I love chocolate, not sure I’m a chocoholic but I sure do love it. So the #chocolatelove bloghop came along I was pretty happy. I first came up with this recipe a couple months ago and fell in love with it from the first bite. Crisp shortcrust pastry, sweet cherry compote and rich chocolate ganache. I’m not usually a fan of dark chocolate but paired with something sweet I think it works beautifully.
Chocolate & Cherry Tart
for the cherry compote
- 250g stoned cherries (about 300g fresh), quartered
- 100g jam sugar
- squeeze of lemon juice
for the pastry
- 150g plain flour, sifted
- 75g butter, chilled and cubed
- 30g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 medium egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp cold water
for the chocolate ganache
- 150g good-quality dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa solids, I use Green & Blacks)
- 40g unsalted butter, cubed
- 150ml double cream
- 150g light brown soft sugar
Make the cherry compote: place the cherries in a saucepan with 75ml water and cook over a medium heat bubbling for about 10 minutes until the fruit starts to soften then stir in the sugar and lemon juice and bring back to the boil. Cook over a medium heat for another 10-15 minutes until the fruit becomes almost pulpy and the sauce is smooth and syrupy. To test if the compote is ready, spoon a little sauce onto a saucer, leave to cool for 30 seconds and push it with your finger. If it wrinkles then it’s ready. Leave to cool before using.
Make the pastry: in a medium-sized bowl, rub the butter into the flour to form fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar. Use a palette knife to cut in the beaten egg then press together to form a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes, to relax and firm up.
Bake the pastry: grease a 23cm round loose-bottomed flan tin (about 3cm deep) then roll the pastry between a sheet of non-stick baking paper and the cling film to 3mm thick. Remove the paper (and retain) then lower the pastry into the tin, cling film facing up, and press into the grooves. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 190°C (180°C fan)/375°F/gas mark 5.
Remove the cling film and trim the edges of the pastry in line with the sides of the tin. Prick the base with a fork, line with the retained paper (this is easiest to do after scrunching up the paper and flattening it back out a few times) then fill with baking beans. Place the tin on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes before removing the beans and paper then bake for a further 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Leave the pastry case in the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely before spreading the cherry compote evenly over the base.
Make the ganache: finely chop the chocolate and place in a large heatproof bowl. Part melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water so some of it is melted but some whole pieces still remain. Remove from the heat and add the butter to the bowl. Heat the cream and sugar in a pan over a medium heat, stirring, and bring to the boil. Allow to cool for thirty seconds before pouring over the chocolate and butter, stir with a whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Working quickly (the ganache will quickly start to set and thicken), pour the ganache over the compote and swirl the tin to level the surface, then leave to one side to cool.
Once cool, place the tart in the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours until set. Use a hot, sharp knife to cut the tart into slices to serve, making sure to cut well through the cherries. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. If kept in the fridge overnight, leave the tart at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving so the ganache isn’t too firm.