Warm Mocha Tart

Warm Mocha Tart Recipe

The remarkable crust I created for this warm mocha tart recipe barely shrinks in the pan, so there’s no need to weight or even prick it before baking.To ensure that the bottom remains crunchy, bake the crust fully, until it reaches a deep golden brown, before pouring in the filling. At the same time I was playing with this new tart crust recipe, I was experimenting with different cocoas, tasting and comparing natural and Dutch-process in all kinds of recipes. Voila, rich warm cocoa custard in the simplest crust. (Either natural or Dutch-process cocoa works well here. The former has a livelier, more complex, fruity flavor, while the latter has a cozy old-fashioned flavor reminiscent of chocolate pudding. You choose.)– Alice Medrich

LC All Hail, Alice Medrich Note

If you’re not already familiar with Alice Medrich, the legendary cookbook author and creator of this warm mocha tart recipe, allow us to remedy that situation. She is, in a word, brilliant. And very well-versed in all things sugar and chocolate and even, as of late, gluten-free and other -free ways of baking that are still full of enticement. Try any of her recipes. We think you’ll agree.

Special Equipment: A 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom

Warm Mocha Tart Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8 to 10


  • For the crust
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the filling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia d’Oro), or 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  • Make the crust
  • 1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • 2. Mix the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add the flour and mix just until well blended. Don’t worry if the dough seems too soft. Press all of the dough very thinly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
  • 3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
  • Make the filling
  • 4. Place the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and cream in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is blended and smooth and begins to simmer around the edges. Remove from the heat and stir in the espresso powder and vanilla.
  • 5. Just before the crust is ready, whisk the egg thoroughly into the hot chocolate mixture.
  • 6. Pour the filling into the hot crust and turn off the oven. Leave the tart in the oven until it quivers like tender Jell-O in the center when the pan is nudged, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a rack.
  • 7. Serve the tart warm or at room temperature.
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  1. This is a sure hit for coffee lovers. It’s not a sweet tart. When you serve it warm, the base is crunchy, similar to shortbread.

    1. shabs, as the tart can be served at room temperature, it can be made ahead. But we do think it’s at its best slightly warm.

  2. I have been making this for many years after finding the recipe in Food & Wine. Every time I make it, people just rave. During the holidays I substitute peppermint for the vanilla in the custard for a peppermint mocha tart.

  3. I just made this tart for the first time. It is very quick and easy to make, and the mocha flavor is wonderful. However, I found it too sweet for my taste – I think the cocoa flavor would shine better if the sugar amount in the filling were reduced from 1/2 a cup to 1/3 cup, which is what I’ll try next time. Also, although I left tart in the oven for 12 minutes, and the consistency looked as described in the recipe, I found the filling to be a bit too soft at the end.

    1. Zsuzsa, so glad you liked the tart. Sweetness is, obviously, a matter of taste. But as far as the cooking time, have you tested the temperature of your oven? Sometimes ovens can run cooler or hotter. I have two or three inexpensive oven thermometers that help me keep things working smoothly. It also helps me find hot/cold spots in my oven.

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