Friday, April 1, 2011

Food Friday: Tarte au chocolat et à la crème de marron

I bought a rectangular tart pie on Wednesday and wanted to use it. All week, I tried to come up with a recipe to use it. I considered making a savory tart, but I realized I didn't have enough ingredients for a vegetable tart (no tomatoes, or zucchinis, or even arugula). I had bought chestnut spread (crème de marron) and had plenty of dark chocolate in the fridge, so I tried to find a recipe using both, and ended up finding inspiration but no recipe I had time to make. I decided to make a two layer tart, with chestnut spread on the bottom and a chocolate and crème fraîche mix on top. I used my mother's crust recipe, but added some ground pecans to the dough to give it a more flaky texture and a better flavor. 

I braced for a complete disaster because baking is more of a science than an art and you can't just make it up as you go along, but I guess having read so many recipes in my life that I sort of knew what I was doing. Maybe the temperature was off, I probably could have cooked the chocolate and crème fraîche spread differently, but all in all, it turned out to be a pretty tasty tart.  

Chocolate and chestnut spread tart.

  • 20 or so pecans
  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
  • 1 stick (125g) unsalted butter, cut up and at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 7 fl ounces heavy cream, crème fraîche or whipping cream
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 ounces (200g) dark baking chocolate
  • one small can chestnut spread
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Roast pecans in the oven for about 5 minutes. Let cool. 



Grind the pecans in a food processor and put them in a small bowl. 

In the processor, mix together the flour, butter, egg, water and ground pecans. 

Flour some cling wrap and place the ball of dough on top of it. Set aside but do not chill in the fridge. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175° Celsius).


Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Grease and flour a pan and put the dough in the pan. I used a large rectangular one and had plenty of dough left over. You could make individual tarts too. I only had one small square pan, but if I had had a few more, I probably would have made a bunch of tartlets instead. 

Spread a layer of crème de marron directly onto the crust. 
In a medium sized pan, cook the cream on medium heat until it starts to boil. Add cinnamon. Set aside and add the chocolate and vanilla. Mix until fully combined. Set aside for a few minutes. 


Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan on top of the chestnut spread. 


Bake for 35-45 minutes. 


Chill until settled, or approximately two hours. 

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