Today's newly minted holiday, National Chocolate Day, raises an important question: Why not cap off your midweek dinner with a deliciously satisfying dessert? This dense chocolate tart by chef Travis Lett of Venice Beach, Calif. hot spot Gjelina—one of 125 rustic recipes featured in his new cookbook of the same name ($20; amazon.com)—doesn't shy away from the main flavor. “I try to keep our chocolate desserts about one thing: chocolate!” he explains. Even so, the rich texture happens to pair well with a dollop of unsweetened crème fraîche on the side and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Trust.
Read on for the recipe.
Chocolate Tart with Pine-Nut Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup almond meal
½ cup ground pine nuts, pistachios, or pecans
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2½ oz chocolate, 73%–77% cacao
1½ tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
Whipped cream and pomegranate seeds for serving
For the crust
1. In a medium bowl, Combine the flour, cocoa powder, almond meal, pine nuts, and sea salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2 minutes. Turn the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment on top and roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch-thick round, 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch tart or springform pan with a removable bottom and 3-inch sides. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until firm to the touch. Don’t worry if the crust slouches down the sides of the pan a little as it bakes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.
For the filling
1. Set a large heatproof bowl over 1 inch water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder, and then add the brown sugar and salt. Continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks shiny and loose. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one fully before adding the next. The filling should be shiny and smooth.
2. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until it puffs up slightly and the surface is shiny and light, like a brownie, and the center is set and does not jiggle when you shake the pan, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 40 minutes. Gently remove the sides of the pan.
3. Slice and serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.