Mexican Chocolate Tart

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We used this masa tart crust just a few weeks ago for a peach preserve tart. The crust was delicious, but the overall dessert was sweeter than some on the team prefer their sweets to be (go figure).

We immediately started dreaming up a better matched filling for the crust, and here it is. Say hello to the Mexican Chocolate inspired tart. The crust is still sweet and cookie-like with a summery corn flavor, but the filling is now a much more complex and savory-sweet mix of chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chipotle pepper—finished with sea salt, a dash of foraged redbuds, and a sprinkle of cayenne.

Two hot pepper spices in one dessert? Yup. The heavy cream and chocolate calm the chipotle way down to just a low grade heat at the back of your mouth at the end of each bite. The cayenne sprinkled on top brings a slightly sharper heat and mixes nicely with the salt and sweet cranberry tang of the redbud.

We ate this following a staff lunch of a large shared salad. We now staunchly believe that all salads should be chased with a chocolate tart.


for dough
4 eggs, divided
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup masa harina
½ cup cornmeal (we used CHF fine ground)
½ tsp table salt
2 sticks salted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar

for filling
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp chipotle pepper, fine ground
2 pinches nutmeg (or three passes on the microplaner)

for glaze
3 tablespoon heavy cream
2 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ teaspoon light corn syrup
1½ tablespoon warm water

optional (but not really) 
3 TBSP redbuds (without stems)
3 pinches sea salt (maldon flakes would be best, but we had coarse ground on hand)
2 pinches cayenne pepper, fine ground

11” tart pan


Preparing the pastry
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour, masa harina, cornmeal, and salt. Then set aside.

Prepare eggs by cracking two whole eggs into a bowl. Separate the other two eggs, reserving the egg whites to brush on the tart crust prior to cooking. Add separated egg yolks to the two whole eggs and beat lightly.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Once combined and fluffy, add the whole eggs and two yolks and mix together until fully combined.

Add in the dry mix in thirds, mixing together between each addition until the dough comes together in a bowl. This dough is a bit soft/gooey. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (this could be made a head by a day or two).

When ready to make the tart, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Our first attempt at this, we tried to roll the dough out, but this dough is not meant for that. It doesn’t hold together in a large sheet. It’s meant to be squished into the tart pan by hand. But rolling it out first helped us get to the right thickness and also helped us see that there would be leftover dough for our 11” tart pan. (We wrapped that up and tossed it in the freezer for a future tart in a pinch and it was enough for a 9.5” tart.)

Once the crust is properly smooshed into the tart pan, brush the entire crust with reserved egg whites. Put in oven on a baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Cook for 12 minutes.

Once done, set it aside to cool.

Making the filling
Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth.

Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into the melted chocolate.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.

Making the glaze:

Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water

Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Finishing touches

Just before serving, sprinkle on redbuds and salt and cayenne pepper. We used an attractive half moon pattern because it was pretty, but also because some of us don’t like spicy anything on anything. The redbuds were a clear indication of where cayenne was sprinkled and where it was not—making a tart that satisfied everyone.