Black Forest Tart

I’ve recently spent some time exploring Germany’s gorgeous Black Forest and a few of its neighbouring cities. The area looks as if it’s straight from a fairy tale, with cobble-stone paths and charming baroque style towns. It’s easy to lose track of time there wandering and taking in the views.

When I wasn’t admiring castles perched on top of lush, forest-covered mountains, my eyes where firmly fixed on the generous slices of Black Forest Cake adorning café windows. Locals warned me that Black Forest cake is just for tourists. Apparently, there’s no real link between the cake the forest. However, despite their warnings, my love of black forest cake was not dejected and I continued to enjoy many slices wholeheartedly.

In ode to my love of Black Forest Cake, I decided to create a Black Forest Tart. Compared to the cake, this version is a little more on the light side. It’s comprised of a chocolate shortcrust pastry, kirsch mousse, chunky cherry compote and whipped chocolate ganache. There are a few steps involved in this Black Forest Tart recipe, but the result is definitely worth the work.

Black Forest Tart

Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time3 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Chocolate shortcrust pastry (To be prepared in advance)

  • 85 g of icing sugar
  • 25 g of almond meal
  • 130 g of butter in cubes & at room temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ a tonka bean finely grated (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 195 g of flour
  • 15 g of cacao powder

The whipped ganache (To be prepared in advance)

  • 110 g of chocolate 60%
  • 110 g of cream to heat
  • 220 g of cold whipping cream

The cherry compote

  • 300 g of frozen pitted cherries
  • 30 g of sugar
  • 2 tsp of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of water

The kirsch mousse

  • 4 gold strength gelatine leaves
  • 140 ml of milk
  • ¼ tsp of vanilla seeds
  • 175 g of white chocolate chopped into small pieces.
  • 4 tbsp. of kirsch
  • 200 g of cream 30%

Instructions

Chocolate shortcrust pastry

  • Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the tonka bean, salt, almond meal and butter. Mix until a paste-like consistency starts to form, then add the egg. Mix well. Sift in the flour and cacao powder. Mix until just incorporated (don’t worry if there are a few lumps, it’s better to under mix than overmix). Roll the dough into a ball, flatten it and wrap it with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  • Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper and line 2 medium or 1 large tart tin with the pastry. Prick thoroughly with a fork and place back in the fridge for half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove the tarts from the fridge and bake for 35minutes.
  • Tip: If the pastry starts to puff up in the oven. Gently use a spoon to flatten it back down.
  • Allow to cool completely.

The whipped ganache (To be prepared in advance)

  • Gently melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain-marie.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the 110g of cream.
  • Once the cream starts to boil, quickly remove it from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Mix until smooth and glossy. Add the 220g of cold cream. Mix well, then cover and place in the fridge overnight of for at least a couple of hours.
  • The next day, whip the cream until peaks form.
  • Transfer the ganache into a piping bag fitted with a large, smooth piping tip. Set aside in the fridge.

The cherry compote

  • Place the frozen cherries and sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat and allow to slowly cook until completely defrosted.
  • In a small bowl, combine the water and corn starch. Add to the cherries and mix well to ensure there are no lumps. Turn up the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until it has thickened. Be sure to stir occasionally. Pour the cherries into a bowl and allow to cool in the fridge.

The kirsch mousse

  • Hydrate the gelatine by placing it in a bowl of cold water.
  • Gently melt the white chocolate in the microwave or bain-marie until just starting to melt.
  • Heat the milk and vanilla in a small saucepan. Once it starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the gelatine (squeeze out the water first). Mix well, then pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the kirsch and stir again.
  • Whip the cream until thick and unctuous. Gently fold the cream into the kirsch mixture.
  • Pour into the prepared tart shells and top with the cooled cherries. Place in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
  • Once the mousse has set, pipe large domes of whipped ganache onto the tart.
  • To create the ‘crater’ effect on the domes, dip a small melon-baller in warm water, then push it into the centre of each dome.
  • Decorate with small chocolate balls and edible dried flowers.

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