Chocolate Mascarpone Tart

(Adapted from The All American Cheese and Wine Book)

This is one of the easiest yet most satisfying desserts you'll ever make. All you need to do is toast some nuts, make a crust out of them, and fill the crust with the simple cheese mixture. The end result is kind of a cross between ice cream and frozen custard, even though the recipe has no eggs. Like ice cream, it hits the spot on a hot summer day. Best of all, this tart can be made well in advance and will last about two weeks in the freezer. 

Serves 10-12

2 cups whole almonds with skins, toasted and cooled
Scant 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup heavy cream
About 1/4 ounce semisweet or milk chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the crust: In the bowl of a food processor, process almonds and sugar together. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until incorporated. Press the mixture into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust has turned a slightly darker shade of brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, mix the cheese, sugar, vanilla and the cocoa powder. Mix until creamy, about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and stir just until the ingredients are blended. Pour into the prepared crust and, using a vegetable peeler, shave the chocolate over the top of the tart. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

To serve, let the tart sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and then cut. After serving, return the remaining tart to freezer. Wrapped well, the tart will keep for up to 2 weeks in the freezer.

Recipe from Laura Werlin


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