This elegant Chocolate-Mint Tart was the dessert I served at one of our dinner parties recently, and it was consumed with joy! Do you love chocolate? My hands are up! If you decide to make this chocolate-mint tart, I should warn you; it is rich, decadent, delicious and difficult to resist a second serving.
You will think you have died and gone to heaven after you taste this chocolate mint tart. A crunchy, buttery shortbread crust filled with a silky chocolate custard that is not too sweet, with just a touch of mint added that enhances the chocolate flavor. Finally, we poured a shiny ganache glaze over the top.
A Word About Chocolate:
Buy the best chocolate you can afford because it truly does make a difference in taste. For the filling in this chocolate mint tart I used Callebaut Semi-Sweet Chocolate which I purchased in the bulk section of Central Market, but you can also find it in bulk at WinCo Foods. Another, less expensive, good chocolate that I have previously used with great results is Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Squares. Here are some additional choices for really good chocolate:
- Lindt 99%
- Scharffen Berger
I do not recommend using chocolate chips. There are additives and preservatives in chocolate chips to keep the chips whole in cookies, and they distort the pure flavor of chocolate. Just do a side-by-side taste with a good quality chocolate vs. chocolate chips, and I think you will be convinced. With that said, chocolate chips do have their place. I love them in cookies!
Chocolate Mint-Tart With Press-In Shortbread Crust:
The crust is an easy ‘no-rolling required’ shortbread crust that you can simply press into a tart pan. This is a rich crust made with a little confectioner’s sugar, butter, and eggs. Simply stir the ingredients together until it forms a smooth, cohesive ball. Then, just press into the pan.
I have found that mint flavorings vary in strength from brand to brand. I like the McCormick brand and is what I used in this tart. Whichever brand you choose, you should add the mint flavor cautiously.
I used a total of a teaspoon-and-a-quarter, added in quarter-teaspoon increments. Do taste-testing after each addition, as a little goes a long way and you really do not want a ‘tooth paste’ flavor in this amazing dessert.
The ganache glaze adds a decadent finish to this chocolate-mint tart. To keep the glaze shiny, the chocolate is poured on the center of the cooled tart, and then the pan is tipped and turned, so the glaze flows to the edges. You need to be quick so it will keep flowing. Don’t try to spread the glaze with a spatula as it will not have the pretty shiny finish.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and this chocolate-mint tart will be a stunning finish to a romantic dinner for the man I love.
More Great Desserts:
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg yolks, whisked lightly with a fork
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick butter, (1/2 cup) melted and cooled
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Chocolate-Mint Filling:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 14 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices and softened
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
For the Glaze:
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Mint leaves for garnish
For the Shortbread Crust:
- Lightly coat an 11-inch, removable bottom tart pan and set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, egg yolks and sea salt. Add the cooled butter and mix to a smooth consistency then, add the flour and cornstarch and stir until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Press about 2/3 of the dough up and around the edge of the prepared tart pan. With the remaining dough make a flat disc and place in the center-bottom of the pan. With your hands and your fingers, press the dough over the entire tart bottom, smoothing with the flat bottom of a measuring cup or flat-bottomed glass.
- Prick the bottom and edges of the crust with a fork, place on a baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove the crust from the freezer, spray a piece of aluminum foil with non-stick spray and press the sprayed side of foil very tightly up against the bottom and up the sides of the crust. Add pie weights and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake uncovered for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
For the Chocolate-Mint Filling:
- Reduce the oven temp to 250°F
- Bring cream, espresso powder and salt to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate, cover with a lid or plate and allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften. When it has softened, stir to a smooth constancy with a spatula or spoon. Add the butter, one or two pieces at a time and continue to stir until the butter is well incorporated.
- Pour the beaten eggs through a fine-mesh strainer into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the mint in quarter teaspoon increments, tasting to just barely get a mint flavor.
- Pour the chocolate custard into the prepared shortcrust shell, carefully bump the tart pan on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles, and place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the outer edge of the filling is set and faint cracks appear on the surface, 30-35 minutes. The filling will be very loose and will appear to be un-cooked, that is just fine, it will firm up as it cools. Remove from the oven, leave the tart on the baking sheet to cool at room temperature. When cool, place in the refrigerator, uncovered until chilled and completely set, 3-4 hours, preferably overnight.
For the Glaze:
- Remove the tart from the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cream and corn syrup and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, cover and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Stir the mixture until it is smooth, then stir in the hot water until the glaze is shiny and pourable.
- Pour the glaze in the center of the tart, quickly and carefully pick up the tart pan and tilt it to allow the glaze to run to the edge. Continue tilting until the surface of the tart is completely covered. Do not use a spatula to spread the glaze as it will not be smooth. Let the tart sit at room temperature until the glaze is set before transferring to the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Before serving, remove the outer rim of the tart pan, slip a thin bladed knife between the crust and metal bottom and slide the tart to a serving plate or cake stand.
- When preparing the ganache do not use a wire whip as it will build air bubbles. A rubber or silicon spatula will work.
- Add a tablespoon of corn syrup to the center of the cake plate/pedestal, then place the tart on it. The sticky syrup will keep the tart stable on the plate/pedestal.
- If you would like to cover the tart, do not use plastic wrap as it will cling to the surface of the glaze. I used the domed lid from my large soup pot that was the diameter of the tart pan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346 Total Fat: 27g Cholesterol: 144mg Sodium: 319mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 3.5g Protein: 4g
We adapted the filling for this tart from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, December 2013
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