Valentine Raspberry Mascarpone Tart on Hazelnut Popping Candy base

raspberry mascarpone on a hazelnut, chocolate & popping candy base

I discussed my views on the day of love  yesterday and now we know that I don’t mind a day, if not a year dedicated to love! (The more hearts the merrier!)

I wanted to make a sweet special something, with a bit of a wow factor. The problem is that I am not a baker, not even an amateur one. The irony being, I love desserts.

But fridge tarts and the like are something I have been making since my late teens. Who hasn’t done a version of a chocolate fridge tart? I’ve been toying with the idea of using that old childhood favourite popping candy  or pop rocks as it’s also known, since last year, and came across Heston Blumenthal’s Popping Candy Chocolate Cake . But I didn’t want to make a chocolate mousse topping, as gorgeous as it looks in the numerous versions of this cake that I ogled.

popping candy

Enter, a very easy to make whipped raspberry mascarpone layer, studded with lush raspberries that are so abundant here at this time of year, sitting coyly on a hazelnut and milk chocolate popping candy base. In case you’re wondering, the addition of chocolate and hazelnut paste does not alter the pop of the candy. A very naughty surprise, that had my husband and I in giggles for every little tart we ate. Some childhood pleasures still continue to tickle I’m glad to say.

*Note: Heston’s recipe calls for 100g of popping candy. I only had about 30g. I can tell you it’s more than sufficient. I can only imagine that 100g would literally take you to the moon and back! *

Pop, there goes my heart!


Makes 1 x 12 cm ring cake or 1 small tower and 5 cupcake hearts

For the topping:

1 tub mascarpone, beaten by hand with a wooden spoon, just till it softens

3 T raspberry flavoured jelly powder (jello)

3 T boiling water

2 T cold water

100g raspberries and a handful reserved for decorating

For the base:

85g hazelnuts

40g milk chocolate, melted

2ml allspice

30g popping candy


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and roast nuts till lightly golden brown. 5 minutes was sufficient in my oven. Take care not to burn them.

Process nuts till smooth- I left a few crunchy bits.

Mix the melted chocolate, allspice and popping candy into the pureed hazelnuts.

Place ring on a plate and line with the popping candy base. I also used silone heart shaped cupcake holders, and distributed the popping candy base evenly amongst them.

Leave in fridge to harden while you make up the topping.

Dissolve jelly powder in the hot water. Add cold water and stir. Allow to cool till luke warm.

Tear up raspberries roughly and add to mascparpone, beating to mix.

Add jelly and mix well.

Spoon topping over bases and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Decorate with raspberries if desired.

crowning glory

sweetest heart

Any celebration or declaration of love would not be complete without a bit of poetry, and this one, as abused as it is, has certainly stood the test of time….An excerpt from e e cummings (I respect a man who insists on smalls for his name!), I carry your heart with me:

“here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”



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