Introduction: Mocha & Fig Tart With an Almond Pretzel Crust

A playful mingling of sweet, spicy, and savory best describes this rich dessert.   What works best about this dessert is the texture and saltiness of the almond-pretzel crust, which provided a light enough foundation to contrast the heaviness of the filling. The espresso-chocolate and cream smoothes out the texture while adding a lovely, dark, deep canvas against which the fig firmly stands. This dessert plates very elegantly and would make an impressive, unexpected dessert for guests.

Step 1: Mocha & Fig Tart With an Almond Pretzel Crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and organize all ingredients in appropriate measures:

CRUST::

1 1/2 cup mini pretzels (pulsed to large crumbs in food processor)

2/3  cup almonds (pulsed to large crumbs in food processor)

2 tablespoons of sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of espresso granules

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)


FILLING::

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

10 ounces semi sweet chocolate morsels

6-7 mission figs (stems removed and pulsed in food processor to form a thick paste)

2 large eggs (beaten, room temperature)

1 tablespoon of espresso (finely ground)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon extra fine sea salt




Step 2:

Pulse pretzels and almonds in a food processor. Add sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of espresso granules and butter, then pulse a few times.

Step 3:

Press the pretzel-almond crumb mixture into either a 9 inch tart tin, or 6 small individual tart dishes. You can use the bottom of a glass to press the crumbs firmly to the bottom and a half inch up the sides.

Step 4:

Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes (375 degrees),  and remove from the oven to cool while you make your filling.  Turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Step 5:

Pulse figs in a food processor until they form a thick paste.

Step 6:

In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream and the milk until it simmers

Step 7:

Once it simmers, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate bits, along with the cinnamon, and salt.

Step 8:

Stir in the fig paste, and the espresso granules, and continue to stir until the fig has loosened up and is fully incorporated with little or, no lumps.

Step 9:

Add  a couple tablespoon of the hot chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs to temper the eggs so they do not scramble when added to the chocolate.

Step 10:

Add egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to thoroughly incorporate. (about one minute.)

Step 11:

Fill your prepared, baked crust, or individual dishes with the filling mixture. Bake the tart(s) for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. If the tart(s) begin to show signs of bubbles or cracks on top, quickly remove them from the oven, as this is a sign of an over- cooked tart.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes. Serve warm from the oven, or chilled.
Garnish with whipped cream or fig (optional)

Comments

author
spark master (author)2013-02-28

Nice recipe, next time you make one, stick an instant read thermometer in it at the center! The hole can be disguised with an almond or a blop of cream!

author
kimbell52 (author)2012-02-19

This dessert looks incredibly sinful! What a great combination of ingredients!

author

Thank you so much for checking out my recipe!!

author

No thanks are necessary. It is a beautiful and amazing recipe!

author
barefootbohemian (author)2012-02-18

I had already decided to make this, but I do have a question.... my figs aren't in yet, in fact with this winter I may have lost the tree entirely. Can dried mission figs be used? I really like the idea of the saltiness of a pretzel crust too. It just really looks good to me!

author

Oh, absolutely! If you notice in my photograph, I have dried mission figs. You can use any variety, really. Actually, dried are preferred, as the fresh might add too much moisture to the mix. I have yet to try this recipe with fresh figs, but will in the future, for the sake of comparison.
This dessert is a really old-school Italian dessert. I grew up in a very Italo-American populated town, and everyone has fig trees and cooks and bakes with figs, so I am always incorporating them into my dishes. Of, course, coffee is very popular in our desserts, as well, so I decided to marry the two. Good luck, with your dessert! I know you and your guests will just love it!!

author

:). I thought they looked a bit dried up. I've actually never seen a dried one except the outside of a package in the store.
This is going to give me a perfect chance to work with some and try them. I didn't even know I liked figs until by chance I bought a fig tree for the back garden. The silly thing must like it here, it had produced non-stop since 2 weeks in. Even after a freeze killed it to ground level I had figs coming out 5 inches from the ground. Hoping if the winter got it once again I will have the same luck in how much it produces. I have learned to make a variety if both savory and sweet dishes with them as well as jams, but I have never made a pie or tart with them., so i think niw is the time! I'll get some dried ones for this, and might even try the fresh as well just to see (and use up some figs).
You might know, is there any other ways besides canning and drying to preserve the figs? They seems to only keep a day or two after they are picked.

author

That didn't sound quite right. I didn't mean to imply the figs look bad or shriveled. Hope u know what I mean lol!

author

Haha. You are so cute! I know exactly what you mean! The dried figs are, in fact, shriveled compared to the fresh ones.

As far as preserving them another way, hmmm.. maybe freeze?

You know, my favorite little snack is to slit open a dried fig, jam a walnut half in there and dip in melted chocolate. To die for!! I know it sounds really simple, but the flavors and textures together really work.

author

I am so going to have to try that! Except might try with pecans since I always have loads of those. Seems like walnut is used more with figs but surely it will work. No matter what it has chocolate and that makes EVERYTHING delicious :)

author
sandishep (author)2012-02-16

Cathi - it sound incredible and looks de-lish! Good luck!!!

author

Well, thank you, very much!!! :-)

author
cookingupastorm2 (author)2012-02-16

That looks ridiculously and sinfully delish!

author

Very sinful!!! Muahahaaahaa. *evil, Vincent Price laugh*

author
KCQuaretti (author)2012-02-16

What a fantastic combination! This looks amazing!

author

Thank you!!! It was SO rich! Serve with an espresso after dinner. Really hit the spot!

author
Grandmereb Lovestobake (author)2012-02-16

Wow, this sounds great! I voted for you of course. :-)

author

Thank you, very much for checking out my dessert!!

author
lorimclain (author)2012-02-16

That fig is calling my name....looks fantastic !

author

Thank you, very much, for checking out my recipe!!

author
allykitchen (author)2012-02-16

Love your steps...easy to follow..and pixs are great!! Good luck!! Ally

author

Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate!! :-)

author
jdaskevich (author)2012-02-16

Yummy - I love figs!!!

author

Thanks!! I find the flavors really compliment each other well!

author
logansw (author)2012-02-15

Best of Luck, Cathi. Your recipe rocks! sw☺

author

Thank you, SO much!! xo

author
Ronna (author)2012-02-15

Looks delish!!!!

author
TheBrooklynRagazza (author)Ronna2012-02-15

Thank you!! You can add a little chili powder, if you want some heat, or some bourbon, or rum, for a little kick!! Very versatile!!

author
deezrecipeze (author)2012-02-15

Great recipe ~ sounds so yummy!!!!

author

Thank you so much! Very easy and versatile recipe!

author
vcallag (author)2012-02-14

Easy to follow instructions! Nice pics.

author

Thanks so much!! It really is a cinch to make!

author
BakingBrenda (author)2012-02-13

Love this Recipe!! My favorite ingredients Chocolate, Figs and Almonds ...Got To Be A Number#1 Hit!!!

author

Thanks, so much!! The addition of the espresso gives the dessert more depth, I find. Thanks for checking it out!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Cathi Iannone is a Brooklyn-based, designer, Italian-American home cook, and creator of the Italian-American food & lifestyle blog, The Brooklyn Ragazza. She specializes in local and ... More »
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