This weekend, I got back from a two and a half week escapade, first to Boston, then to Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, and back to Boston. My mom, sister and I went on a girls trip, and it was absolutely stellar. But now I’m back in my own bed and feeling grateful as ever to be sleeping next to the boyfriend and our pets. Sometimes it takes travel to make you remember just how great home is.
Not just our house, either. But Detroit. I’m realizing how much I absolutely love living here. Which is almost ironic considering Alex and I almost didn’t consider moving here just a few years ago. Now, it feels like home. We love our friends, we love our neighborhood, and we love getting to know the people that make this city so damn awesome.
Just yesterday, Alex and I toured an apartment redone by our friend who’s getting into flipping buildings downtown, then at brunch ran into a photographer friend who just got back from shooting weddings in Colorado and New Orleans, then played bocce ball with some couple friends, two of whom just opened a new restaurant nearby. It’s truly amazing how innovative and inspiring this city and the people who inhabit it are!
I shot this chocolate cherry tart before I left for my travels, and can still taste its deliciousness. I wanted to do a take on a Black Forest Cake, but make it even more rich and decadent. So I made a chocolate coconut tart crust and filled it with a fudgy, almost brownie-like filling.
It’s the perfect way to end a summer dinner, pleasing both whipped cream fans and chocolate fans alike.
How to make a chocolate cherry tart
As long as you have a legit tart pan, you can easily make this Black Forest Tart. Here are the basics for making this chocolate cherry tart:
Make and blind bake the coconut crust — To make the crust, simply pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until a dough forms. Take the dough out and knead it slightly to ensure everything’s incorporated, then press it into the tart pan and blind bake it.
Make the chocolate cherry filling — While the crust bakes, prep the filling. You’ll need to melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan, then beat the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl until they become light and fluffy. Fold in the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
Assemble and bake the tart — Pour the chocolate filling into the tart shell, then top with the pitted cherries. Push the cherries down into the filling until they’re mostly covered. Bake the chocolate cherry tart until the middle is set.
Chill and top the tart — Once the chocolate cherry tart has cooled most of the way on your countertop, pop it into the fridge to set. Once fully set, make the whipped cream and top the tart as you see fit (I topped mine with whipped cream, cherries, coconut flakes, and chocolate shavings).
Tips for making chocolate cherry tart
Use fresh cherries — For the best flavor, use fresh, in-season cherries and not frozen cherries. You can use any variety of cherry you like here!
Use bittersweet chocolate — To prevent this chocolate cherry tart from being too sweet, it’s important that you use bittersweet chocolate in the filling. Bittersweet chocolate adds richness to this tart without all the sugar.
Poke holes in the crust — To prevent the crust from puffing up while it blind bakes, prick it with a fork a few times before putting it in the oven.
How to serve this chocolate cherry tart
If you’re looking to make this chocolate cherry tart for guests, make the tart itself ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Come dessert time, whip up the cream so it stays fresh, then top the tart with a healthy dollop and finish with cherries, chocolate shavings, and toasted coconut. Whipping up the cream and topping the tart shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes of your time, so you won’t be away from your guests for long!
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup medium or dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pitted cherries
for the topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for sprinkling
bittersweet chocolate, shaved
toasted coconut flakes
1 cup cherries
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a circular tart pan with butter and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa powder shredded coconut, and granulated sugar until they reach a powdered consistency. Pulse in salt, melted butter, and vanilla extract until everything comes together.
Remove from food processor and knead into a ball of dough. Press dough firmly onto the bottom and sides of the prepared tart pan, spreading evenly to the edges.
Prepare the crust to be blind baked. Using a fork, poke 8-10 holes into the dough, then carefully line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and turn heat down to 350°F.
While the crust is blind baking, make your filling. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter.
Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract on high speed until light and airy, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour the melted chocolate it into the egg mixture, beating as you pour. Beat until homogenous.
Pour batter into prepared crust and top with pitted cherries, pushing the cherries down into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the fridge to set for 2 hours.
To make the topping, beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the pie and sprinkle with chocolate shavings, coconut flakes, cherries, and powdered sugar.