Tomorrow on Good Food, Laura Avery talks to Roxana Jullapat, Co-Owner and Pastry Chef of Cooks County, about how she’s using first of the season cherries from Murray Family Farms. Roxana is updating the Black Forest Cake by turning it into a Chocolate Cherry Tart with a chocolate short bread crust, cherry compote and a soufflé like chocolate filling. She says the restaurant will also be using the cherry compote on breakfast dishes, over a pork chop and in a chocolate cherry chunk ice cream. Yum.
Keep reading for her Chocolate Cherry Tart Recipe…
Chocolate Cherry Tart
From Roxana Jullapat, Cooks County
Over the years we’ve come to terms with the fact that anything involving cherries will entail the labor-intensive task of individually stemming and pitting every cherry and, in fact, we’ve learned to enjoy the Zen-like motions of doing it. But if you’re new to the world of fresh cherries, we recommend that you set aside 60 to 90 minutes to preparing the fruit.
There are 3 parts to this tart: a sandy chocolate shortbread crust, a cherry compote and a soufflé-like chocolate filling. When planning to make this tart, try to get the cherry compote done a bit ahead of time –the good news is that once it’s made it will keep in the refrigerator for a good while.
Yields: one nine-inch tart
For the cherry compote:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
6 cups cherries, stemmed and pitted
¼ cup red wine
2 tablespoons corn starch
For the chocolate shortbread crust:
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
For the filling:
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon cherry liquor such as kirsch
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 extra large egg
2 extra large yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Start with the compote. Put the sugar in a medium heavy bottom pot with the vanilla bean and one cup of water. Cook over medium to high heat for about 3 minutes or until the sugar cooks into a thick syrup. Drop the cherries and red wine into the pot and cook for 10 minutes on medium to high heat while stirring occasionally. The amount of juice that the cherries release while on the stove depends on the varietal, but you know the cherries are ready when they have softened and yielded about a quart of liquid. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of water and add to the pot at once while the cherries are still cooking. Stir vigorously until the mixture has thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass container to cool. Reserve.
Make the chocolate shortbread crust next. In the stand up mixer, set up with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar shortly, about 2 minutes. Add the baking soda, salt, almond extract and cocoa powder and mix until the ingredients resemble a homogeneous mass. Add the flour and paddle until thoroughly mix. Turn the dough onto a table and knead into a flattened disc. Lightly coat a tart pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Set a layer of plastic film on the table, place the disc of dough on top and, with a rolling pin, stretch into a circle about 10 inches in diameter and ¼ to 1/3-inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough circle into the tart pan, pressing the dough up the sides of the pan and removing any excess dough with the aid of a pairing knife. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 24 minutes until the crust resembles a baked cookie. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the filling. Do leave the oven on.
To make the filling put ½ cup of the cherry compote in a mixing bowl and combine with the almond extract and cherry liquor. Set aside. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove the bowl from the heat when the chocolate is melted. In the stand up mixer, set with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg and yolks with the sugar at high speed until they look pale yellow and the whisk leaves a trace as it beats the mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate using a rubber spatula with gentle yet assertive strokes. Scatter the seasoned cherries over the crust, and spread the egg and chocolate mixture on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the tart looks puffy and has a matte finish. Let cool completely and remove from the mold. This delicious tart can be served at room temperature or reheated with an additional spoonful of cherry compote. It can be made a day in advance but it will probably begin to lose it’s luster after that.