Roasted apricots, mascarpone cream in a chocolate and almond case

July 14, 2019

For the pastry:

  • 200 g of flour 
  • 4 tablespoons of fine sugar 
  • 110 g of cold butter, diced
  • 12-15 g of cocoa powder
  • 30 g of ground almonds
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water if needed

For the mascarpone filling:

  •  250 g of mascarpone
  • 250 ml of whipping cream
  • 50 g of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the roasted apricots:

  • 8-10 apricots
  • 15 g of cold butter plus extra for greasing
  • 1-2 table spoons of fine sugar or honey if you prefer
  • 3-4 pinches of cinnamon

To make the pastry, sift the flour onto a working space, add sugar, almonds and the butter. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture  has a sandy consistency. Add  the cocoa powder, egg and a pinch of salt. Knead the pastry until well combined. Form a bowl, cover it in cling film and leave in the fridge to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes. Grease a loose bottomed tart tin of 24 cm in diameter (3-4 cm in height) with butter.

Take the pastry from the fridge and roll it out. Place it in the tin and gently press the dough onto the bottom and inside of the baking dish. Trim the edges by rolling a rolling pin over the tart tin. Prick the bottom with a fork, line the dish with baking parchment and fill with dry beans or rice (this process will prevent the pastry from rising). Place  the baking tin in a preheated oven to 180 C and bake blind for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the baking parchment and carry on baking for the next 15-20 minutes. Take it out and leave to cool.

Now prepare the mascarpone filling.

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks (be careful not to whisk it for too long as it might split) and start gradually adding half of the sugar (25 g) along with the vanilla essence while still whipping. In a separate bowl whip the mascarpone cheese with the remaining sugar. Gently fold the whipped cream into the prepared mascarpone. The easiest way is to initially fold just a small part of the cream and then add the rest. Keep it in the fridge until needed.

Next bake the apricots.

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Grease a small baking tray with butter. Cut the apricots in half lengthways and discard the stone. Arrange the apricot halves quite close to each other (cut side up) on the prepared baking tray. Scatter small pieces of butter over the apricots, sprinkle evenly with sugar (or honey) and the cinnamon. Bake for about 20 minutes, the apricots should be soft but still hold on to their shape. Take out from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To assemble the tart.

Once you have removed the chocolate pastry case from the tin fill it with the mascarpone cream and even out the surface. Arrange the baked apricots neatly on top.

You can decorate the tart with toasted almond flakes and icing sugar.