Grace’s Italian Chocolate Tart

I received a book in the mail a little while ago that I was really looking forward to. It was described to me as full of classic Italian recipes (already sounding like a no-brainer right?). There was another little catch though, these weren’t just Italian recipes, these were Italian dessert recipes.

Needless to say, I ran out as soon as I knew it was coming to buy some cannoli molds. I haven’t been brave enough to make those yet, but I keep the molds in my top kitchen drawer, so that they’ll taunt me every day until I actually do.

I didn’t even realize when I was first talking about the book that it was Grace’s Sweet Life, from THE Grace’s Sweet Life (I think I stoped hearing anything after “Cookbook of only Italian desserts”. She’s only a fellow blogger that I absolutely love following. Her recipes are flawless, her pictures beautiful, and what I really love is how knowledgeable she is about her cooking (and how she gets back to everyone who has a question, something I saw that inspired me to do the same). She’s also funny, sweet, witty, etc, etc. Basically, you’ll wish she was your next door neighbor as much as I wish she was mine.

So, visit her site, and buy her cookbook, because it is fabulous! It’s less than $13 on Amazon, and this isn’t your typical book store cookbook, where the team working just thought half of the recipes “sounded” like they’d be good and were never actually tested. These are tried and true, beloved Italian recipes that have stood the test of time, and I would hanker to bet a few very serious about their cooking grandmothers. It is a steal.

On to the recipe! Did I mention this is a chocolate tart? Well, Grace isn’t playing around here. It is a chocolate tart, with a chocolate crust, chocolate filling, and a chocolate glaze. Now that is what I call a chocolate tart!

First off, such a cute little book! I love that the volume and weight is given!


First up, make the crust. Get some butter in a microwave safe bowl.


Melt it.


Add the cookie crumbs.


Stir them all together so that they’re evenly moistened.


Dump them into your tart tin (you want a tin with a removable bottom).


Press them evenly into the bottom and sides of the tin.


Perfect! Now just throw it in the oven for about 10 minutes, until it starts to puff (careful not to over cook, it can be hard to tell with chocolate crusts so don’t look for that typical “browning”).



Here’s the cooked crust. See how the bottom has raised bubble areas, that’s what you’re looking for! Just set it aside to cool now.


On to the filling! Throw some bittersweet (60%) chocolate in a bowl.


Add some butter.


Make a double boiler and melt.


Perfect! Let it cool down a bit now for 5 minutes.


Break some eggs into a second bowl.


Whisk them up quickly.


Add in the sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla.


Whisk it all up.


Add the cooled chocolate.


Whisk it in.


Now strain the tart filling into the shell. This is just to catch any little bits of egg that may have cooked in the heat of the chocolate. For the first time ever though, I didn’t have any. That was a really good feeling.


You can tap the tart a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles that may be stuck in it (they’ll rise to the surface). Then just use the point of a pairing knife to pop the bigger ones for a better presentation. Or like me, who was cooking it for Bo for Father’s Day, you can leave it and call it a rustic chocolate tart. When you want to half-ass something, or skip making it pretty, just call it rustic and everyone will know it was supposed to look like that. Now, toss it in the oven and bake until the edges are puffed and the center is still a little jiggly, 20 –  25 minutes.


Here’s the tart out of the oven. Come on, how to you not want to run and make this right away! And we aren’t even finished yet!


Next up, while the tart is cooking, make the mascarpone cream. Oh, did I not mention the mascarpone cream? It’s only this delicious, ever so slightly tangy, perfect finish to this tart. Put some heavy cream, icing sugar, and vanilla into a bowl. Beat until soft peaks form.


Yep, that’s nice looking.


In a second bowl, beat some mascarpone until smooth and creamy.


Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone until uniform.


Beautiful. Now put it in the fridge to firm up.


Onto the chocolate glaze. Now, you’re supposed to use bittersweet here again, but I ran out and had to use semi-sweet chips. So, measure out the chocolate.


You’re also supposed to warm the cream in a saucepan and then pour it over the chocolate. I was getting tight on time, and I didn’t want to hand wash the pot (ok, so really, I just didn’t want to wash the pot), so I poured the cream over the chocolate and then microwaved it for 45 seconds and stirred it together. Then stir in the corn syrup and warm water. I forgot to take a few pictures here, sorry.


Pour the glaze onto the center of the tart.


Use an offset spatula to spread it around the tart, leaving a bit of a boarder unglazed. Now just let it stand for about an hour, so that the glaze sets.


I know, there are no words. I’m going to take Grace’s lead here and give you this link on how to shape the mascarpone cream quenelles. Don’t be scared by them, I saw it on tv once a few years ago and after I tried it was surprised how easy it was to do. It’s especially easy when you don’t hold yourself to a ridiculous standard (something I rarely do). If you don’t want to though, just slap it on with a spoon. A quennelle won’t make it taste any better than it already does.

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Remember: This is a chocolate tart… a very chocolate tart. I do not see this as being a bad thing, and neither did Bo. Just don’t go thinking you need to any more chocolate somewhere. Man on man am I ever wishing I still had a piece of this in the house!

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Recipe reprinted courtesy of Grace’s Sweet Life and Ulysses Press.

