I am squeaking in under the wire with my entry for Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa challenge this month, the deadline for which is tomorrow. August’s challenge is guest hosted by the lovely Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen who has chosen the delicious combination of chocolate and cherries as the theme.
Luckily I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. One of my newest cookbook acquisitions all the way from London is “Pastry” by Richard Bertinet, which just so happens to contain a gorgeous recipe for chocolate cherry tart – a decadent little number containing whole fresh cherries and a rich chocolate fondant. As I couldn’t find fresh cherries, I decided to substitute them with a layer of cherry jam. I also replaced the chocolate pastry in the recipe with a sweet almond pastry as I reckoned the combination of juicy cherries, gooey chocolate and nutty almonds would be rather tasty.
I recommend using a really good quality jam for these tarts. I used Bonne Maman which contained lovely chunks of whole cherry which were delicious encased in the fudgey chocolate fondant. I also loved the way the jewel like jam escaped around the sides of the tarts, hinting at the sticky jammyness beneath. They are best served whilst still slightly warm from the oven. The recipe below made 5 tarts in another of my new purchases, my Perfobake Tart Tray from Lakeland, which did an excellent job of baking the almond pastry to crumbly, crisp perfection.
Chocolate Cherry Tarts (adapted from “Pastry” by Richard Bertinet)
(Makes about 5 tarts)
For the almond pastry:
- 85g plain flour
- 30g ground almonds
- 40g butter
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white for sealing the pastry)
For the filling:
- 35g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 80g dark chocolate
- 80g butter
- 30g plain flour
- ½ jar of cherry jam
- cocoa powder for dusting
1. To make the pastry, tip all the ingredients into a food processor (except the egg) and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse again until a dough starts to form. Tip on to your work surface, bring together in a ball, flatten, wrap in clingfilm and freeze for about 10 minutes until cold but still malleable.
2. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to about 3mm thick. Cut out circles of pastry to fit your tartlet tins, line the tins with pastry then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Remove the tins from the fridge, line with baking paper and beans and blind bake for 20 minutes. Once the pastry is brown at the edges, remove the paper and beans, brush the bottom of the pastry with the reserved egg white and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the base of the pastry is brown.
4. Whilst the pastry is baking, make the chocolate fondant. Using an electric whisk, mix the sugar, whole egg and yolk until light and mousse-like in texture. Melt the chocolate gently in a microwave then add the butter, stirring until melted. Mix the chocolate into the sugar and egg mixture then fold through the flour.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spread a generous teaspoonful of cherry jam over the base of each tart and top with the fondant mixture. Bake for 12 minutes until the fondant is just set. Dust with cocoa before serving.