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Well hello, Monday! Hope you lovies are having a great start to your week. I, for one, am SO EXCITED about the launch of Restaurant Foodtography School last week. For those of you who don’t know, Foodtography School is my virtual food photography school I created this year, and we just expanded our course offering to this new course on photographing in restaurants.
It’s pretty fantastic, so if you’re at all interested in learning more, click here to read on and sign up! And know that class starts tomorrow, so today is the last day to sign up 😉
In other news, I’m coming in hot this week with a pretty fantastic Mocha Chocolate Tart recipe. It’s a chocolate graham cracker crust with a rich mocha filling and it’s topped with a crème fraîche whipped cream.
Wait, what’s that? Do you hear that?
Oh my god, I think the chocolate tart is speaking to you. It’s saying “m… maakee… maaaake meeee for Thanksgiiiviiiing!”
You hear that, right?
That’s so funny because that’s what I was thinking, too! This tart would be perfect for Thanksgiving!
As such, I made sure not to overdo it on the sweetness of this tart by making the filling beautifully bittersweet. After all, Thanksgiving is a sweetness overload with all the pecan pies and cranberry sauces and such. Gah and the crème fraîche whipped cream! Guys. It absolutely makes this tart. I made it using Vermont Creamery’s crème fraîche, which imparts a tang to the whipped cream that balances the rich mocha flavor so well.
And if you’re actually going to make this tart for Thanksgiving, do yourself a favor and just double the crème fraîche whipped cream so you can put it on ALL your pies and tarts.
How to make a mocha chocolate tart
Homemade tarts look mega fancy, but they’re actually pretty straightforward to make. There are three components to this chocolate tart recipe: the graham cracker crust, the mocha filling, and the crème fraîche whipped cream topping. The basic steps for making this mocha chocolate tart are:
Blind bake the crust — The graham cracker crust is simply melted butter, sugar, and graham crackers that have been pulsed in a food processor. Flatten the mixture into your prepared tart pan and then blind bake it for 10 minutes. To blind bake the crust, you need to lay a piece of parchment paper onto the tart and then pour over uncooked rice or beans. This will ensure that the graham cracker crust is crispy and fully cooked and will prevent it from falling apart once you add the mocha filling on top.
Prep and bake the mocha filling — While the crust is in the oven, start working on the mocha chocolate filling. The mocha filling is essentially a chocolate ganache that’s been mixed with egg, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt. Once the crust has cooled, add the mocha filling and bake again until the filling is set.
Make the crème fraîche whipped cream — The whipped cream topping is SO simple to make. Just whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then gently fold in the crème fraîche, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean. You don’t need to pipe it onto the chocolate tart or anything fancy like that; just dollop the whipped cream on top and slice!
Tips for making a mocha chocolate tart
Use a legit tart pan — This is one of the few baking recipes that requires special equipment, but I promise having a tart pan on hand is worth it! Tart pans have fluted edges that make the crust extra crispy and they’re quite shallow. If you get your hands on a tart pan with a removable bottom, it’ll make serving this chocolate tart even easier.
Use bittersweet chocolate — Like I said before, I opted to make this mocha chocolate tart rich but not too sweet. Technically, you can use any type of chocolate that you want for this recipe, but I liked how the bittersweet chocolate complemented the tangy whipped cream and the sweet graham cracker crust.
Let the tart cool completely — You’ll need to let the mocha chocolate tart cool completely before topping it with whipped cream. If you try and top the tart while it’s still warm, the whipped cream will melt and run all over the place.
How to store mocha chocolate tart
This mocha chocolate tart is best kept in the fridge in a sealed container. It’s great eaten chilled, and it’s fine to store the tart with the whipped cream already on top. If you plan on making this mocha chocolate tart ahead of time, I recommend making the tart base first and then making the crème fraîche whipped cream the day you plan on serving it. This tart should last for up to a week, but I sincerely doubt it’ll last that long!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large rectangle tart pan (can also use a round one!)
In a food processor or blender, pulse chocolate grahams until finely ground. Pour into a mixing bowl and mix with sugar and melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand.
Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottoms and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper on top of the prepared crust, then pouring in uncooked rice on top of the parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes while you make your filling.
Place cream in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until scalding (just less than boiling). Remove from heat and add in chopped chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Chocolate should be fully melted by this point!
Add in the egg, instant espresso powder, vanilla extract, and salt, whisking especially as you add in the egg.
Take tart crust out of the oven, and remove parchment paper and rice. Pour in filling mixture, then bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before topping with crème fraîche whipped cream.
To make the crème fraîche whipped cream, whip heavy cream into soft peaks, then add in powdered sugar, crème fraîche, and vanilla bean pod. Top over tart and serve!