Sunday, March 8, 2009

An edible work of art

Our friends Carrie and Steve graciously invited us for dinner last night. And like usual, Carrie worked her tail-end off creating a lovely dinner party for 8, and impressing us all with her mouth-watering food and warm, inviting hospitality. 

Here was the dinner menu:
Bruschetta & Bocconcini with chili flakes and mint

Mixed baby greens with goat cheese, carmelized walnuts, strawberries and raspberry dressing

Cannelloni with Balsamella Sauce

Sauteed Baby Green Beans with red and yellow peppers and onions

Baby Yukon Potatoes

Various breads with dipping sauce

Raspberry Ganache Tart

The entire meal from start to finish was just lovely and wonderful. But, man, oh, man. That Raspberry Ganache Tarte. Wow. Talk about a mouth-watering, can't-wait-to-put-the-next-bite-in your-mouth-treat.

Raspberry Ganache Tarte

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups fresh raspberries

1/4 cup red currant jelly
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 11-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and almond extract. Stir in flour and almonds. Press dough into prepared pan. Prick with fork and bake until golden brown, 10 minutes. In a saucepan heath chocolate and cream just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Spread over crust and chill until firm.

Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Sir in vanilla and amaretto. Spoon over chocolate layer and top with raspberries.

Glaze: Stir jelly over medium heat until melted. Boil for 30 seconds. Cool glaze slightly and brush over fruit. Sprinkle with almonds and chill.

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