Everyone is always going on and on about pecans and chocolate or peanuts and chocolate or almonds and chocolate, but I think it’s high time we give walnuts their time to shine in the spotlight with chocolate. I’ve always been a fan of that combination, and I’ll admit it’s because my all-time favorite thing at See’s Candy is their Walnut Squares. Which is a walnut caramel dark chocolate fudge square and I can’t get enough. I can eat them by the handful. This isn’t sponsored at all, although See’s if you’re out there reading this, and want to send me a boatload of your Walnut Squares I would not be mad. And now that I’m going on and on about these squares, I’m realizing that I made a huge mistake with this tart recipe because I should’ve added a layer of caramel to it. Maybe I’ll rework it and we’ll revisit. Although there isn’t any caramel in this Chocolate Walnut Tart, it is still very good. A chocolate shortbread crust filled with a gooey dark chocolate filling and topped with lots and lots of walnuts. Add some ice cream and it might just be the only way you should Cheers to the Weekend.
Let’s start by making the dough for the crust of this tart. This is less flaky pie dough, and more shortbread cookie crust. So let’s cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Then add in melted semi-sweet baking chocolate and mix until well combined.
**Note: I melted the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, another 30 seconds and stir once more until smooth. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before adding to the butter and cream cheese mixture.**
Add the flour to the mixture and stir until just combined and it comes together to form a rough dough. It doesn’t have to be completely in a ball or anything. You just don’t want any flour showing through.
Shape the dough into a disk and then wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. This will make it easier to roll and work with the dough, when shaping the crust.
**Tip: If you do make this ahead of time and it’s been chilling in the fridge overnight, you’ll want to set it out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.**
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the dark chocolate chips, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, butter, espresso powder and corn syrup. Set over moderate heat, and cook, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
Once somewhat cool, add the eggs, yolks and vanilla extract and whisk until completely smooth and glossy. The mixture might be somewhat grainy from the sugar, but that’s okay.
**Tip: You want the chocolate cooled down so the eggs don’t begin to cook once you add them. That’s important. Also keep in mind that at first it might be somewhat difficult to whisk this mixture but keep on going because it’ll come together and become glossy the more you mix.**
Once the dough has chilled, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Then carefully transfer the dough into a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Using a rolling pin, roll the top of the pan so that the excess dough hanging over gets cut off. Then pour the chocolate filling into the crust, spreading into an even layer.
Sprinkle the top completely with the walnuts. We’re using walnut halves here, which don’t necessarily need to be chopped or anything. As you sprinkle them onto the top you can slightly crush them with your hands. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Place the tart onto a baking sheet, to prevent any spillage, just in case you never know. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until the center has set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
This tart is best when made in advance because it really needs to chill for at least 1 hour before slicing. The chilling firms it up and makes it easier to slice and serve. Plus, when it comes to tarts like this, I love them cold rather than room temperature for some reason. It’s like pumpkin pie. I love chilled pumpkin pie!
You can eat the tart just as it is, because it’s rich and decadent, or you can serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar, or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, or if you’re feeling super indulgent then you can serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! That’s what I did and I regret nothing.
Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s a great treat/surprise to keep in the fridge for when you’re in dire need of a sweet treat. Just let it come to room temperature if you wish or eat it straight from the fridge like me. You can’t lose either way.
- 4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces walnut halves, somewhat chopped
- powdered sugar or ice cream for serving (optional)
- In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate on high for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds, stirring until fully melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter on high until light and fluffy. Stir in the cooled chocolate and mix until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and stir once more. Add the flour and mix until just combined and it comes together to form a rough dough. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
- For the filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the dark chocolate, corn syrup, sugar, butter, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set over moderate heat and cook, stirring often, until melted through and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, about 10 minutes. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined, smooth and glossy.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Unwrap the chilled dough and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a large circle, about ¼-inch thick. Transfer to a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan. Press the dough down onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Then press on the sides of the pan, using a rolling pin, to remove any excess hanging dough. Pour the filling into the crust and spread into an even layer. Cover the top completely with the walnuts. Place the tart onto a baking sheet and bake until the center has set, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. You can slice and serve at this point or wrap in plastic and chill until ready to eat. Tart can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Enjoy!