Chocolate, Cherry Tart
This is one of my favourite desserts. It has everything a perfect Christmas Day dessert should have. Flaky pastry, chocolate, cream and gently poached fruit. This dessert is a true show stopper.
CHOCOLATE, CHERRY TART
50 gm flaked almonds
200 gm raspberries
pure icing sugar
30 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
1egg yolk, mixed with enough water to make up to 60ml
240 gm plain flour
200 gm cold butter, cut into small, even cubes
800 gm cherries, pitted
100 ml red wine
140 gm raw caster sugar
1 piece of thinly peeled orange rind
200 gm dark chocolate (63% cocoa solids)
80 gm butter, diced
250 ml organic pouring cream
50 gm caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1. For sweet pastry, mix icing sugar and egg yolk mixture in a small bowl until smooth. Pulse flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor until blended but butter remains in lumps. Turn out onto a work surface and bring together with your hands. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg mixture. Lightly fold with your hands until dough comes together, then, with the heel of your hand, push and smear the dough away from you (this breaks down the butter but doesn’t overwork the flour). When most of the butter is incorporated, bring dough together and knead gently (do not overwork; you should get a slightly marbled effect with the flour and butter, which gives the pastry its layers and light, crumbly texture). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes). Knead pastry gently, roll out and line a 28cm tart tin and trim edges. Prick all over with a fork and freeze for 10 minutes or until you are ready to bake. Sweet pastry will keep frozen for a week.
2. Preheat oven to 175C. Blind-bake the tart shell until light golden (12-15 minutes; see cook’s notes p200), then remove paper and weights and bake until golden brown (10-15 minutes). Set aside on a wire rack to cool.
3. For poached cherries, combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and cherries are tender (15-20 minutes). Set aside to cool, then refrigerate to chill.
4. For chocolate ganache, melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add butter and stir gently until smooth and melted, pour into tart shell, spread evenly over base and refrigerate until set (30 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, toast flaked almonds in oven until golden (5-7 minutes). Set aside to cool.
6. For cream Chantilly, whip ingredients in a bowl to soft peaks, then spoon onto chilled tart, top with drained cherries (reserve liquid for another use, or serve to the side), raspberries and flaked almonds, and dust with icing sugar and serve. The tart can be made ahead up to making the cream Chantilly.