I’m pretty sure I’ve already talked about my affinity for chocolate and cherry. If I haven’t, I’ll make up for that riiiiiiight….now. I love chocolate and cherry as a flavor combo. The tart we’re making today is something I created to celebrate Guittard chocolate’s 150th anniversary, highlighting the special anniversary chocolate they made for the occasion: Eureka Works 62%. I really love this chocolate, it has great dairy notes in the front – almost like a Belgian style milk chocolate – and then it finishes with balanced tart fruit and acid. That flavor profile makes it really versatile to work with and a great match with cherry. The best part is you can actually get your hands on some of this chocolate (for a limited release) and highly suggest you do, even if it’s just to snack on.
The story of the chocolate is a pretty cool one (you can see the official story here). Back in the day (150 years to be exact) an enterprising Frenchman named Etienne Guittard made his way to California to share his love of chocolate with the gold-seeking crowds of San Francisco. His first chocolate factory was named Eureka Works, and the chocolate he produced was made from a blend of cocoa beans found around the Pacific. The Eureka Works chocolate made today for the company’s anniversary is created from a similar, local blend of beans which creates a taste profile that transports you back to the first chocolate the company ever made. I love that kind of food history and connection, and that’s part of why I’ve enjoyed working with the chocolate.
Just like for last week’s wedding entremet, look through all of the recipes and especially the assembly steps before getting started with this little projects, because it’s going to give you the best timing and steps to make your tarts.
You can make this recipe as one large tart or several small ones. Either way you will need a tart ring (obviously I’d recommend purchasing more than one of the little tart rings or you’ll be old and gray by the time you get done rolling and baking them one at a time).
The cherry gelee recipe calls for an ingredient called gellan. This is hydrocolloid (water stabilizer) that creates a firm texture similar to gelatin, but with a creamy texture when eaten. If you can’t find gellan, substitute it with gelatin – I’ve given you the alternative weight in the recipe.
For the best results with your cherry components, source ripe, fresh cherries (duh)! Pit them and then freeze them. Once the defrost they will release their juice more readily and easily which will make your job that much easier. If you don’t have access to fresh cherries when you make the recipe, frozen will do!
chocolate cherry tart
chocolate sweet dough
90g butter unsalted
110g whole eggs about 2 eggs
310g pastry flour
50g cocoa powder Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
*1 egg white for brushing your baked tart shell
Bring the butter and the whole eggs to room temp. before getting started.
Combine the pastry flour, salt and cocoa powder and sift. Reserve to use later.
Combine the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and cream them.
Add the whole eggs to the butter mixture and mix until fully emulsified. The mixture should look shiny.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until just bound.
Press the soft dough into a shape that will be easy to roll later and wrap it tightly in plastic.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a min. of 1hr. up to overnight.
Roll the dough out to 1/8”/3mm and line your tart ring. Check out my recipe for a cherry tart for some pointers on how to line your ring.
Dock the bottom of the shell and bake at 350F/176C for 8-10min.
While the tart shell is baking, whisk your egg white to smooth it out.
Remove the baked shell and immediately brush it with a thin layer of the egg white, then place the shell back in the oven for 1-2min. The egg will help seal any holes in the shell from docking and keep the shell from getting soggy once you add the custard.
Reserve the baked shell at room temperature for final assembly.
58g heavy cream
150g clarified cherry juice*
1g vanilla paste
50g butter unsalted
*to clarify the cherry juice
Gently heat the cherries in a bain marie over low heat to extract the juice. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sifter.
Place an empty saucepot over high heat and allow it to heat up for 2-3min.
Combine the cherry juice and heavy cream and heat it until steaming. Reserve it to use later.
Preheat a saucepot over medium-high heat for 3-4min.
Add a thin layer of sugar to the pot. Let the sugar dissolve and add another thin layer of sugar. Once you have created some liquid caramel you can continue to add sugar a little at a time, making sure to stir the dry solids into the caramel without letting there be more solid than liquid in the pot. This will avoid lumps forming while you make the caramel. If the caramel starts to smoke, turn down the heat a little.
Cook the caramel to a medium amber and remove it from the heat.
Add the hot cherry juice mixture to the caramel in several small additions. Be careful as the caramel will bubble and steam rapidly!
Stir each addition of liquid into the caramel fully, allowing the bubbling to subside, before adding the next addition. Adding too much liquid too quickly will cause the caramel to seize. If that happens, you’ll simply have to stir the mixture until the caramel chunks dissolve.
Add the salt, vanilla paste, and butter and mix until well incorporated.
Return the mixture back to high heat and cook, whisking often, to 221F/105C.
212g heavy cream
212g whole milk
85g egg yolks about 4 eggs
230g chocolate, 62% Guittard Eureka Works
6g gelatin 160 bloom
Hydrate the gelatin in cold water for a minimum of five minutes.
Bring the heavy cream, and whole milk to a simmer in a saucepot over high heat. While the mixture is heating up, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together.
After the heavy cream comes to a simmer, add a few small additions of it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking well with each addition to warm the egg yolks.
Add the egg yolk mixture to the heavy cream and whole milk in the sauce pot and put it all back on the heat.
Cook, while whisking continuously over medium heat until the mixture thickens and reaches 180F/82C.
Remove the custard from the heat and add the gelatin, whisking well until the gelatin is melted and well incorporated.
Pour the custard over the chocolate and let stand for 2-3min.
Whisk of hand blend the mixture until it’s smooth and shiny (which signals good emulsification).
600g cherry puree
12g gellan high acyl
12g lemon juice
9g gelatin 160 bloom
*If making this recipe without gellan, increase the gelatin to 14g
Before starting the recipe, prepare a flat ½ sheet pan with a non-stick baking mat. If you don’t have one, line the the sheet pan with plastic wrap, smoothing it to the pan.
Hyrdrate the gelatin in cold water for a minimum of 5min. and reserve to use later.
Combine the sugar and gellan, mixing them thoroughly together.
Add the puree to a saucepot, and then add the sugar mixture to the puree while whisking.
Heat the puree, while whisking, to 194F/90C.
Remove the puree from the heat and add the lemon juice and gelatin, whisking well until both are full incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared ½ sheet pan, gently rotating the pan if necessary to even the mixture. The gellan begins to activate and set at room temperature so you don’t want to waste any time with this step. The cooler the mixture becomes, the more it will thicken.
Allow the gelee to set up in the cooler for 1 hour. Remove the mixture and cut rounds of gelee using round cutters. The size of the rounds will depend on the size of the tart shell – the gelee should fit just inside the shell.
Prepare the chocolate dough, then line and bake the chocolate tart shells. Cool the baked shells and reserve.
Make the cherry caramel and allow it to cool until thickened but still fluid. With a piping bag, cast the caramel into each tart shell just until it covers the bottom of the shell. Chill the tart shells until the caramel has set.
Make the Eureka custard and using a piping bag or a sauce gun, cast the custard over the cherry caramel until flush with the top of the tart shell. Place the tarts back in the refrigerator and chill until the custard is set.
Place a disk of cherry gelee onto the Eureka custard, centered in each tart shell.
To decorate, I used cocoa nibs around the edge of each tart.
On top of each tart I placed a “golden nugget” of rice krispies coated in tempered chocolate and tossed in edible gold dust.
To make the nuggets, temper 64% chocolate, add the rice krispies and gently fold the mixture until the cereal is covered.
Spread the mixture out onto a piece of parchment in small, nugget-sized clumps and let the chocolate set fully.
Place the set nuggets into a scaling container, or ziplok bag, with a small amount of edible gold dust. Shake the container to fully coat the nuggets.