative to a pastry dessert. Instead of a pastry base, they have a macaroon tart base, made from egg whites, coconut and sugar.

The end result is a beautiful macaroon tart base, which is crisp on the outside and chewy in the centre with a rich and creamy chocolate filling. The tartness of the raspberries cuts through the chocolate filling, making it fresher and lighter. I think this is a great alternative to a pastry dessert and a great dinner party dessert as it can be made ahead for stress free entertaining.

raspberry macaroon tarts

Chocolate and raspberry macaroon tarts

Serves 4 (in 11.5cm tart tins) or 6 (in 8cm tart tins)

Ingredients

Macaroon base

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar (I used caster sugar)
  • 3 cups desiccated coconut

Filling

  • ½ cup (125ml) cream
  • 125g dark chocolate – chopped or chocolate bits
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons self raising flour – sifted
  • 200g frozen raspberries (or fresh)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 120C fan forced (140C). Spray the tart tins, with removal bases, well with baking spray.
  2. To make the base, combine the egg whites, sugar and coconut. Divide between the tart tins and press firmly over the base and sides. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the macaroon base is firm and lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly before filling.
  3. To make the filling, combine the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan and place over a low heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and 2 tablespoons of caster sugar with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, until pale and creamy. Add the flour and chocolate mix and fold gently until combined.
  5. Place a few raspberries in the base of each macaroon tart base then top with the chocolate mix. Add more raspberries on top then bake in the oven at 140C fan forced (160C) for 25 minutes or until filling has just set. Cool in tins before removing gently to serve.
  6. Serve as is, or top with more raspberries and icing sugar.

From Donna Hay Off The Shelf: Cooking From the Pantry
(Harper Collins, 2001) – Raspberry macaroon tarts p155