Melt into this rich take on the classic pairing of chocolate and cherry from from composer, baker and finalist in the Platinum Pudding Competition 2022, Kathryn MacLennan. The natural cherry taste notes in Firetree's Create with Firetree Vanuatu, Malekula Island 72% Cocoa chocolate plus the cherry compote layer makes this a must for cherry fans.
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
200g Plain flour
30g cocoa powder
75g Icing Sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla paste
3 tbsp whole milk
Cherry and vanilla compote
350g pitted cherries
40g caster sugar
5tsp kirsh (or cherry juice)
2 tsp vanilla paste
330g double cream
65g whole milk
330g Firetree Vanuatu, Malekula Island 72% Cocoa chocolate
60g unsalted butter
To make the chocolate shortcrust pastry:
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until the butter is broken down. Then, add the eggs yolk, vanilla paste and milk and mix until it comes together. Cover the dough, and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Once chilled, roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line a 9” tart tin, leaving an overhang of pastry. Place the tin in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 180C Fan, and blind bake for 15 minute with baking beans. Then, remove the beans and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Once cooked, let the pastry cool to room temperature.
- When the pastry has cooled, use a vegetable peeler to shave the pastry overhang so it is level with the tin.
To make the cherry and vanilla compote:
- Place the whole pitted cherries, caster sugar, kirsch and vanilla paste into a saucepan. Place over a low heat and let them cook down for 15 minutes. Once they are cooked down (you want them to be nice and syrupy), set them aside to cool.
To make the chocolate ganache:
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl.
- Combine the cream and the milk into a saucepan. Heat over a low heat until
it starts to simmer.
- Pour the hot cream over the dark chocolate and leave for a minute. Then,
mix with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Make sure you do not
incorporate any air during this step.
- Add the butter, and mix until it is fully combined.
- Strain the syrup for off the cherries (see 'Top Tip') and place the cherries on the bottom of the tart case.
- Pour over the hot ganache mixture, and place into the fridge for a minimum 2 hours until the filling has set.
- When you serve, leave the tart out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before plating up. Decorate the tart with some fresh cherries.
TOP TIP: The syrup is great in Prosecco.
Find more creations by Kathryn MacClennan on her Instagram account.