Ricotta and Chocolate Crostata
As soon as I saw this recipe by Domenica Marchetti in Italy Magazine, I knew I had to make it. Domenica’s recipes are always sure-fire winners, from soups to stews to desserts. That chocolate topping! That ricotta base! It’s a seemingly simple recipe, with basic flavors that complement each other perfectly — from the slightly lemony tang of the crust to the sweetened ricotta and dark, bittersweet chocolate.
Yes, you can buy your own crust, and I sometimes do, but in this case, homemade is infinitely better. The recipe makes enough for two tarts — one of which went into the freezer — and with the trimmings, I eeked out enough for two mini tart tins as well.
Follow the directions exactly to make sure you don’t have a soggy bottom. That involves resting the dough in the refrigerator for a bit, then pricking the dough and “blind-baking” it for ten minutes or so.
Fill it with the ricotta/sugar mixture and bake some more.
Then cover it with a ganache of dark chocolate and heavy cream. It will be hard to resist cutting into this one right away, but refrigerate for an hour or two to firm up the chocolate.
Serve as is, with some strawberries on the side, or if you’ve got any growing in your yard, mince some pansy flowers for a confetti of edible color.
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- 2½ cups (390g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ cup (115g) cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound (500g) fresh sheep’s milk or well-drained cow’s milk ricotta
- ¼ cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250ml) plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 8 ounces (250g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- In a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the eggs and process just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide it in half, and pat it into two disks. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and freeze for another use. Wrap the second piece and refrigerate it for 1 hour.
- Remove the pastry disk from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll the disk into a 12-inch (30-cm) circle. Carefully transfer the dough to a 10-inch (25-cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the overhang. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons heavy cream and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the crust. Bake until the filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
- In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder. Pour the remaining 1 cup cream into a small saucepan and heat on medium until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and cocoa and stir until the mixture id dark, glossy, and smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Carefully spread the chocolate ganache over the cooled filling, starting in the middle and creating a thick layer that stops just short of the crust.
- Refrigerate the crostata until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. Remove the sides from the pan and set the crostata on a serving plate. Let stand a few minutes, then cut into wedges and serve
Now I know what I’m making my dad for father’s day, but I don’t think it will be as pretty as this since I don’t have any pansies. I’ll use your idea and decorate with strawberries instead. Thanks to you and Domenica for posting this delicious and beautiful tart.
I also love Domenica’s recipes and this is another winner! You made it looks so beautiful with the addition of decoration of edible flowers. I’ll definitely make this before the summer is over. I still have leftover birthday cake in my freezer to finish first.
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