Celebration: Mommy (Rich Chocolate Tart & Strawberry Shortcake ‘Parfait’)

This past Sunday, I spent a wonderfully sunny afternoon at my parents’ house to celebrate my mom and my Nana. The food was abundant and the talk of food was non-stop. My mother joked that we’ve all become sick and twisted because we took so many pictures of the food, while forgetting to photograph any people!

Dinner was a collaborative effort. My mother baked a succulent ham, her friend Sharon created a gorgeous salad, my uncle John made lemony-rosemary-thyme mushrooms and roasted potatoes. My dad handle the appetizer (shrimp cocktail) and the drinks. I made some strawberry desserts and my sister, Kathy brought an apple pie. Quite a meal!

I’m not–yet–a baker, and my desserts were experimental at best. My rich chocolate tart was made with 73% chocolate and a shortbread tart crust. The chocolate was so rich and almost tangy that the first bite bit back. After a moment, though, the taste settled and smoothed, becoming quite good. Good enough, at least, for me to take a second helping.

My strawberry shortcake parfait had too much cake–about 2 parts cake to 1 part whipped cream, which was not enough at all. The cake, which was unsweetened, tasted more like bread, and needed probably 3 parts sweetened strawberries and whipped cream to 1 part cake, so that the unsweetened bread will be soaked by the strawberries and cream. I was amazed how delicious fresh whipped whipped cream is. I guess I had never really thought about it before, but now that I’ve made some, I will never, ever buy store bought whipped cream again.

I’ll post the recipes as I made them, with notes to what I think could be improvements. Give it a shot, and if yours come out deliciously, be sure to tell me!

Rich Chocolate Tart with Strawberries & Remaining Raspberries

Oven Preheat: 350°

For the Crust

  • 1 Stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup flour

For the Filling

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 5 tbsp. sugar (I recommend using a bit less, maybe 3-4)
  • 5 1/2 oz. 73% chocolate (you can use whatever kind you want, but the sugar content of the dessert will change based on percentage)
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 3/4 pound chopped strawberries
  • the last, soldiering raspberries of my molded over container, about 6 plump ones (this of course, can be increased to your, and my, liking)

  1. Mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt, then add flour until blended. Lay over 91/2 inch tart part.
  2. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until puffy and golden.
  3. To make filling: bring half-an-half and sugar to a simmer. Add in chocolate, remove from heat, and stir until melted.
  4. When crusts are ready, remove from oven and turn off. Pour in filling and place tart back in the turned off oven for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Take out, sprinkle generously with berries and cool. (Serve this with some homemade whipped cream!)

Strawberry Shortcake ‘Parfait’

Oven Preheat: 450°

For the Cake (this is my recipe, more or less cut in half to make less cake)

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Strawberries

  • 6 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the Whipped Cream

  • 16 oz whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  1. Stir together first 3 ingredients of the cake. Cut in butter until mixture is made up of coarse crumbs.
  2. Combine egg and milk and then add to flour mixture to moisten. Pour mix into a greased 8X8 baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Toss sliced strawberries with sugar and let sit.
  4. Combine whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in bowl and use electric mixer on medium to mix until peaks form, about 5-7 minutes for thick cream.
  5. Cut cooled cake into slices and use some slices to line a serving dish, adding one layer strawberries and cream over it. Add more slices and do the same in layers until all ingredients are used. Cool in refrigerator and serve with a big spoon!
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