Chocolate and rosemary. Don’t knock it till you try it.
I have quite a deep love for rosemary, perhaps more than an ordinary person feels towards those little green sprigs. When I was little, we lived in a house that had a backyard full of it. The fragrance makes me think of summertime and childhood games and playing outside until mom called us in. It scented the fresh air around my sister and me while we used our imaginations to turn trees into magical creatures and hunks of mud and leaves into pies. When my mom grilled fish or meat in the summer, I would watch as she plucked a few sprigs from a nearby bush and threw it right onto whatever it was that she was cooking. The grill would close and I can still smell that toasting rosemary mingling in the air…
As a result, I throw it into almost everything. Nostalgia has me wrapped around her little finger.
But rosemary and dessert? I hadn’t tried that before, but as soon as I wondered how it would taste intermixed with rich chocolate, curiosity got the best of me and I was in the kitchen at 10 pm making a chocolate rosemary tart dough.
The next morning, I took out the dough that I had tucked into the fridge for a good night’s sleep, rolled it out, and threw it into the oven as I whisked together a crème fraîche filling. Into the pre-baked crust it went, then back in the oven. The aroma in the kitchen was intoxicating but I had yet to try a bite.
As soon as it had cooled on the countertop and was showered with a mixture of powdered sugar and cocoa, I poured some coffee and helped myself to a generous slice.
It. was. fantastic.
After having my family try this dessert, we unanimously agreed that it might be the best I’ve ever come up with.
If you like rosemary and you like chocolate, this dessert is for you (the rosemary is just subtle enough, however, for those of you who might be raising an eyebrow at this combination)! It’s really wonderful served with a piping hot cup of black coffee, trust me on this one.
CHOCOLATE ROSEMARY TART WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE FILLING
Makes one round 10 1/4 tart, eight generous slices.
For the dough*:
- 12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- A few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped, amounting to about 1 1/2 tablespoons
*After rolling out and placing the dough in the tart pan, you’ll have extra left over. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer…it’ll keep for a month and is great to have on hand if you want to make more! To defrost, place it in the fridge for a day or two. From my experience, the extra dough is enough to fill a 13 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ tart pan, or you can line a muffin tin with tart dough to make mini-tarts!
For the filling:
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Equal parts powdered sugar and cocoa powder, for dusting
- A sprig or two of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place all dough ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it forms into a ball. Take out and knead on the countertop for about 30 seconds to ensure all the rosemary is evenly distributed.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1 centimeter thick. Place over then press into a buttered round 10 1/4 inch tart pan. Prick with a fork around the bottom of the crust and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.
While the dough is chilling, make the filling. Whisk the crème fraîche, eggs, honey, and vanilla together until combined. Slowly whisk in the flour a bit at a time, making sure there are no clumps. Set aside.
After chilling for 15-20 minutes, pop the tart dough into the oven, covered with parchment and pie weights to prevent the bottom from rising. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough is dry to the touch.
After baking, remove the parchment and pie weights, pour in the filling, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling has set and you’re practically drooling from the chocolatey scent filling up your kitchen.
Remove the tart from the oven and chill on the countertop. When it reaches room temperature, mix equal parts powdered sugar and cocoa powder and dust the top of the tart with the mixture. Garnish with a sprig or two of rosemary.
Dig in! Help yourself to a sip of hot coffee between each bite. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself having seconds!