Coffee Break – Chocolate Espresso Tart Recipe

Most coffee lovers are familiar with the story of Kaldi, that infamous goatherd in 9th century Ethiopia, who accidentally discovered coffee while watching his goats dance, after eating the raw berries. Soon, he, too, was eating the berries and dancing among the goats. While I tend to become quite excited about coffee, I have not yet taken to dancing after enjoying it, neither in beverage, nor dessert form.

So today, while listening to my beloved BBC Radio (Mozart), I decided to make a Chocolate Espresso Tart (having been inspired earlier in the morning by the Quotation of the Day on The Old Foodie). Although it is not necessarily a difficult recipe, it is somewhat time consuming. Such a rich, decadent dessert seemed appropriate for this musical afternoon. And while this slice of my decorated tart may not be as pretty as Martha’s, after the first taste, I was dancing around my kitchen, just like Kaldi!

Chocolate Espresso Tart
(recipe courtesy of
For the Ganache:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), chopped
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons good-quality ground espresso beans
For the Tart Shell:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment paper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 tablespoons heavy cream
For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese

1. Make the ganache: Put chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl, and set aside. Bring cream and espresso to a boil in a small pan. Pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate; discard solids. Let stand 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.

2. Make the tart shell: Sift flour, salt, and cocoa powder into a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and mix until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cream. Shape dough into a thick rectangle; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350�°. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of lightly floured parchment paper to a 16-by-6-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Press dough into a 14-by-4 1/2-inch rectangular flan frame set on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Trim dough flush with top edge. Prick all over bottom of shell with a fork. Bake until firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Unmold.

4. Put ganache into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (such as Ateco #828).

5. Smooth mascarpone cheese over bottom of tart shell with an offset spatula.

6. Pipe ganache rosettes, one next to the other, on top of mascarpone to cover. Store in the refrigerator up to 1 day. Great Ganache: To turn out smooth ganache every time, make sure the mixture is at room temperature before whipping. Any warmer or colder, and its cream is likely to seize or become grainy.

Until we meet for coffee,

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