Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 9" or 10" tart pan.
  2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together until smooth. Add the vanilla, cocoa and flour and mix until evenly blended.
  3. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Prick all over with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes while your preheat the oven to 400°F.
  4. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until you smell chocolate and the crust is set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. For the filling: Combine the cherries and brandy in a 2-cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl. Cover and microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir, then set aside to cool.
  6. Pour the cherry juice into a 2-cup glass measure or bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on top, and allow it to soften for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the sugar, cover, and microwave for 90 seconds. Stir until everything is dissolved, reheating as needed. Pour the mixture into a metal bowl (if you have it; it will make chilling go faster in the next step). Stir in the cherries and any remaining liquid.
  8. Refrigerate, uncovered, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the mixture cools and is thick as honey, about 1 1/2 hours. Its temperature should be about 60°F.
  9. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled (but not set) cherry mixture, one third at a time. If the mixture is very soft, refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes, until it's thick enough to form a mound when you stir it; then scoop into the crust and level the top. Chill 10 to 12 hours.
  10. For the ganache: Melt the chocolate in the heavy cream in 20-second bursts in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the tart before serving.
  11. Store the tart in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.