Hi everyone, BBC2 here with the last part of our weekend meal when our friend Liz came for a sleepover. I know that both Liz and BBC1 really like the flavour of Morello cherries and I have made them morello cherry ice cream before and when Liz came for a sleep over previously.
We had already decided to have a Star Trek film fest, so it needed to be something that was done in advance. BBC1 suggested making ice cream and as he had been looking in my cupboards and noticed a rather good jar of Morello cherry jam (which we get from a growing popular German supermarket chain) and with that I started to think of black forest gateaux and that I had never made one, reigning me back from myself, BBC1 nudged me towards making something that would go well with the ice cream and would be less stressful, to which I give you the black forest tart and ice cream, made over a couple of days in advance starting with the Morello cherry ice-cream.
Like most things these days it can be cheaper and quicker to go to the supermarket and buy such things like ice creams, cakes and pies, but I think that sometimes we don’t really see the cost of doing this, as we give over control to large corporations that dictate how big or what colour a tomato should be, but it’s not just that, I think there is a bigger cost, we are losing skills that were passed on to us as children.
I remember helping my mother in the kitchen as I was the second eldest of ten children and home cooked food was so important to us as children. My mother was always cooking, baking or washing. It was wonderful getting home from school to be met by the smell of fresh baked cake, tarts or pies, that would hardly hit the plate before they were gone!
Having said all that I know that life has changed and that I do myself use supermarkets due to cost and convenience, but we should try to pass on or indeed learn these skills in the kitchen.
So making ice cream, BBC1 bought me an ice cream machine a few years ago and I must say it makes the whole process of making ice cream or sorbets so much easier and you get to decide what goes in or what flavour you want. When BBC1 found a jar of morello cherry jam in the supermarket my task was to make something with it, so ice cream seemed the way to go and as you can see there are not a lot of ingredients or processes. You can of course use different flavours of jam and you can adjust the sweetness depending on what jam you use, so please do have a go and let us know what you think.
Morello cherry ice cream
450g jar morello cherry jam
2 large eggs
¾ cup white sugar
2 cups double/heavy cream
1 cup milk
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until they are light and fluffy about 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar a little at a time, and then continue whisking in the cream and then the morello cherry jam (leaving enough to cover the base of each tart and some to flavour the cherry syrup about 3 to 4 tablespoons) then whisk in the milk. Next, pour into your ice cream machine or into an air tight container, but be careful as the cherries bits will have sunk to the bottom, I find when using an ice cream maker to hold back these bits until the ice cream starts to thicken and it will distribute the bits more evenly. If you are using a container you can pour these bits in at the start as you will need to stir the ice cream regularly to stop ice crystals forming. I must say I do like the flavour of this ice cream.
With the ice-cream made and sitting in the freezer you can now turn your attention to making the Morello cherry tart and again this can be done a few days in advance as I made six tarts on the Friday and BBC1 and me had one each on the Sunday and shared the last one on the Monday which is the one that we photographed 4 days after it was made and I must say it tasted just as good as the ones we had on the Friday.
Black Forest Tart
170g/6oz plain flour
85g/3oz cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons cold water
Chocolate mousse topping:
100g/4oz dark chocolate
2 large eggs separated
100ml/3½fl oz double/heavy cream
Fresh cream decoration
300ml/½ paint double/heavy cream
2 teaspoons icing/decorators sugar
Morello cherry jam left over from the ice cream or jam you have in store cupboard to line the bottom of the pastry cases, and morello cherry syrup along with 3 tablespoons of sugar.
6 loose bottom tartlet tins 7cm/3inches or one loose bottom tart tin 23cm/9 inches
To make the pastry put the plain flour and caster sugar in a food processor and pulse, then add the butter and pulse until you have a mixture of fine breadcrumbs and with the motor running add the cold water a tablespoon at a time. Before adding the last spoon of water check the dough by squeezing a little between your fingers and if it holds together it’s done, if it crumbles add the rest of the water until it holds its shape, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and wrap in cling film and pop in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Lightly butter your tart tin/s and on a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to about the thickness of £1 coin 1/8 inch and line the tins, lay the pastry over each tin and lower it into position ensuring no air gets trapped underneath, gently press the pastry into place patching any gaps or tears with bits of pastry, it is quite forgiving, use a fork to puncher holes over the base of each tart to stop it rising when baked, pop them on a tray and back into the refrigerator for 2 hours. Preheat the oven 170c fan and put the pastry cases on a baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes then remove from the oven leaving the pastry cases in their tins for 10 minutes to cool, then carefully remove each one from its tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate mousse topping:
Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, the bowl should not touch the water, break the chocolate into small pieces and place in the bowl with the cream and let the chocolate gently melt stirring every now and then, after a few minutes when the chocolate has melted take it off the heat and whisk in both the egg yolks. Keep whisking for a minute or two to ensure the yolks are incorporated into the chocolate and cream, now whisk the egg whites until you have stiff peaks but not dry. Then using a large metal spoon fold a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until it has all been incorporated, cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator to set slightly about 10 to 20 minutes so it just starts setting, but hasn’t quite, it’s still a little runny, to make it easier to fill the tarts.
Assembling the tarts:
Put a layer of the jam on the bottom of each pastry case then spoon on the chocolate mousse, place the tarts back in the refrigerator to set, sieve the icing/decorators sugar into the double/heavy cream and whisk until stiff but smooth, don’t over whisk as the icing/decorators sugar will not only sweeten the cream but will also help stiffen it. Using a piping bag pipe the cream on top of each tartlet, this can be fun if you have not done any piping before just let your inhibitions go and be creative with it! I find the easiest way to get a good effect is to hold the piping bag close to wear I going to pipe the cream and squeeze the cream out and with a slow lifting motion pull the bag away leaving a dimple style blob of cream.
Making the morrelo cherry syrup put the sugar in a small pan on a medium heat and add ½ cup of water and bring to the boil, adding the remaining cherry jam and let it reduce until it has thickened but is still runny.
I had some of the chocolate mousse leftover and I poured it into 2 ramekins popped them in the fridge to set and topped off with some of the whipped cream and I must say they were quite a treat.
I know it sounds like a lot of work for a desert but done in stages and over a couple of days it’s not that much and in Great British Bake Off terms it’s “a show stopper” so do give it a try and let us know what you think.
BBC1: I loved this dessert, the morello cherries, chocolate and cream go so well together and the ice cream is sublime. Never knew you could make ice cream with jam, what a great discovery! Oh and by the way, not sure why BBC2 being so coy, the supermarket is Lidl’s! Only place I’ve ever seen jars of morello cherries too!
The additional mousse with cream in ramekins didn’t last long either…