White and dark chocolate pastry cream flavored with the nutty deliciousness of tahini and pipped into a classic, crispy tart shell that's laced with the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
Tahini is one of my favorite ingredients to cook and bake with even though it's nothing more than ground sesame seeds. The toasty, nutty flavor of Tahini is a delicious complement to many, many other flavors, adding richness and complexity to a wide range of dishes.
While tahini is becoming increasingly popular in savory recipes (like my FAVORITE Tahini Chicken), it's absolutely wonderful in sweet dishes as well. Any internet search will turn up recipes for sesame seed candy, cookies, and cake, for good reason.
Tahini adds a unique nuttiness to baked goods that's more subtle than other nuts and seeds, and slightly on the sweet side. I think it's especially great with chocolate, somehow managing to complement and bring out the flavor of chocolate without overwhelming it.
In this dark and white chocolate tart, a bit of tahini is whipped into both dark chocolate and white chocolate pastry cream. Serve it up and watch people's faces as they slowly savor each bite, trying to identify the mysterious flavor playing a supporting role to all that rich, creamy chocolate.
This chocolate tart is surprisingly easy to make
Glancing at the length of directions, you will be tempted to assume that this is a complicated and time consuming dessert to bake. Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean... relatively speaking. This chocolate tahini tart is not as fast and simple as, say, mixing up a box of brownie mix. But, it IS substantially easier than it looks.
While you do need to plan plenty of time to let the pastry cream and pastry dough chill in the refrigerator, the total hands on time is about 60 minutes.
You'll start with one recipe of my favorite pastry cream, then simply divide it in half, adding white chocolate to one and dark chocolate to the other. After it cools, beat in some whipped cream and tahini and the filling is done.
The tart dough comes together in just a few minutes in the food processor. Then it's simply a matter of chilling the dough, rolling it out, and baking it up. Once the pastry shell is cool, pipe the white and dark chocolate pastry creams into the shell in whatever pattern strikes your fancy. If you don't want to pipe it, spread one of the chocolate pastry creams across the bottom of the tart shell and the other across the top.
You'll be rewarded with an elegant looking dessert that looks considerably more complicated than it actually is. But, you're the only one who has to know that.
Advance Preparation Tips
I LOVE desserts like this tart that conform to my schedule, allowing me to make all, or some, of the components in advance.
The white and dark chocolate pastry creams can be made up to 3 days in advance, stored in covered containers in the refrigerator. Likewise the dough for the tart pastry can be made, wrapped tightly, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The tart shell itself can be baked a day or two in advance, carefully wrapped, and stored at room temperature until ready to fill.
And the filled, finished tart will keep perfectly well in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
More recipes that use pastry cream:
- Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
- French Napoleon
- Extra Creamy Coconut Cream Pie
- Coconut Cream Cake
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Blackberry Amaretto Custard Tarts
- Chocolate Eclairs
- Doughnut Holes filled with Salted Caramel Pastry Cream
- Apple Butter and Pastry Cream Hand Pies
- Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Cream
- Strawberries and Cream Pie
- Peaches and Cream Crepe Cake
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
For the dark and white chocolate tahini pastry cream:
- 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 4 ounces (113 grams) white chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 teaspoons cold water
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup (28 grams) cornstarch
- 2 cups (454 grams) whole milk
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt, OR ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (170 grams) heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (80 grams) tahini paste
For the tart dough:
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ⅔ cup (76 grams) powdered sugar (confectioner sugar)
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/ 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon each white and black sesame seeds (optional)
MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM:
- Add the dark chocolate to a medium bowl and the white chocolate to another.
- In a small dish, stir the gelatin and water together to combine. There should be just enough water to moisten the gelatin, creating a thick paste.
- Add the egg yolks and cornstarch to a medium size bowl and whisk to combine.
- Set a 1 or 2 cup glass measuring cup next to the stovetop. Add the milk, sugar, and salt to a 4-quart or larger heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, just until it barely begins to boil. Pour 1 to 1 & ½ cups of the hot milk into the glass measuring cup. (This tempering process will help prevent the eggs from scrambling.)
- Slowly pour the hot milk from the measuring cup into the egg yolks, pouring slowly, and whisking constantly. Then, pour everything back into the saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. (You want to continue to heat the eggs slowly so they won’t scramble.)
- Cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick and begins to boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for about 20 seconds, then remove from the heat and whisk for about 20 seconds longer.
- Pour half the pastry cream over the dark chocolate and the other half over the white chocolate. Using your fingers, break the gelatin into small pieces and drop half the pieces into one bowl of pastry cream and the other half into the other. Let sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to each bowl, then stir until all the chocolate is melted and incorporated along with the vanilla and gelatin.
- Cover each bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap over the surface of the pastry cream, and punch a few holes in the surface of the wrap with a sharp knife. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. (*While the pastry cream chills, make the tart shell.)
- Remove both bowls of pastry cream from the refrigerator. Using an electric mixer, beat ¾ cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Scoop half the whipped cream into the bowl of dark chocolate pastry cream.
- Scrape the white chocolate pastry cream into the bowl of the electric mixer along with the remaining whipped cream and add ¼ cup tahini. Beat at medium speed for about 1 minute, until everything is incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth. Scrape the white chocolate tahini pastry cream back into the original bowl.
- Add the dark chocolate pastry cream and whipped cream into the bowl of the electric mixer. Add 1 tablespoon tahini and beat the pastry cream, whipped cream, and tahini at medium speed for about 1 minute, until everything is incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth.
MAKE THE PASTRY SHELL:
- Add the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon whipping cream, and vanilla to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the pieces of butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal - about 10 pulses.
- With the machine running, pour the egg mixture through the feed tube and process just until the dough begins to stick together, about 8-10 seconds. Be careful not to over process.
- Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and knead 2 or 3 times to bring it completely together. Flatten the dough into a 6-inch disk, wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- After chilling, unwrap the dough and lay it on a lightly floured work surface. (If the dough has been in the refrigerator for longer than 1 hour, you might need to let it sit at room temperature, covered, for 10 minutes or so to allow it to soften up a bit.) If using a 9-inch round pan, roll the dough into an 11-inch circle. If using a rectangle pan, roll the dough into a rectangle that's at least 20-inches long and 10 or 11-inches wide. Use flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or rolling pin as you roll it out. It can also be helpful to have a large spatula handy, to slide under the dough from time to time to keep it from sticking to your work surface.
- Gently wrap the dough around your rolling pin and then unroll over your tart pan. Lifting the edge of the dough, gently ease the dough into the pan. Press the dough against the sides of the pan and into the corners, wrapping the edges of the dough up and over the sides of the pan.
- Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to cut any excess, overhanging dough from the pan and create a clean edge. If any of the dough inside the pan is too thin or torn, use pieces of excess dough to reinforce and repair.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and line with a double layer of aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and pie weights or beans. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes longer, until the shell is fully baked and golden brown. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the pan before proceeding.
ASSEMBLE THE TART:
- Fit two pastry bags with large open star decorator tips (cupcake tips). Fill one bag with the white chocolate tahini pastry cream and the other bag with the dark chocolate tahini pastry cream.
- Remove the sides of the tart pan and use the tip of a sharp knife to gently separate the bottom of the tart pan from the pastry shell. Place the shell on a serving platter.
- Squeeze generous "stars" of pastry cream into the tart shell in any pattern you like.
- Sprinkle the top of the pasty cream with white and black sesame seeds to decorate, if desired.
- Cover and refrigerate the tart until ready to serve, up to 24 hours.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 27gProtein: 13g