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Daniel Boulud's Milk Chocolate
and Cherry Tart



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Milk Chocolate and Cherry Tart

Daniel Boulud's
Cafe Boulud Cookbook:
French-American Recipes
for the Home Cook

by Daniel Boulud and Dorie Greenspan, 1999, Scribner

"When I was a kid, I was forbidden to drink alcohol but was allowed to eat
Mon Cheri, a chocolate-cherry candy that tasted boozy (I later found out it
actually had alcohol in it) and made me feel like a grown-up. This cherry-
chocolate tart, which is definitely not kid stuff – the alcohol kick is real -
was inspired by those foil-wrapped candies of childhood. It tart has three
elements: a cocoa crust, a layer of port-poached cherries and a soft, sensu-
ous milk-chocolate filling, a cross between a flan and a custard, that covers
the cherries.
Because cherries can be very mild and their texture, once baked, can be too
soft, I fortified them by poaching them in citrus-infused port. But, even forti-
fied, I wasn’t taking any chances that they might be overpowered – that’s
why I went to the ultimate team player: milk chocolate, not the usual
French pastry-chef choice. Paired with the cherries, the milk chocolate
offers a fifty-fifty taste experience – each mouthful is half chocolate,
half cherry."

Makes 6 servings

The crust:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder,
preferably Dutch-processed
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Toss the pieces of butter into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is homogenous.
Set the speed to low and, one by one, add the sugar, flour, and cocoa,
mixing until the dough is crumbly. Pour in the egg and continue to mix
on low only until the dough comes together in a ball – take care not to
overmix the dough. (Alternatively, you can make the dough in a food processor. Process the ingredients in the same order, scraping down
the sides of the work bowl as needed. However, rather than waiting
for the dough to come together in a ball in the processor, it’s better to
stop when the dough is moist and forms curds. Remove the dough
from the processor and use your hand to form it into a ball.)
2. Divide dough in half, shape each half into a disk, and wrap the disks
in plastic wrap. You’ll only need one disk to make this tart, so put
that disk of dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours and freeze
the other disk for another tart. (Wrapped airtight, the dough can be
refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.)
3. Butter the inside of an 8- by 1 1/4-inch fluted round tart pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet,
and keep it close at hand. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll
the dough into a round with a thickness of 1/8 inch. Gently lift the
dough into the pan and fit it over the bottom and up the sides of the
pan; run your pin across the top of the tart pan to cut the excess
dough level with the rim. (If the dough tears while you’re trying to
fit it into the pan, just patch it with scraps.) Chill the dough for at
least 20 minutes while you preheat the oven.
4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator, line the tart shell with
parchment paper or foil, and fill it with dried beans or rice. Bake
for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the crust is firm but not fully baked.
Transfer the baking sheet to a rack, remove the paper and beans,
and cool the crust to room temperature. (The crust can be made 8
hours ahead and kept uncovered in its pan at room temperature.)
While the crust is cooling, make the filling.

The Filling:
1/2 moist, plump vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups ruby port
1 strip orange zest (pith removed), plus
a pinch of grated orange zest
Juice of 1 orange
1/2 pound fresh cherries, halved and pitted
[can substitute frozen cherries if necessary]
4 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, preferably
imported, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Scant 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Unsweetened whipped cream for serving

1. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and, using the back of the knife, scrape the pulp out of the pod. Toss the pulp and pod into a medium
saucepan along with the port, the strip of orange zest, and the orange
juice and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low
and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Add the cherries and bring
back to the boil, then immediately pull the pan from the heat. Set aside
to cool to room temperature.
2. When the syrup is cool, strain it into a small pan. Pat the cherries dry between paper towels. Boil the syrup until it is reduced to a glaze,
then set it aside.
3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
4. Put the chocolate in a 2-quart measuring cup or a large bowl and keep
it close to the stovetop. Bring the cream and sugar to the boil in a
small saucepan, then slowly pour the hot liquid over the chocolate,
whisking gently until the mixture is smooth. (Don’t whisk vigor-
ously – you don’t want to beat air into the mixture.) One by one,
whisk in the eggs, mixing until they are incorporated and the mix-
ture is smooth and glossy. Stir in the grated orange zest.
5. Arrange the cherry halves on the bottom of the crust and pour over
the chocolate filling. (It will come nearly to the top.) Slide the baking
 sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the
center is gently set – if you tap the side of the tart pan lightly, you’ll
see that the center shimmies only slightly, if at all. Transfer the tart
to a rack to cool to room temperature.

To serve: Serve each slice of tart with a drizzle of port glaze – you can put
the glaze over the tart or on the plate - and a spoonful of whipped cream.

To drink: A fruity tawny port; it could even be served chilled

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