My show-stopping recipe: Raspberry-infused chocolate ganache with exploding base, served with raspberry ravioli

The Irish Times: We Love Food – Neil Reid, key account manager,


There’s very little in this world more luxurious than chocolate. From cocoa-butter-heavy white chocolate to the bitterest of dark chocolate, there is a taste for everyone. I’m a huge fan of them all.

This recipe is a favourite of mine, and of anyone who has come to my place for a dinner party. Dessert is the best part of dinner, in my opinion, and a time to try to have some fun and make something that your guests will be talking about for a long time after. This recipe does just that. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have a huge smile on their face as the exploding base takes effect. It brings back childhood memories of running to the local shop with your pocket money to spend on all those old-fashioned sweets.

There are two parts to this recipe – the cake and the ravioli – and both can be made the day before you want to serve the dessert.

How to make raspberry ravioli

For the base
150g all-butter shortbread biscuits
30g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp white caster sugar
25g neutral popping candy (available from Tesco in the baking section)

For the chocolate ganache
175g whipping cream
Pinch of salt
100g raspberries
50g fresh custard
110g dark chocolate (minimum of 60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees/gas 4. Place the shortbread biscuits on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter and sugar. Blitz until the mixture resembles fine sand.
3. Gently stir in the popping candy. Place the mixture inside a 15cm cake ring placed on a tray lined with baking paper. Flatten, using the back of a spoon, then put to one side to set.
4. Put the cream, salt and raspberries in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for five minutes, then stir in the fresh custard.
5. Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and allow to melt completely. Remove from the heat.
6. Strain the infused cream and add it to the bowl of melted chocolate, a third at a time, making sure to incorporate the cream thoroughly after each addition. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature.
7. Once the tart base has set, use a pastry brush to spread some of the ganache on top of the base and around the edges of the cake ring, then place in the freezer for five minutes. This will ensure that the ganache will not seep through.
8. After five minutes, pour the remaining ganache into the ring and place the tart in the fridge to set for two hours, then place in the freezer at least four hours.
9. After the cake is fully frozen, sit it on a wide upturning glass or pot. Remove the metal ring by lightly warming with a blow torch. Remove by carefully sliding the ring downwards.

2g sodium alginate powder (available online)
475ml low-calcium bottled water
½ tbsp calcium gluconolactate (available online)
150g raspberries
1tbsp caster sugar

1. Using a hand blender, dissolve the sodium alginate with two cups of water in a bowl. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Puree the raspberries and sugar with the calcium gluconolactate in a blender.
3. Using a measuring spoon, delicately place small quantities of the raspberry puree into the sodium alginate bath. Set aside for three minutes.
4. Pick up the ravioli with a slotted spoon and rinse them in a water bowl.


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