Montezuma’s Spicy Chocolate Tart

Montezuma's Spicy Chocolate Tart - Grok Grub

This is no ordinary chocolate tart.

Its chipotle-spattered topping gives you the first clue: this dessert is muy caliente. Beginning with an ancho chile crust, it features a filling of rich date paste studded with Brazil nuts (and spiced with more ancho chiles and cayenne pepper). The finish is a topping of chipotle ganache. Ta-da!

I call this Montezuma’s Spicy Chocolate Tart because it uses a rough approximation of flavors from the ancient Aztec culture. Chiles and cacao make a dessert fit for an emperor!

Anyway, this little wicked baby packs a flavor punch… make sure you clue who you’re sharing it with that it’s spicy! I got the beginning of the idea from this Buzzfeed list of gluten-free recipes: the Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie instantly caught my eye, but it features “vanilla coconut milk beverage” as a main ingredient. Um, no thanks. So! I set out to make a version that remains vegan yet  Paleo folks can still enjoy as a treat. I turned the dial WAY UP on the spiciness and used dates to make a luscious filling that pairs perfectly with the chipotle ganache. Unusual, decadent, very adult.


Montezuma's Spicy Chocolate Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A sturdy, spicy crust made from almond flour and coconut oil is filled with a nut-studded date paste and topped with silky raw cacao and chipotle ganache.
Serves: 8
  • 1½ cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • Coconut oil, for greasing tart pan
  • 8 large dates, pitted and soaked in ⅓ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
Garnish (optional)
  • 3 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup Brazil nuts, finely chopped
  1. To make the crust, preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8" tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond flour, 2 teaspoons of ancho chile powder and salt together with a fork.
  3. Stir in the coconut oil and maple syrup. Press into the greased tart pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  4. Allow to cool, then chill while you prepare the filling.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the filling in a food processor (including the dates' soaking liquid), then puree until smooth.
  6. Spread the paste into the chilled crust, smooth with the back of a spoon. Chill while you prepare the ganache.
  7. Combine all ingredients for the ganache, then spread over the chilled filling. Level carefully, push the edges of the ganache snugly up to the crust.
  8. To garnish, scatter half of the ¼ cup finely chopped Brazil nuts over the tart.
  9. Mix the chipotle paste and maple syrup together, stir in the last half of the ¼ cup Brazil nuts. Sprinkle over the tart.
  10. Chill, then serve.
All of the ingredients in Montezuma's Spicy Chocolate Tart can be found at a gourmet food store, but if you're having trouble locating ancho chili powder you can substitute regular chile powder instead!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 Calories: 428 Fat: 30g Saturated fat: 14g Unsaturated fat: 14g Carbohydrates: 40g Sugar: 22g Sodium: 113mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 5g

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    • Rachel says

      It will certainly beat the pants off anything else in the room for originality! Just checked out your site, btw, and I dig it.

  1. says

    I followed the link to this from the cocoa vs cacao article on Weed ’em & Reap… and this looks amazing! We (my husband especially) just love hot stuff mixed with chocolate… and ancho pepper mixed with pretty much everything.
    I see an Amazing Wife Award in my future. 😉
    ~ Christine

  2. Tanya K says

    This recipe looks amazing! Can the brazil nuts be replaced with anything else or another kind of nut? My husband may or may not be allergic and I’d rather not find out the hard way!

      • Tanya K says

        Great, I’ll try it with almonds and report back! One more q – does the tart pan need to have a removable bottom or would a regular pie dish work? Thanks in advance!

        • Grok Grub says

          The removable bottom is just a recommendation for ease. A regular pie plate should work, just a tad harder to cut neatly…

          • Tanya K says

            Hmm.. I have a 10″ tart pan with a removeable bottom, and a 9.5″ glass pie pan so trying to figure out which is best!

              • Tanya K says

                This was absolutely delicious — can’t wait to make it again! We ended up using the 10″ tart pan and just made up a little more of the crust, and it worked beautifully. Just polished off the leftovers and wishing there was more. Thanks for an amazing recipe!


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