• Make the tart the day before and then simply serve it with fresh cream.

    TO DRINK: Asara’s Spirit of Chenin is a lovely dessert wine that has enough residual sugar without being cloying.

    Decadent date and mascarpone tart

    Serves: 8
    Cooking Time: 40 mins + extra for chilling


    • Pastry

    • 180g cake flour
    • 125g butter, chilled and cubed
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) chilled water
    • Filling

    • 400g fresh dates, pitted and halved
    • 250g mascarpone cheese
    • 125ml (½ cup) thick fresh cream
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) castor sugar
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) cornflour
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla extract cocoa powder, to dust
    • fresh cream, whipped, to serve, optional



    For the pastry, place the flour and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and water. Process until the dough just comes together. Turn it out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.


    Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease a 23cm tart tin.


    On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper into a circle large enough to line the tart tin.


    Ease the pastry into the tart tin and trim any excess. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and fill with dried beans. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans, then return the pastry to the oven and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.


    For the filling, scatter the dates over the pastry. Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the cocoa powder and fresh cream, and whisk until smooth. Gently pour the mixture over the dates and bake until set and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until needed.


    Just before serving, dust with cocoa powder and serve at room temperature with cream.