black sesame & raspberry tarts

black sesame & raspberry tarts

These tarts have a pairing of two strong flavours that manage to hold up against each other: tart raspberry and toasted black sesame. They have a chocolate tart shell filled with caramelized white chocolate and black sesame mousse, topped with raspberry jam, raspberries and a black sesame brandy snap. I don’t know that I’d call it the most harmonious flavour combination, but I think it works nonetheless in it’s own bickering way.

black sesame & raspberry tarts
black sesame & raspberry tarts
black sesame & raspberry tarts
black sesame & raspberry tarts

My favourite part of this tart is the black sesame brandy snap – a crisp wafer that tastes of caramel, butter, and well-toasted black sesame (like a thinner and lacier sesame snap). I’ve made them before, such as in this black sesame ice cream sundae, but in this case I’ve made them larger and baked them in rings so that they come out perfectly circular and the same size as the tarts.

This was inspired by fancy tarts I’ve seen with discs of tempered chocolate perched overtop piped ganache. As I don’t know how to work with chocolate, I thought a lacy brandysnap would be an easy substitute instead. (The recipe makes plenty of extra to nibble on!)

black sesame & raspberry tarts
black sesame & raspberry tarts
black sesame & raspberry tarts

black sesame and raspberry tarts

Mousse a vague sort of average of chocolate and non-chocolate mousse recipes and an amount of gelatin based on guesswork and a bit of trial-and-error. Jam based on the pectin package instructions. Brandy snaps adapted from BBC Good Food.

special equipment: four 4″/10cm tart rings (I use some conveniently-sized cookie cutters)

cocoa tart shell

  • 175g all-purpose flour
  • 18g icing sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 113g (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg, cold

black sesame and caramelized white chocolate mousse

  • 40g whole milk
  • 45g roasted black sesame paste
  • 45g heavy cream
  • 45g white chocolate (or caramelized white chocolate)
  • good pinch salt
  • 1 tsp powdered gelatin bloomed in 1 tbsp water
  • 145 whipped cream

raspberry jam

  • 135g raspberries
  • 15g granulated sugar
  • 6g pectin

black sesame brandy snaps

  • 36g butter
  • 36g brown sugar
  • 36g corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp brandy or rum (optional)
  • 36g flour
  • good pinch salt
  • 18g lightly toasted black sesame seeds


  • about 60 raspberries

black sesame tart shell

Place the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter chunks and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add the egg and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Divide the dough in half and roll out each between parchment to about 3mm thick. Chill completely.

For more details and photographs of lining tart rings (including an alternate tidier, but a bit trickier, method), look at this page. Have four 4″ tart rings and a baking tray lined with a sheet of parchment ready.

Use the tart rings to cut a base for the tarts from one half of the rolled dough. Then trim the remaining piece of dough into a rectangle and slice into long strips – they should be longer than the circumference of the rings and a bit wider than the height of the tart rings. Take a strip and use it to line the sides of a tart ring, cutting the excess length and pressing the two edges together to seal (have a bit of overlap to help seal). Press along the seam between the bottom and side to seal.

Cover and chill the tart shells completely. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prick the bases of the tart shells all over with a fork. Bake the tart shells until crisp, around 25 minutes.

black sesame and caramelized white chocolate mousse

Heat the milk until steaming, the whisk into the black sesame paste. Separately, heat the cream until it boils, then pour over the white chocolate. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Combine the two mixtures along with a pinch of salt.

Melt the bloomed gelatin (5-10 seconds by microwave), and whisk into the black sesame paste/white chocolate mixture. If the mixture is hot, let it cool a bit more, but not enough such that it sets. Then whisk a dollop of the whipped cream into the mixture to lighten and then fold in the remainder.

Distribute the mousse amongst the four prebaked tart shells until nearly the top and shake back and forth to level the mousse. You may have a few spoonfuls leftover.

raspberry jam

Place the raspberries and granulated sugar together in a small saucepan and crush with a fork. Cook until the mixture comes to a simmer and the raspberries have broken down. Stir in the pectin and bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the pectin. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the seeds. Chill until ready to use.

black sesame brandy snaps

This will make enough for about 9-10 brandy snaps, though we’ll only need four. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a tray with parchment paper and place the same 4-inch tart rings you used to bake the tart shells on the tray.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Once melted, combine with the brandy/rum, flour, salt and black sesame.

Dollop 2 tsp of batter in the centre of each ring. Bake for around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown – the batter will bubble and should spread until it fills the ring. Let cool on the tray before moving, and then repeat with the remaining batter until it is all used up.

Once completely cooled, keep the brandy snaps in an airtight container until use.


Assemble just before serving to keep the brandy snaps crisp. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on top of the mousse. Arrange raspberries on top, approximately 15 on each tart, beginning with a ring around the edge. Place a brandy snap on top (I prefer the bottom side of the brandy snap to be up). These tarts can be made about a day ahead of time, but do not put the brandy snap on top until you’re ready to serve – otherwise it will eventually soften from the moisture in the tart.

Recipe and photos updated Jun 2022.

caramelized white chocolate rhubarb cake


Taxidermist was a consistent figure in the top three results of career aptitude tests I took in junior high school – a curious alignment between the survey’s repertoire and my answers.

Given that these surveys are renowned for their insight and accuracy and that I have decided that I am qualified to decide on the next twenty years of your life, I have magnanimously bestowed this revealing questionnaire upon any lost soul who had the misfortune of stumbling upon this blog. I hope it will take up its rightful place as the deciding factor guiding futures. Of course, twenty years is a long time so this survey will also provided an actionable recipe that you can make for tonight.

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vanilla rooibos cookies with cashews & caramelized white chocolate

SAM_0793SAM_0754I am currently recovering from the deluge of silence that has fallen upon the household. The bathroom – once a bustling hub of activity – is now desolate: the ants that have made it their home have gone.

Obviously they never cared to venture further than the washroom – the kitchen was just far too passé for these ants.

I suppose this is what it is like to become an empty nester — and it is delightful!

Continue reading “vanilla rooibos cookies with cashews & caramelized white chocolate”