Here’s your printable:

Grace’s Italian Chocolate Tart

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 1 x 8½\" tart

Grace’s Italian Chocolate Tart


    Oreo Cookie Crust {Crosta di Biscotti al Cioccolato}
  • 136 g (1½ cups) Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 71 g (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • Chocolate Truffle Tart Filling {Ripieno di Crema al Cioccolato}
  • 250 g (8.8 ounces) good quality bittersweet chocolate, 60%, finely chopped
  • 85 g (¼ cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) heavy cream, 35%
  • 75 g to 103 g (1/3 cup to 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Glaze {Glassa al Cioccolato}
  • 64 g (2¼ ounces) good quality bittersweet chocolate (60%) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2½ tablespoons heavy cream, 35%
  • 1¼ teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1¼ tablespoons warm water
  • Mascarpone Cream Quenelles {Quenelles di Crema di Mascarpone}
  • 180 ml (¾ cup) heavy cream, 35%, cold
  • 1½ tablespoons confectioners’ (icing) sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 163 g (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon or 5.65 ounces) mascarpone cheese, room temperature


    Oreo Cookie Crust {Crosta di Biscotti al Cioccolato}
  1. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
  2. In a small bowl stir together Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter until combined and crumbs are evenly moistened.
  3. Press crumb mixture evenly in base and up sides of tart tin.
  4. Place crumb-lined tin on a sheet of aluminum foil (in case butter leaks) and bake until slightly puffed, 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to wire rack to cool, 10 minutes.
  6. Chocolate Truffle Tart Filling {Ripieno di Crema al Cioccolato}
  7. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
  8. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of just simmering water, stirring occasionally; set aside and allow mixture to cool slightly, 5 minutes.
  9. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, 75 g (1/3 cup) sugar, salt and vanilla.
  10. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Taste chocolate mixture if you would prefer it sweeter add extra sugar a little at-a-time until desired sweetness is achieved.
  11. Pour tart filling through a fine mesh sieve into cooled tart shell (you may need a helper to hold the sieve and remember to scrape the chocolate goodness on the underside of the sieve). Tap tart tin once on countertop to remove any air bubbles (if any air bubbles are visible after tapping, use the tip of a sharp paring knife or toothpick to pop the bubbles; this will make for better presentation).
  12. Bake until filling is slightly puffed, set around edges and centre jiggles slightly when tin is gently shaken (filling will continue to set as the tart cools), 20 to 25 minutes.
  13. Transfer to wire rack; cool completely in tin, about 1 hour.
  14. Chocolate Glaze {Glassa al Cioccolato}
  15. Place chocolate in small bowl.
  16. In small-sized saucepan bring cream to a boil over low to medium heat.
  17. Immediately pour cream over chocolate; let sit for 1 minute.
  18. Using small, flexible spatula, stir chocolate and cream together; begin near centre of bowl and gradually work your way toward edges, pulling in as much chocolate as possible, until the glaze is smooth, glossy and well combined.
  19. Stir in corn syrup; stir in warm water.
  20. Strain glaze through a fine mesh sieve into 250 ml (1-cup) capacity liquid measuring cup (this will ensure the glaze is smooth and catch any chocolate bits) (make sure to scrape all the chocolate goodness on the underside of the sieve).
  21. Immediately pour glaze onto centre of tart; working quickly with offset spatula spread glaze evenly to edges leaving a 6-mm (¼-inch) unglazed border.
  22. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
  23. Mascarpone Cream Quenelles {Quenelles di Crema di Mascarpone}
  24. Using electric hand mixer beat heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla at high speed until soft peaks form.
  25. Using electric hand mixer beat mascarpone cheese until smooth and creamy.
  26. Using large flexible spatula gently fold cream into mascarpone.
  27. Transfer cream to an airtight container, cover and chill in refrigerator, 30 minutes.
  28. Serve tart garnished with a quenelle** of mascarpone cream (**Making Quenelles).
  29. Buon Appetito!


Recipe reprinted courtesy of Grace's Sweet Life - Homemade Italian Desserts from Cannoli, Tiramisu and Panna Cotta to Torte, Pizzelle and Struffoli and Ulysses Press. Copyright 2012.

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Legal hum dum: I received my copy of Grace’s Sweet Life for free, but all the view expressed are my own. I was not required to saw anything, nor did I recieve any compensation outside of the book. The recipe is re


  1. This looks amazing! Such rich chocolate!

  2. Kat the tart looks amazing! You have me craving chocolate. I am so happy you enjoyed it. I would love it if you would upload one of your images on both of my Facebook Pages (La Mia Vita Dolce & GracesSweetLife) – everyone will be drooling.

    • No problem Grace! I’m not at my computer now, but will tonight before I hit bed. The picture’s are drool worthy because the recipe is so great! And I mean it, I can’t get enough of your cookbook; I can not wait to make the 7 layer cake!

  3. This is like a chocolate lover`s DREAM! Ahaha. Plus, this tart looks AMAZING!

  4. Thanks for the review of Grace’s cookbook – I love hearing from other bloggers and cooks about cookbooks they love. And this tart looks so decadent and beautiful! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I can’t wait to see what you create next…

  5. This look amazing. I saved it to my evernote….need to try sometime soon
    cammi pham

  6. Hi, i was just wondering what sized to tart pan you used, i want to make this is a bigger tin but i’m not sure how much to increase recipe by :)
    thanks, marni :)

  7. Thanks for this recipe – saw it on Tastespotting and it looked phenomenal! I made it this morning and it was beyond amazing. Three notes – I used a disposable cake pan with straight sides because I had to transport it (worked perfectly), I used the microwave for all melting/heating – also worked great…and the reviews from our Rosh Hashana dinner were well worth it – it was a huge hit!

    • :) I’m so glad that you liked it! I’m also happy to hear that the microwave worked! That’ll speed it up a lot. Thanks for letting me know that everyone liked it (and for reminding me that I should make this again for Bo)

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