This tart has me at a complete loss for words.
It’s so different from anything I thought I would ever make. I mean lemons and ricotta mixing with my chocolate? That’s just weird, for me at least. You all know I really do not like mixing my fruit and my chocolate, my one exception – bananas, in which case I stinking love, but the truth is, if you ever see any raspberries (strawberries, blueberries, etc) alongside chocolate it’s pretty much guaranteed I put them there to make things look pretty. Just sayin. BUT citrus and chocolate?
I never knew it could be so good – and really, it is so good.
So why the sudden urge to play with citrus and sweets? Three reasons:
One, I saw the prettiest photo of a lemon tart and I kind of just wanted to make one so I could take photos of the lemons (more on this later).
Two, I made this Toasted Coconut Lemon Bread with Salted Honey Butter last year and LOVED it. I also added chocolate chips to half the loaf. I guess this is really when I realized what an awesome combo lemons and chocolate can be.
Three, I am semi going crazy with the citrus over here. To put it simply, I ran out of savory dishes to add citrus to and decided to start experimenting with sweet ones….which yes, means I hope to share even more soon!
I know that this week was supposed to be all about football, and I really did have this other thing I was going to post today, but then this tart happened and I just had to share it. To me, anything lemon ricotta, or really even any tart, doesn’t exactly scream Super Bowl, BUT it is winter, and citrus is here now too, so I decided, why not talk about it NOW.
Plus, I sort of despise these photos and I knew if I didn’t share them soon that I would never share them. Again, my thoughts and my brain really just make no sense, but I am learning to accept my insaneness because it’s me and I have been this way for way too long to try and change now.
So today is Lemon Tart Day. Don’t worry though, promise I still have a lot more Super Bowl eats to share the rest of the week.
So after all that, let’s finally talk about this chocolate fudge swirled lemon ricotta tart. I actually made it twice in one day. I kind of do this a lot these days since lately I have been having a really hard time with my baked goods. It happens.
Anyway, I made this twice. The first time with a traditional flour tart crust and the second time with a graham cracker crust. For some reason, the flour crust just wasn’t doing it for me, so I tried the graham crackers. SO good, it just worked really well with the flavors, and let’s be honest, it is a heck of a lot easier than working that butter into the flour to make the tart dough. Other than that, I didn’t do anything differently the second time.
I ended up giving the first tart to my carpenter and he thought it was pretty awesome, but then again, I never know if those guys are really ever telling me the truth. I feel like they would never say anything negative in fear of hurting my feelings or something. You know?
The filling is pretty simple, it’s hot fudge sauce (yum) swirled with lemon, ricotta and mascarpone – so cheesy and chocolatey. Wow, just like that I even found a way to work cheese into my desserts. Geez.
Also, if you would have seen this tart in person, you would know that it’s so much prettier than these photos make it out to be. AND sorry for the lack of process shots, this day was kind of a bad one for me. I had a bunch of unexpected workers show up wanting to finish a few loose ends in the kitchen….only the kitchen was a mess and I was in the middle of shooting. So yeah, it was a little crazy (and umm, cozy, but not in a good way) in the kitchen.
Good news is, things are actually looking good, and dare I say… almost finished (yes!)?!
So once again, the point of this post?
Chocolate Fudge Swirled Lemon Ricotta Tart.
- 9 cups graham crackers or 2 graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 teaspoons vanilla divided
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese softened
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest of 2 lemons juice from 1
- whipped cream for topping (optional)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 lemon sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground (to yield 2 cups). Add butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened.
Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides. Place tart pan onto a baking sheet; bake crust until lightly browned and set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the fudge sauce, stir together cocoa powder, brown sugar, milk, salt and half of the chopped chocolate. Place in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Cook mixture at a low boil, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove sauce pan from heat, add remaining chocolate, butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla and stir until smooth. Any leftover sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container, just reheat over low heat, stirring until melted or heat in microwave, on 30 second intervals, stirring frequently.
In a food processor or blender, combine the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, granulated sugar, eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the lemon zest + juice. Blend until smooth.
Drizzle the fudge sauce in the bottom of the prepared tart crust. Pour half the ricotta mixture over the chocolate and then drizzle the mixture with more fudge sauce. Add the remaining ricotta mixture and yeah....drizzle with more fudge sauce. Use a knife to swirl the fudge sauce into the ricotta mixture. Bake the tart in the preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until just set. It is ok if the tart still has a little jiggle to it when it comes out. Set aside to cool.
To make the candied lemon, combine the sugar with ¾ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon slices and simmer until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from the sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Allow to dry before adding to the tart.
To serve, spread the tart with whipped cream and the candied lemons. Drizzle with any remaining fudge sauce. Store the tart in the fridge, but bring to room temp before serving.
I am so going to be combing lemon and chocolate for the rest of citrus season. Happening.