A Bitten Word Recipe
In our run-up to Thanksgiving, there was one dish we never had a chance to post. But we think it's such a great dessert -- appropriate throughout the holidays, and anytime, really -- that we still wanted to write about it.
When we had folks over for Fakesgiving, we, of course, cooked a bevy of food-mag recipes. But we wanted to make at least one dish that was all our own. And we knew we wanted -- make that needed -- a chocolate dessert to round out our menu. So we came up with this Mexican Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Crema.
It's a caliente twist on a holiday standard -- a classic chocolate pie -- with just enough south-of-the-border spice to chase away the winter chill.
When we'd decided to make a chocolate pie, we knew just whom to ask: Zach's childhood friend Beth. She's always made the best classic fudge pie. It's a very straightforward recipe -- sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla extract, flour and butter -- but it's just about perfectly dense and fudgy.
To give this pie a Mexican twist, we built on Beth's basic recipe by subbing in almond extract in place of vanilla, and adding cayenne pepper, espresso powder and cinnamon, as well as a touch of heavy cream.
And to add even more of a kick, we topped the slices with a Cinnamon Crema -- sublty sweet whipped cream with cinnamon -- and then dusted the finished product with cinnamon as well.
The final result? Delicious! It's chocolatey and sweet without being cloying, and the espresso flavor and the hot spices give it a really special twist. It's perfect for the holidays, or any other time you need a pick-me-up dessert.
Mexican Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Crema
A Bitten Word Recipe
If you want to use a store bought pie crust here in place of a homemade one, we won't tell a soul. If you want to make your own, we've included a recipe for a basic pie dough below. We used a tart pan when making this, but a pie dish will work as well.
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- dash of salt
Preheat oven to 325. Prepare the filling by combining the sugar, cocoa, eggs and almond extract, and mix until smooth. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour filling into the pie shell. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Service topped with Cinnamon Crema (recipe below) and a garnish the plate with a light dusting of cinnamon.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
Whip cream until stiff. Whisk in sugar and cinnamon.
Basic Pie Dough
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, measured and leveled
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks of butter, cut into small pieces and made very cold in either the refrigerator or freezer
- up to 1/2 cup ice water
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter, pulsing a few times until pea size pieces appear throughout the flour. Add water, a small amount at a time, until dough comes together (you may need the full 1/2 cup). Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into two equal rounds, making sure to not handle the dough too much. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Yields one pie crust or two smaller tarts.