I had the nastiest cold in the world a few weeks ago.
Do you want to know what I do when I get sick?
Watch appallingly dated TV shows. Murder mystery and science fiction is my hospital. Fox Mulder, Poirot and Jesscia Fletcher are my doctors. Grisly murder scenes, secret love affairs, aliens are my prescription. I self medicate with 80s hairdos, dramatic music and hazy dream flashbacks.
This bout of lurgy was overseen by the FBI's finest "Doctor" Agent Cooper. Even if you haven't watched Twin Peaks, I'm pretty sure you'll know that it's famous for pie. Cherry pie and coffee. I've heard its pretty "damn good".
I've chosen to tart (groan...) up this combo and give you sweet, crumbly chocolate pastry filled with chocolate and coffee ganache and sticky cherries.
200gr plain flour
2tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
45gr caster sugar
110 gr cold butter
Ice cold water
100gr dark chocolate
1tsp instant coffee granules
200ml double cream
1 x 425gr tin of pitted black cherries in a light syrup
2tbsp caster sugar
1, First make the pastry by sifting the flour, cocoa powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the flour until you have a shaggy kind of texture. Add in the egg and bring together with your hands. You want a soft pastry that is smooth and not sticky to the touch. Add a little splash of ice cold water it's not coming together.
2, Chill the pastry for around 5 minutes before rolling out to around 5mm and laying in a tart tin that is 15cm by 24cm. Trim off the excess pastry. You will have a little pastry left. Re-roll this pastry and cut out some fir trees.
3, Scrunch up a piece of greaseproof paper and lay across the pastry lined tin. Fill with ceramic baking beans or rice and blind bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is starting to go crisp. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the baking bean or rise. Leave the pastry shell to cool completely. I made mine in a silicone tin so I was happy to let it go cold in the tin. If you are making it in a metal tin, you might want to use a loose bottomed one and remove it from the tin to prevent it sticking. Bake the trees on a lined baking sheet for around 5-10 mins depending on size.
4, Make the ganache by melting the chocolate in a bain marie and heating the cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Dissolve the coffee granules in the cream. Gently combine the coffee cream and the chocolate and leave to cool completely.
5, To make the cherry filling, strain the cherries and measure out 200ml of strained syrup. Reduce this with the caster sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat to around 100ml. Whilst this is reducing, cut each of the cherries in half. Take 1tbsp of the reduced cherry syrup and mix it into a smooth paste with the cornflour.
6, Turn your hob down to a low setting and add in the cherries. Add in the cornflour paste and stir gently until it begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, transfer into a heatproof bowl and leave to go completely cold.
7, Once you have the three components ready, you can begin construction.
8, Beat the ganache so that it is easier to manipulate and spread on the base of the pastry shell. Place the cherries cut side down onto the ganache and spoon over the rest of the sauce to create a glossy finish. Add on the pastry trees.
9, Cool the constructed tart for an hour in the fridge before slicing.