Beautiful recipe of Chocolate Tart With Star Anise And Cinnamon, a perfect complement to the holiday dinners. Simple, elegant, and delicious.
Easy Chocolate Tart- a great dessert for a special occasion
I served this Chocolate Tart With Star Anise And Cinnamon dessert on the Friday after Thanksgiving last year. It was a great success, mainly because everyone by then was already tired of turkey and pumpkin pie!
It was very refreshing to have a different type of dessert, even if some of the dishes on the table were still “Thanksgiving” ish…The recipe was inspired by the books of Eric Lanlard, one of my favorite Pastry Chefs out there.
The decor is up to you. I decorated the tart with star anise and cinnamon bark, and it was beautiful.
It also looked great on the table. The cocoa powder on top of the tart gave the dessert an elegant look.
Simple, decadent, and delicious. Great for the holidays! And why not? Valentines Day is a great occasion too for serving this fantastic dessert!
What kind of ingredients will you need for this recipe?
For the crust:
- All-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder– please use real cocoa powder and not Nesquick or other products that contain sugar, milk, and other ingredients to make hot chocolate. I like this one.
- Powder sugar
- Unsalted butter – please do not ask me if you can use salted butter. When you bake, use unsalted. You need to control the salt in the crust if you want to have a good product. Salted butter is OK only if you can’t buy an unsalted one.
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Heavy cream
- Glucose or honey– Glucose is the European equivalent of corn syrup in the US. The corn syrup is thinner, while glucose is a very dense, heavy transparent mass of sugar syrup used in professional baking. Use it if you have it, otherwise use natural honey, as it is closer to the texture of glucose.
- Vanilla bean
- Star anise
- Cinnamon stick
- Semisweet dark chocolate broken into pieces
- Unsalted butter
What is the glucose syrup used for?
“Glucose syrups prevent biscuits from drying out, keep cakes soft, prevent sugar from crystallizing in sweets and jam, and prevent water crystallization in ice creams.”
In my recipe, the glucose helps to make the chocolate filling shiny and smooth.
Here is a chocolate cake recipe that uses glucose.
How to make chocolate tart with star anise and cinnamon:
Step 1. Chocolate tart crust:
The process is almost the same as for any pie crust. You can do it in a food processor, or you can do it by hand. I chose to do it by hand this time.
Sift the flour, cocoa, and powder sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Using your fingertips or a pastry tool, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Again, use your fingertips, mix to make a smooth dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before using it.
You can freeze any leftover dough for up to 6 weeks. When ready to use, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 2 inches larger than your pan.
Lift your dough over a rolling pin and lightly drape it over the pan.
Press the dough gently into place with your fingertips.
Prebake the pastry shell as “blind bake”:
Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes(this will help stop it from shrinking during baking.)
Place a large piece of parchment paper over the bottom and sides of the pastry shell. Fill the base with pie weights or dried uncooked beans.
Bake it at 350F for 8-10 minutes, remove the weight and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until the bottom is dry and crisp.
Leave the pie crust in the pan and continue with your recipe.
Chocolate tart filling:
Gather the ingredients. You will need cinnamon sticks and star anise, which are, in my opinion, the stars of this delicious dessert.
I initially grabbed a measuring cup and added all the ingredients to it, but then I realized that I could add everything directly into my cooking pot.
Here are the rest of the spices.
Pour the cream, glucose(honey), vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and spices into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove immediately from the heat and set aside to steep for 10 minutes. (To steep means soaking the spices in the heavy cream to extract the flavors.)
Place the chocolate in a large bowl.
Pour the flavored cream through a strainer over the chocolate.
While the mixture is still warm, add the butter and stir gently using a spatula until blended.
Don’t over stir. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry shell and set it in the refrigerator.
Dust the surface of the tart with cocoa powder and add fresh cinnamon sticks and star anise as decor.
This tart needs to be refrigerated and served cold or at room temperature with whipped cream next to a cup of coffee or tea.
Can I make the crust in advance, and refrigerate or freeze for later use?
Yes and yes, absolutely. The crust is good in the freezer for about three months. However, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What kind of chocolate is best for this chocolate ganache filling:
I always use semi-sweet chocolate bars that I chop with a serrated knife or break by hand.
Do not use chocolate chips because they do not melt the way regular chocolate melts. Some of them are also waxy, and the taste is not great.
If you absolutely have to use chocolate chips, try to use a quality brand, like Ghirardelli, for example. Even Bakers brand is good stuff.
Interested in more dessert recipes?
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- 1½ cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cup powder sugar
- 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter chopped small
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons glucose or honey
- 1 vanilla bean split
- 1 star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 7 ounces semisweet dark chocolate broken into pieces
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- cinnamon sticks, star anise and unsweetened cocoa powder
- How to make the crust:
- Sift the flour, cocoa, and powder sugar together into a large mixing bowl.
- Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the center and add the egg yolks and vanilla. Again, use your fingertips, mix to make a smooth dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before using it.
- Any leftover dough can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
- When ready to use it, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 2 inches larger than your pan.
- Lift your dough over a rolling pin and lightly drape it over the pan.
- Press the dough gently into place with your fingertips.
- Prebake the pastry shell as "blind bake":
- Prick the bottom of the pastry shell with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes(this will help to stop it from shrinking during baking.)
- Place a large piece of parchment paper over the bottom and sides of the pastry shell. Fill the bottom with pie weights or dried uncooked beans.
- Bake it at 350F for 8-10 minutes, remove the weight and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until the bottom is dry and crisp.
- Leave the pie crust in the pan and continue with your recipe.
- Chocolate mixture:
- Put the cream, glucose(honey), vanilla bean, and spices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 10 minutes.
- Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Pour the flavored cream through a strainer over the chocolate. While the mixture is warm, add the butter and stir gently using a spatula until blended.
- Don't over-stir. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry shell and let set in the refrigerator.
- Decorate the tart by dusting cocoa powder over it, and add the cinnamon sticks and star anise.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 41gProtein: 4g