Frangipane is a classic French almond-based filling used in tarts, cakes and pastries. It’s history dates to the 16th century when an Italian nobleman (the Marquis Muzio Frangipani) introduced almond-scented gloves to France - pastry chefs attempted to emulate the seductive scent in their desserts. The result was a rich almond-infused cream filling that somehow over time, morphed into the frangipane we know today.
- 100 g unsalted butter, softened
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 165 g (1⅓ cup) almond meal
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 75 g dark chocolate, chopped and melted
- 350 g cherries, pitted and cut in half
- 110 g (⅓ cup) apricot jam
- 2½ tbsp water
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 80 g (½ cup) icing sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 90 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 2½ tbsp iced water, approximately
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour 10 minutes
To make the pastry, combine the flour, icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl and stir to mix well. Add the butter then, using your fingertips, rub the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Combine the egg yolks and the iced water in a bowl to combine well then add to the mixture in the bowl. Using your hands, mix the water into form a coarse, firm dough, kneading it lightly to bring it together (do not over handle the dough or the pastry may shrink). Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 25 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 3 mm-thick rectangle to fit the base and sides of a 12 cm x 35 cm fluted tart tin with a removable base. Line the tin with pastry, trimming the edges even. Chill the pastry for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line the pastry case with baking paper then fill with baking beads or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until partially cooked then remove the paper and beads and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until dry to the touch.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beating well between each then add the yolk and vanilla and beat well. Stir in the almond meal and the flour then stir in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into the pastry case then gently press the cherry halves over the surface of the tart. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven, brush with warm glaze and allow tart to cool in the tin.
While the tart is baking, bring the jam to a simmer with the water in a saucepan and stir to combine well. Push through a sieve then brush lightly over the surface of the tart.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.