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
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.
To make the crust, preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8" tart pan with a removable bottom and set aside.
Mix the almond flour, 2 teaspoons of ancho chile powder and salt together with a fork.
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.
Allow to cool, then chill while you prepare the filling.
Combine all ingredients for the filling in a food processor (including the dates' soaking liquid), then puree until smooth.
Spread the paste into the chilled crust, smooth with the back of a spoon. Chill while you prepare the ganache.
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.
To garnish, scatter half of the 1/4 cup finely chopped Brazil nuts over the tart.
Mix the chipotle paste and maple syrup together, stir in the last half of the 1/4 cup Brazil nuts. Sprinkle over the tart.
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!
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