Dark Chocolate Tart with Candied Almonds

When my grandfather accepted my invitation to Thanksgiving this year, I knew I needed at least two very delicious and sweet desserts. Not only is my grandfather one of the sweetest men you’ll ever meet but he also has one of the biggest sweet tooths! As I child, my grandfather always had a pocket full of candies which he would secretly share behind my grandmother. Somethings never change. My favorite part of each meal over the Thanksgiving holiday was asking my grandfather if he was up for dessert. He always perked up saying “of course!”

My mother and I made two very simple desserts for the holiday. I think the favorite it was this Dark Chocolate Tart with Candied Almonds. We modified a Bon Appetit recipe and used dark chocolate chips instead of Mexican chocolate to make things simple. This thin tart is very rich and doesn’t need anything but a good cup of coffee to compliment. It will certainly be made again in my kitchen – and is a perfect holiday dessert this December. Not to mention, it is show-stopping beautiful! Bookmark this one for your sweet tooth friends and family!

Dark Chocolate Tart with Candied Almonds adapted from Mexican Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon-Spiced Pecans, Bon Appetit 2007 

Pecans (OR try this recipe and spice it up with rosemary maple pecans!)

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Crust

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about half of one 9-ounce package cookies, finely ground in processor -find them in the ice cream section of the grocery store!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For pecans:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk all ingredients except pecans in a bowl. Stir in pecans. Spread in single layer on sheet, rounded side up. Bake until just browned and dry, about 15 to 20 minutes. Watch them carefully  as they can burn quickly! Cool on sheet. Separate nuts, removing excess coating.

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs into 9 to 12-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake about 20 minutes. Cool on rack.

For filling:
Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Add butter, 1 piece at a time; whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour filling into crust. Chill until filling begins to set, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Arrange nuts in concentric circles atop tart. Chill until set, about 4 hours

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