Perfect to serve from Thanksgiving to Valentine's day — an easy to make chocolate mascarpone cream tart topped with tangy cranberry compote is a beautiful and festive dessert.
Make ahead game plan:
Make the cranberry topping and tart shell a day or two ahead.
Fill the tart with the mascarpone mixture and chill for 2 or more hours, then just top with the compote when ready to serve.
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup sugar
30 chocolate wafer cookies (this brandrecommended)
6 tablespoons melted butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
To make the topping: Sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup water in a medium bowl and let it soften for 10 minutes. Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the sugar and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to a simmer and cook an additional 5 minutes or so — you want to soften the cranberries but keep their plump shape.
Drain the cranberries over the bowl in a mesh colander. Stir the juice with the gelatin to combine, then add the cranberries and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture thickens, about 6 hours.
To make the tart: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse the cookies, sugar and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is moistened and holds together when you pinch it. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake the crust 10 -12 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
For the filling: Blend the mascarpone, sugar, and cocoa together until smooth, by hand or using the paddle attachment of a heavy duty mixer. Spread the filling over the cooled crust and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
To serve, spoon the cranberry mixture over the chilled filling and enjoy.