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Yesterday at work we had our first ever bake-off. Even though I’m far from being a pro baker, I had to try and bake something, and maybe even win the big prize.

If and when I do actually bake, it’s usually some sort of crumble or puff pastry tart, things that taste great fresh out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream. That sort of thing would be a little tricky to bring in to work though, and impossible to prep consider all we have is a tiny toaster oven in the kitchenette.

So, if I couldn’t fall back on a hot out of the oven crumble, I had to think different. I first came up with cherry and walnut brownies, but cherries are out of season and using dried or canned cherries just wouldn’t be the same.

That’s when I decided to go with a slightly more challenging dessert… a fresh raspberry and almond tart! The result is the dessert you see in the photo. It took me just over two hours to make, considering I built everything from scratch, including the almond tart dough, which my husband helped me out with.

With all the manual labor involved, I forgot to upsize the ingredients to fit my pan, which is bigger than the one mentioned in the recipe. That meant the crust was a bit thinner than intended and the batter didn’t completely cover the berries. Despite all that, the tart turned out seriously tasty – not too sweet and packing a solid punch of intense raspberry flavour.

The recipe is by my go-too chef, Ross Dobson. It’s in his “Casual Entertaining” book (available on Amazon, of course), and considering how well the tart turned out, I can’t wait to try more recipes in there.

I took a photo of my first ever-raspberry tart just before leaving the house on a vintage looking cake pedestal, which was a bridal shower gift from my sister. I paired it with hand painted gold-flake Avilla dessert plates which I picked up at Crate & Barrel just before Christmas. The plates were a bit expensive, especially considering how much gold is right now, so I bought them on the condition that they would be my forever really, really, nice plates. Not everyday plates but the one’s which come out when the whole family comes over. Also, they’re not ultra holiday themed or anything so they can be used at any time of the year.

As for the bakeoff, there were some really scrumptious entries, fruit cheesecake in a jar, zucchini chocolate cake, blueberry pie, and peanut maple cookies. No word just yet on who won the bakeoff, but votes have been cast and I’ll definitely post about the winner as soon as I know!

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