A Chocolate Cherry Tart with a Chocolate Pastry Cream Filling
Chocolate and red fruits, such as cherries, make a great combination especially if the chocolate has an acidic flavor profile. I like this made with the Askinosie 70% Honduras. This recipe, as well as the Mascarpone Cheesecakes, is from Pastry by European chef Richard Bertinet.
Pastry, by Richard Bertinet, Chronicle Books 2013, photographs by: Richard Bertinet
This is a beautiful tart to make when fresh cherries are in season. I like it best when it is still a little warm and the chocolate is quite soft and gooey, like a good chocolate brownie. But if you like a firmer texture, you can leave it to cool completely. Either way, it’s gorgeous with whipped cream. I think it is fun to leave the stems on the cherries so that they pop out of the tart.
If you want to make this tart out of season, you can still do it using cherries preserved in alcohol or syrup. Failing that, you could use frozen or canned cherries, and in both cases soak them in kirsch before use. However, you will need more preserved cherries than if using fresh because they are less plump and will disappear more into the chocolate filling.
I like to make the tart rectangular and cut it into squares to serve, but you can make it circular or any shape you wish.
- 1 recipe Bertinet Sweet Pastry (chocolate variation)
- 12 fresh cherries with stems,
- 24 cherries preserved in alcohol or syrup, or 24 defrosted frozen cherries
- 6½ tablespoons kirsch, if using canned or frozen cherries
- 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt, for sealing the pastry
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 11¼ ounces good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
- 11/2cups butter
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
- Rest the pastry in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, preferably several, or, better still, overnight.
- If using canned or defrosted cherries, drain them and put them into a bowl with the kirsch. Leave to soak overnight.
- Lightly grease a removable-bottomed tart pan, 14 by 41/2inches and ¾ inch deep.
- Dust your work surface with flour, roll out the pastry 3/16 inch thick, and line the pan. Line with parchment paper and ceramic baking weights. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chocolate filling: In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks until the mixture is pale and has a creamy, mousse-like consistency.
- Break the chocolate into chunks and put into a heatproof bowl. Place this over a saucepan of simmering water—you need enough water to come close to the bottom of the bowl but not actually touch it. Turn the heat very low so that you don’t get steam into the bowl, as this can make the chocolate stiffen and look dull. Let the chocolate melt slowly, stirring all the time, then add the butter and keep stirring until it has melted. Take off the heat and add to the sugar and egg mixture, again stirring well until it is all incorporated. Gently fold in the flour and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator, place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Lift out the parchment and baking weights, brush the pastry with the beaten egg, then bake for another 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Lower the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the filling over the cooled pastry up to the top, then push the cherries into it, leaving some of the fruit showing (if using fresh cherries, leave the stems sticking out). Put back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for 12 minutes, until just set. The filling will have risen a little, but, like a chocolate brownie, it should be only just firm to the touch, as it will set a bit more when it cools. Leave in the pan for about 15 minutes, then lift out and cool on a rack.
- The tart can be served either warm and gooey, or completely cooled, when the chocolate will be a bit firmer. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.
- Use sliced ripe (or canned) pears instead of cherries.
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