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Ricotta, chocolate and cherry tart

This decadent dessert has all your bases covered: buttery pastry, liqueur-spiked ricotta, crowning cherries and a layer of chocolate to boot. If you’re making the tart to-go, assemble at your destination so the pastry stays nice and crisp.

SERVES: 8-10
PREPARATION:
25MIN
COOKING:
25MIN
SKILL LEVEL:
MID

Ingredients

  • 150 g dark chocolate chips
  • 400 g full-fat ricotta, well drained (homemade ricotta recipe here)
  • 200 ml thickened cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or the seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp orange-scented liqueur
  • 30cherries, approximately, to garnish
  • Almond short pastry
  • 100 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 70 g almond meal
  • ½ cup(80 g) icing sugar, plus extra for dusting (optional)
  • 1egg
  • 1⅓ cups(200 g) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

 

Instructions

  • Chilling time 30 minutes
  • Cooling time 1 hour
  1. To make the pastry, place the butter, almond meal, icing sugar and egg in a food processor and process until combined. Add the flour and pulse four or five times until the dough resembles fine, wet sand.
  2. Take the dough out of the bowl. Gently press it together with your hands and shape into a ball, taking care not to overwork it or the pastry will be tough. Cover with plastic film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan-forced). Grease and flour a 24 cm springform tin. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it with a floured rolling pin between sheets of plastic film or baking paper to a thickness of 3 mm. Gently lift the pastry into the prepared tin to line the base and sides. Don’t worry if it tears – just pat it back in place with your fingers. Try to work quickly so the dough doesn’t warm up and soften too much.
  4. Cut out a disc of baking paper and place it on top of the pastry. Cover it with baking beans or rice and blind-bake for 8–10 minutes or until pale golden. Remove the baking paper and beads or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for another 10–15 minutes or until golden. Cool the tart shell in the tin for 1 hour, then gently take it out. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Remove from the heat. Using oven mitts, take the bowl of chocolate to your work bench and brush the pastry shell with enough molten chocolate to coat it. Allow the chocolate layer to cool, then store the tart shell in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  6. Beat the ricotta with the cream and icing sugar until smooth, then add the vanilla, orange zest and liqueur and mix well.
  7. To assemble, simply spoon the filling into the pastry case, grate a little extra orange zest over the top, then scatter with cherries and enjoy.

Cook’s notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.