I decided to make an alternative dessert for Christmas. Traditionally, in the UK, Christmas Pudding is served after dinner on Christmas Day. That is a very rich fruit steamed pudding(not the US type of pudding). It is served with brandy butter, or rum butter, or custard etc. But after a big dinner it is sometimes too heavy to eat. So I thought that a Bakewell tart might be a good alternative. Once I decided on that I went further to think how I could adapt that, and came up with one based on chocolate and cherries, to give the suggestion of Black Forest Gateau, but still retaining the almonds for the frangipane filling.
The recipe itself is actually quite simple, though it takes some time as the pastry has to be blind baked and cooled before the filling can be added. For mine I used a cherry pie filling to cover the pastry base(rather than jam which is more usual), and then incorporated cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips into the frangipane.
Once filled the only thing remaining is to bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, then it is ready to serve hot, though it is better to let it cool before eating. Custard, cream or ice cream would be a good addition when serving.
My tart turned out very well indeed. I made the recipe a little larger than needed for a 23cm/9 inch tart tin, so that I would be able to make a smaller one for tasting with the excess, as I wanted to deliver an uncut tart for eating later.
Once made it can be refrigerated, or even frozen until required. But mine was eaten the next day and was enjoyed by all.
- 300g(2 cups + 3 1/2 tbsp) plain flour
- 25g(3 tbsp) icing sugar
- 150g(1 stick + 2 21/2 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 2 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
- a little cold water, if necessary
- 100g(4/5 cup) plain flour
- 100g(1 cup) ground almonds
- 50g(1/2 cup) cocoa powder
- 150g(1 stick + 2 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter
- 50g(1/4 cup) dark chocolate chips
- 400g(14 oz) can of cherry pie filling
- 125g(5/8 cup) caster sugar
- 3 large eggs(XL in USA)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- In the bowl of a food processor(I used my immersion blender as it has a large bowl, this can also be done by hand) place the flour, icing sugar and better for the pastry and pulse until it formed a breadcrumb like texture.
- Add the egg yolks and process until the mixture starts to clump. If necessary add a little cold water to make this happen, Do not add too much water.
- Remove the clumped dough from the processor and form into a disc. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/375F.
- On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough out until it is about 1/4 inch thick, and large enough to fill a 23cm/9 inch tart tin(preferably one with a removable bottom). Don’t worry about cracks, they can be patched later.
- Carefully transfer the pastry into the tart tin and press down to line the base and sides, leaving any excess overhanging.
- Patch any cracks with overhanging pastry.
- Prick over the base of the pastry with a fork to help prevent rising.
- Line the base and sides of the pastry with parchment paper and fill with baking beans(or dried beans or rice).
- Blind bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the pastry looks set. Some overhang may drop off, that is fine.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and take out the baking beans and parchment paper.
- Return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut off any overhanging pastry.
- Allow the pastry to cool.
- Reduce the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
- In a large bowl place the butter and sugar and cream together until fluffy( I used a hand mixer).
- Add the eggs, a little at a time and beat until all is combined.
- Add the salt, flour cocoa powder and ground almonds together and mix to combine, then pour onto the wet mixture.
- Mix to combine, do not overmix.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly spread.
- Spoon the cherry pie filling onto the base of the pastry and spread evenly.
- Carefully spoon the batter onto the pie filling, in several large blobs, and gently spread until the entire surface is covered. Try to avoid the cherry pie filling oozing out. You could pipe the batter if you think it is easier.
- When the batter is smooth over the surface sprinkle some flaked almonds on the top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling has risen and is firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.