One of the most wonderful things to come along in my life the past few months has been this little group I call the Supper Club. I had met my friend Bec through a mutual Nashville friend and we hit it off over coffee one afternoon. Over steaming latte’s she asked me if I liked to cook at all. Little did she know…
So we talked about maybe cooking together one night and then she mentioned it to another friend or two. Long story short, at a Peet’s coffee one afternoon with a small group of girls our supper club was born. And can I just add as a fun random fact… all but one girl in our little group lived in Nashville around the same time. We didn’t know each other, but we all have mutual friends and can pretty much bet that if she share a story about an old boyfriend, someone in the group will know who he is. It’s super random seeing as we all live in San Diego now, but probably also has helped us bond a lot quicker than we might have otherwise.
This group has been such an immense blessing to me. We meet every other week to cook a meal together, but our time is so much more than cooking. We talk about the serious stuff, share stories from our weeks and pray over each other.
As with most clubs, there are a few rules when we get together. Ours are all cooking related and… to be honest…we aren’t super strict about them. The main rule: cook something new every time. Of course, I love this because trying out new recipes is one of my favorite things.
It just happened to be my friend Bec’s birthday the day we met for this particular supper club so of course we added some candles to this pretty little tart and sang to her. Isn’t she so cute and pretty?!
This almond tart might be my favorite thing I’ve made while in this group. Probably because it has chocolate in it. And whipped cream. And a shortbread cookie crust. Let me tell you — this dessert is DIVINE. Rich while still being light and fluffy; decadent but still simple. I’m already trying to come up with an excuse to make it again. And I like to tell myself that it’s healthy, too, because it has almond butter in it and almond butter is healthy…right? Whatever excuse you need… make this. Seriously. Your baby shower/birthday party/supper club/husband/belly will thank you.
For the tart shell –
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
For the filling –
1 C heavy cream
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C almond butter*
1/2 C honey*
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the ganache –
6 oz high quality dark chocolate, chopped if not in small pieces (I used Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips)
1/3 C plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C fresh raspberries for garnish (could also use strawberries or toasted, sliced almonds as a garnish)
**check your almond butter before you begin. Most organic almond butters are sugar free. If the almond butter is UNSWEETENED, use 1/2 C of honey like the directions above say. If the almond butter has sugar in it, use 1/3 C of honey instead.
To make the tart shell (the only thing you have to bake…yay!)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar and salt. Add the cubes of cold butter and quickly mix the butter into your dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutting tool until it is well incorporated. You want the butter pieces to be around the size of small peas or oat flakes. Add the beaten egg and use a fork to mix. The dough will be moist.
Press the dough into the bottom of a 10 inch round, removable bottom tart pan (you can also use a rectangular tart pan that is around 14×4.5 inches). Just push the dough with your fingers into the bottom and sides of the pan until it is pretty even. Pierce the dough a few times with a fork and place the tart in the freezer for as least an hour. This keeps the dough from shrinking when baked.
After about an hour (I left mine overnight), preheat your oven to 350 F and move your rack to the top third of the oven. Grease one side of a piece of foil with butter and press the foil into the tart shell, foil side down. You’ll leave the buttery foil there for the first part of baking to make it all buttery deliciousness. Bake the tart for 18 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10-12 minutes, or until your shell is golden brown. Remove from oven and less cool COMPLETELY before filling with all this goodness.
Make the filling:
In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream with a hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
You’ll need your stand mixer again, this time with the paddle attachment. In your bowl, beat together cream cheese, almond butter and honey until smooth and creamy, making sure that everything is well mixed, about 5 minutes. Beat in your salt and vanilla extract.
Remove bowl from mixer. Use a spatula to stir in one third of your whipped cream until it is well incorporated. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Your filling will have the divine texture of a light, fluffy mousse. Yum. Store in the fridge until ready and the tart shell is cool enough for the filling.
Make the ganache:
Place your chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate pieces) in a small bowl and set it aside.
In another bowl or glass measuring cup, heat the heavy cream in the microwave until hot and steaming, about a microwave. Don’t overheat. Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and let it sit for 30 seconds before stirring to let the chocolate melt. Mix until the chocolate is fully melter and the mixture is glossy. Add salt and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Assemble the tart:
Smooth the almond filling into the bottom of the baked (and cooled!) tart. Pour the ganache over the top and smooth to the edges. Decorate with fresh raspberries or garnish of choice. Place in the fridge to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.