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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Chocolate Tart with Nut Crust

Notes: John Johnson, chef and owner of Rancho de San Juan in Española, New Mexico, serves this very rich chocolate-nut tart with softly whipped cream. If making up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill. To serve, let warm to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2001

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine
  • 9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon cognac or brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder


1. In a food processor, whirl walnuts, pine nuts, and 1/2 cup sugar until nuts are coarsely ground. Pour into a 9-inch tart pan with removable rim. In a 2-cup glass measure, melt 1/4 cup butter in a microwave oven at full power (100%), 20 to 30 seconds. Add melted butter to nut mixture and rub in with your fingers to blend. Press mixture evenly over bottom and up sides of pan. Set pan on a foil-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheet.

2. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until crust begins to brown around edges, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, chop half the chocolate into 1/2-inch chunks and set aside. Finely chop remaining chocolate.

4. In the glass measure, combine remaining 1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces, with finely chopped chocolate. Heat in a microwave oven at half power (50%) until chocolate is soft, 30 to 45 seconds. Stir until mixture is smooth.

5. In a bowl with a mixer on high speed, beat egg yolks, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, cognac, and almond extract until mixture turns pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add chocolate-butter mixture and beat to blend. Stir in coarsely chopped chocolate. Scrape into warm nut crust.

6. Bake in a 325° regular or convection oven until filling barely jiggles when pan is gently shaken, about 15 minutes. Set on a rack until warm or cool.

7. To serve, remove rim; dust tart lightly with cocoa and cut into wedges.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 448
  • Calories from fat: 72%
  • Protein: 8.7g
  • Fat: 36g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrate: 32g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Cholesterol: 152mg

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Chocolate Tart with Nut Crust recipe