I’ve been looking at a tin of apricots in our store cupboard for about 2 years. Every time I opened the door it said, “use me, use me”, but I always reached for something else. But not this week – it was finally the apricots’ time!
I decided on a recipe from Michel Roux’s Desserts: A Lifelong Passion and made an apricot dartois.
Dartois is traditionally two layers of puff pastry with a sandwiched layer of frangipane or jam. It can occasionally contain a savoury filling.
It’s quite a simple recipe – especially if you’re using ready-made puff pastry – and the pastry cutting is very straightforward too. Don’t be put off by the precision! The amount of frangipane made in the given recipe is HUGE! I halved the recipe (what’s half of 5 eggs? I just used 3 medium-sized ones) it still made half a kilo of the stuff. I set aside the 150 grams needed for the recipe then portioned up the rest into small lidded tubs and froze it all for use at a later date.
The resulting dartois is very attractive and very delicious. I don’t think it would look out of place in a French patisserie’s shop window!
I used tinned apricots, but peaches, pears, plums or figs also work really well. If you’ve got fresh fruit, you can easily poach it beforehand in syrup.
Serve warm or cold with a fruit coulis, cream or ice cream.
- 175g/6oz of unsalted butter
- 200g/7oz dark chocolate
- 75g/3oz crunchy peanut butter
- 125g/4½oz smooth peanut butter
- 3 eggs
- 175g/6oz of caster sugar
- ¼tsp of salt
- 50g/1¾oz self-raising flour
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6
- Grease a 30 x 20cm (12 x 8 inch) brownie tin and line it with parchment paper
- Put the butter, chocolate and crunchy peanut butter into a heat-proof bowl on a saucepan of simmering water over low heat and warm until just melted
- In a separate, small saucepan, gently warm through the smooth peanut butter
- Put the eggs, sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved
- Using a rubber spatula, stir in the melted chocolate mixture and self-raising flour
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin
- Drizzle over the smooth peanut butter in 3-4 straight lines, then 'drag' through the peanut butter with a skewer or toothpick to create a marbled effect
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the cake is just firm to the touch, but has a slightly fudgy texture
- Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes then lift out the block onto a board using the lining paper and cut it into 6-9 squares
- Serve warm or cold, on its own or with a scoop of ice cream or pouring cream