I can think of Easter weekends here in Munich where there has been a thick blanket of snow, gale-force winds and a sullen, steel grey sky. These were the times when we were all happy to be inside, hiding away from the weather and gorging on chocolate and treats. This Easter, as luck would have it, Munich is having the most glorious run of warm, sunny days. The sky is a sparkling, deep blue, there’s just enough of a breeze to waft the smell of fresh grass from the southern farmlands over the city, and the spreading chestnut trees are bursting through with new growth.
I’d like nothing more than to spend a lazy afternoon in one of Munich’s many beautiful beer gardens, whiling away the hours with friends, food and cool, refreshing beer, however until the current situation passes you’ll find me on my kitchen balcony, making the most of the warm weather at home. I am beyond ready for this warm weather. It’s been a long winter of soups and stews and gently simmered casseroles, so the moment I start seeing berries, asparagus, artichokes and all those harbingers of sunshine, I can’t help but get inspired.
Berries are, naturally, best devoured just as they come: sweet, juicy and delicious. However, they are also great fun to cook in the kitchen. I love to use them in baking, especially in Summer Berry Chocolate Tarts where they can truly shine. Today’s recipe is perfect for this gloriously sunny Easter. Dark chocolate pastry with a hint of salt, rich, tangy sour cream filling topped with swirls of sweet summer berries. Take my word for it, they are as lusciously tasty as they are beautiful.
Look after yourselves and each other out there. I’ve been sent so many wonderful photos of these recipes that you have all been cooking and it makes my day! It’s amazing to know that even in isolation, we can still connect. The sharing of meals, recipes and traditions is incredibly special to me and I’m so glad I can share it with you. x Jay
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
Summer Berry Chocolate Tarts
Dark chocolate pastry, rich, tangy sour cream filling topped with swirls of sweet summer berries. Take my word for it, Summer Berry Chocolate Tarts are as delicious as they are beautiful.
for the pastry:
- 125 g plain flour
- 100 g unsalted butter, cold
- 75 g cocoa powder
- 75 g sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
for the swirl:
- 125 g raspberries or blackberries, frozen and defrosted is fine
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp sugar
for the filling:
- 2 sheets gelatine
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 200 g cream cheese, room temperature
- 200 g sour cream, room temperature
- 75 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- fresh berries
- fresh mint leaves
Grease 4 x 12cm diameter, fluted tart tins and set aside (note 1). Weigh the flour, butter, cocoa powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment fitted and process well combined. Add the egg and process on high until the pastry begins to clump together, it will look a bit like dark, sandy soil.
Turn the pastry out onto the benchtop and knead briefly until it forms a soft, pliable dough. Roll out between two sheets of clingfilm until it is 3mm thick - about the thickness of a heavy coin. Cut out two circles large enough to line the tart tins, and press them gently, but firmly into two of the prepared tins. Run your rolling pin over the top to the tart tins to trim the pastry, then stack up all the remaining pieces and re-roll them. Cut out another circle (two if possible) and repeat until all the tins are lined with pastry. Chill in the freezer 15-30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200°C / 400° F / Gas 6. When the pastry cases have chilled, remove from the freezer and line with a layer of baking paper followed by a layer of tin foil (see pictures). It helps to scrunch up the paper so that it fits neatly into the tins. Place on a baking tray and blind bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the paper and foil, then bake another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the raspberry puree, gently heat the berries, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Use a fork to squash the berries until they release their juices, then bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. Strain through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much puree as possible. Discard the seeds.
To make the filling soak the gelatine in a small dish of cold water for 5 minutes until softened. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until warm but not boiling (this happens quickly!) then squeeze all the liquid out of the gelatine sheets and stir into the hot milk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest until well combined. Pour in the warm milk mixture and stir well to mix through.
Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of the puree into the base of each pastry case, then divide the creamy filling between each. Spoon more puree on top of the tarts and use the handle of a teaspoon or a fork to ripple the puree through the filling. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
To serve, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, top with extra berries, mint leaves and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
I have written the recipe for the pastry to make a little extra, as I know may people aren't comfortable rolling it out. If you do have any leftover you can roll it into small rounds and bake alongside the tarts. I have written the recipe for 4 small, round tart tins, but this pastry and filling will be more than enough for a 13x35 cm rectangular tart tin too.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 863Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 9gSugar: 48gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m scared of making pastry! Can I use store-bought?
Of course, a sweet shortcrust would be suitable here, but I promise you, this pastry recipe is very forgiving – give it a try!
My pastry cracked, warped, or slid down in the oven. Help!
Don’t worry, with this recipe that’s not the end of the word. You may have stretched or overworked the dough a little. All is not lost. As the filling is not cooked, just proceed as the recipe, chilling the filling a little to thicken it before spooning into the pastry cases. If the cases have properly shrunk, just crumble the pastry into the bottom of a few nice glasses, spoon the filling over and top with the fresh berries. Still delicious!
I can’t serve gelatine as I am feeding a vegetarian! What can I do?
In this recipe, you can simply leave it out. As the tarts are individual it doesn’t matter if the filling is not set firmly.