This is one of my favourite tarts, which is suitable as a dessert. It is wonderfully rich and moist and keeps for at least two weeks. Instead of the more traditional pastry case, I prefer to use a crushed biscuit and melted butter base (just like a cheesecake base). For a real touch of luxury, serve the slices with fruits of the forest sauce and some whipped cream. (Recipe from Brenda Costigan’s ‘From Brenda’s Kitchen, 100 favourite Recipes,’ available on amazon.)
For the crushed biscuit base
225g digestive biscuits, crushed
110g butter, melted
For the filling
4-5 tablespoons blackcurrant jam, softened with a spoon
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
110g chopped blanched almonds
100g ground almonds
150g dark chocolate, melted and partly cooled
small handful of flaked almonds
fruits of the forest sauce or 375g of mixed fresh summer berries
175ml whipped cream, lightly sweetened
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
To make the biscuit base, mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter together and spread in an even layer over the base of a 9 inch, springform tin, pressing the mixture down firmly. Bake in the oven for about five minutes, just to lightly crisp the biscuits. There will be no change in the appearance. Stand the tin on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.
Reduce the oven to 180°C /350°F/gas 4. To make the filling, spread the jam carefully in a thin layer over the cooled biscuit base, leaving a 2.5cm (1 inch) margin all the way around. This is to ensure that the jam doesn’t ooze out the edges and get too highly baked on the sides, spoiling the appearance of the finished cake. Beat the butter and caster sugar together in a bowl until soft. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and almond essence and beat well. Mix together the chopped almonds and the ground almonds ands stir in the butter/sugar mixture, then stir the melted chocolate through.
Pour into the tin over the biscuit base and scatter the flaked almonds over the surface. Bake for about 40 minute-reduce the temperature a little halfway through if the tart is cooking too quickly. It’s ready when the almond mixture has become set on the outside but the filling is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Stand the tin on a wire tray for about 15 minutes to allow it to cool. With a sharp knife, loosen the edges, then release the spring clips from the side of the tin and leave tart to cool completely.
To serve, carefully slide of the base of the tin onto a serving plate. Serve with fruit of the forest sauce and some whipped cream.