Coconut and dark chocolate ganache tart


In Italy, today is the day of the Befana, an ugly witch that fills children’s stockings with candy and chocolate if they were good, coal if they were not. We don’t have the Befana in the US, it is Santa’s job to fill stockings on Christmas eve, perhaps a testimony to our love of downsizing and efficiency. When my kids ask me about this conundrum in a few years I will have to explain that the Befana’s broomstick can’t cross the ocean. Meanwhile, it’s raining chocolate over here and nobody is asking any questions.

I must have been very good this year. The Befana brought me this beautiful chocolate and coconut tart, despite the fact that I’m trying to cut down on refined sugars and flours this January. Perhaps she didn’t know about my diet, or perhaps she didn’t care. All I can say is that I wouldn’t want to offend her by NOT eating a slice, so I suppose my diet will have to begin tomorrow… Sigh…

Coconut and dark chocolate ganache tart

  • one recipe Classic Flaky Pie Crust
  • 14 oz high-quality dark or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Butter and flour a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and place in the freezer until ready to use. Roll out the pie dough on a lightly-floured work surface and transfer to the cold tart pan. Trim edges and prick all over the bottom with a fork. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C). Line the cold pastry with parchment paper; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until pastry begins to color around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights, and continue to bake just until the pastry dries out and turns a light golden color, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

Lower the oven temp to 325°F (160°C) to toast the coconut flakes. Spread the flakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Toast for 5-10 minutes, until light golden. Watch closely to avoid from burning.

Meanwhile, place finely chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, just bring coconut milk to a boil. Pour hot coconut milk over chocolate and let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth and creamy. Pour the ganache into the cooled pie shell and carefully transfer the tart to refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. After 30 minutes in the refrigerator, decorate the tart with the toasted coconut flakes.

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