This past weekend we were able to spend time with our friends Alex and Sonja of A Couple Cooks.  They invited us over for dinner and I offered to bring dessert.  Then, as often happens, my mind went completely blank of any ideas.  I have so, so many dessert recipes saved and others in my own mind that whenever an opportunity to make just about any dessert I want arises, I don’t even know where to start.  I mulled over ideas, browsed through bookmarks and cookbooks and came up with nothing.  Thankfully inspiration struck in the form of my breakfast – nothing more than a bowl full of beautiful ripe cherries.

I wanted to keep it simple so I started out with my favorite tart dough and made a chocolate version.  I briefly roasted some cherries to enhance their sweetness and bring out their juices.  A generous layer of freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup was all I needed to bring the whole thing together for a fresh yet decadent summer dessert.

I thought it was pretty fantastic, and hopefully Alex and Sonja did as well as a sort of repayment for our kids behaving like little terrors the entire time we were there.  It’s so nice to have local food blogging friends, particularly friends as wonderful as them.  They are amazing cooks, passionate about eating mindfully, talented photographers, and easy-going despite our rambunctious kids.  We are looking forward to growing our friendship further, and I have a feeling you’ll see some blogging collaborations from us in the future!


For the tart shell:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the filling:

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 3-4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

To finish:


  • 01

    To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside.  Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses.  (Note: This can just as easily be done with a stand mixer or by hand with a pastry cutter.)  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

  • 02

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)  Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round.  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan.  Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 03

    Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5-8 minutes longer.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 04

    Increase the oven temperature to 450˚ F.  Combine the cherries and sugar in a baking dish.  Toss to combine.  Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cherries have softened slightly and start to release their juices.  Let the cherries cool completely before assembling the tart.

  • 05

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar.  Whip on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form.  Blend in the vanilla.  Spoon about two-thirds of the roasted cherries into the cooled tart shell to form an even layer.  Top with the whipped cream and smooth into an even layer over the cherries.  Spoon the remaining cherries over the top of the whipped cream.  If desired, drizzle a bit of chocolate syrup over the top.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Olivia

    This tart is most definitely happening this weekend.

    You’ve done it again, Annie :)

  • This is absolutely beautiful! Lovely job!

  • This looks delicious! So simple yet, so stunning! I’m certain your friends didn’t even notice your misbehaving kids after taking a bite of this. I sure wouldn’t!

  • Oh wow. That looks amazing. I’ll just add one more item to my ‘desserts to try ASAP’ list.

  • Justeen

    Such a beautiful tart! I’ve been obsessed with all things cherry this summer, so I can’t wait to give this tart a try!

  • We DID think it was fantastic! This was incredibly delicious — the combination of cherries and chocolate was to die for! It was the perfect summer dessert. We are so excited to have this recipe so we can recreate it!

    Our dinner was such a pleasure. Your kids are wonderful — it was such treat to be with them! We are so grateful to have you in our lives — both you and Ben are truly inspriring people to be around! We are lucky to count you as friends, and can’t wait for more fun to come :)

    And, here’s hoping that Andrew and Luna can become buddies someday :)
    Sonja (and Alex)

  • Kelsey

    What a beautiful and classy dessert. It has all the flavors of black forest cake, one of my faves!

  • pat1645

    What a fantastic dessert created so nicely from a bowl of cherries. I wish I was as quick on my feet creating recipes as you are.

  • I am so going to make this tart but a bit healthier :-) Great pictures. I love the contract of color in this!!

  • hzim

    Did you use sweet cherries or sour???


    That looks really really good. Most definitely on my to make list!

  • Want. Now.

  • Gina Iampolsky

    This tart is brilliant. I love……Happy weekend Gina

  • annieseats


  • What a gorgeous flavour combination – cherries + chocolate + cream = dessert heaven.

  • An absolutely delightful summer dessert. Beautiful photos as well.

  • I love cherries and this tart looks just adorable!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    This looks like an amazing dessert! I love puddings that rely on fresh flavours instead of excessive sugar, I bet your friends really enjoyed it!

  • ally

    oh wow – gorgeous job here! love the combination of fresh cherries with a creamy filling & chocolate! brilliant.

  • This looks just beautiful :) can only imagine how scrummy it is!

  • Alice C.

    Annie this was delicious!! And so easy!

  • What could you substitute the heavy cream for? I am lactose and can only do nonfat milks.

  • I love that you roasted the cherries for this! And it’s always great to find dessert recipes that make use of sweet cherries instead of sour. Can’t wait to make it!

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • So practically the instant I saw this, I told my mom I would be bringing dessert for Sunday dinner this week. It was very good, and even my brother who dislikes things that seem Black Forest Cake related (chocolate/cherries/whipped cream) ate his entire piece. Now I have three pieces left over in my fridge. What a tragedy :)

  • I love me a summer dessert that is decadent!! :)

  • diana abaroa

    This tart looks amazing, chocolate and roasted cherries, yum-yum!

    Thanks for sharing, have a great day!!!

  • I’ve got a bag of cherries sitting in the fridge. They’ve been waiting for this recipe I think. It’d be an impressive dessert to take to a friend’s place too. Maybe a pudding in place of the whipped cream for extra decadence. :)

  • Joi

    I finally had a chance to make this last night, and man…it was SO good! Not nearly as sweet as I thought it would be…. it was light and delicious and perfect for summer. I didn’t have a cherry pitter so I placed a small piping tip on the counter and pushed the cherry down and the pit popped right out the other end… worked like a charm! Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Ashley

    I made this tart dough and it shrunk horribly and has the texture of cake…any thoughts?

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure what might have gone wrong. You may have needed heavier baking beads or whatever you used to keep it in shape.