by Capsicum Culinary Studios’ Chef Hayley Sutherland

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and our go to gift for our loved ones is often than not chocolate. But have you ever stopped to ask the question why? Why is chocolate our first choice and why do retailers fill their shelves with heart-shaped candy?

Could it be because chocolate is considered to be an aphrodisiac, releasing brain soothing chemicals which increase energy and desire levels?

Chocolate comes from the cocoa tree, which is also known as ‘Theobroma cacao’, which is Greek for “food for the gods”. In Mayan and Aztec times chocolate was considered to be a highly-prized, luxury item and cacao was so precious that it was reserved to be enjoyed by the wealthy and important only. Chocolate also became an important commodity and used to trade for other items of value.

It is also believed that the Mayans had a specific cacao God named Ek Chuah and cacao seeds were used for ceremonies like marriages.

Today, chocolatiers are much sought after craftspeople, producing beautifully decorated and filled chocolates for aficionados, but nothing says I love you more than making something yourself for your true love, so here’s my recipe for homemade chocolate tartlets covered in bright red, juicy raspberries. 

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Tartlets

Ingredients:

  • 200g Dark chocolate chopped
  • 60g Unsalted butter
  • 90g Brown sugar
  • 60ml Cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 25g Cake flour
  • 250g Raspberries

Ganache:

  • 300g Dark Chocolate
  • 250ml Cream

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150°C
  2. Place the chocolate, butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Remove from stove.
  3. Place eggs and flour in a bowl and whisk until well combined
  4. Slowly mix the eggs and flour into chocolate mixture a little at a time making sure the chocolate mixture is not too hot or it will cook the eggs
  5. Pour into individual tartlet moulds
  6. Bake for 35-40 min

Ganache

  1. Place chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted.
  2. Spoon over tarts
  3. Once cooled top with fresh raspberries

Photo by Hisu lee on Unsplash

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