Years ago in Mexico City, I tasted a tart like this and have thought about it ever since. One of the New World foods, chocolate has always been a favorite in Mexico (and everywhere else, for that matter), especially when it’s paired with cinnamon and coffee. Try this combination of true Mexican flavors.—Joanne Weir
For the short crust tart shell
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
10 tablespoons butter, cut into 12 pieces and out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes
1 tablespoon cold water, or more if needed
For the tart
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Kahlua or brandy
2 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 prebaked short crust tart shell
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the tart shell
1. In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, and salt with a few pulses. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the water, or more as needed, until the pastry is blended and will hold together if you press it. Gather it into a ball, flatten it into a 6-inch disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
3. Press the pastry evenly into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch round tart pan. Set the pastry-lined pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
4. Line the pastry with parchment paper and scatter 1 cup of dried beans or pie weights onto the parchment. Bake the tart shell until the top edges are light golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C), and continue to bake until the pastry is light golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
Make the tart
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Place the pine nuts in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. In a double boiler over medium-high heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. In another saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the corn syrup and granulated sugar until boiling. Add to the melted chocolate.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the Kahlua, espresso powder, and cinnamon. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until foamy. Add the Kahlua mixture and whisk until well mixed. Add the chocolate and whisk until well mixed. Stir in the toasted pine nuts.
5. Pour the filling into the prebaked tart shell and bake until a skewer comes out of the center clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the tart cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add 1 tablespoon of the confections’ sugar and vanilla and stir together.
7. Cut the tart into wedges, dust the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar and serve with the soft cream.
Recipe © 2004 Joanne Weir. All rights reserved.