Chocolate Tart by Brian

Brian Mercury's Chocolate Tart.

Taza thimble cake, rye short dough, malt meringue, fresh cream mousse, coffee chocolate sauce, chestnut puree and chestnut mousse by Brian Mercury, Executive Pastry Chef of Oak + Rowan in Boston, MA.


Yield: 10 servings

Brian Mercury, Executive Pastry Chef, Oak + Rowan, Boston, MA.

Taza Thimble Cake:

1. Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler. 

2. In mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip eggs, sugar, corn syrup and salt to full volume. Fold chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Sift flour and fold gently into chocolate/egg mixture. Scrape into ¼ sheet pan and bake at 325°F until just under-done, about 10 minutes.

Rye Short Dough:  

1. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla bean until smooth. Add yolks and mix just until combined. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix until dough just forms. Refrigerate for 4 hours. 

2. Roll out dough to ¼” thick and line greased tart rings with dough. 

3. Bake, using pie weights, at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until evenly brown.

Malt Meringue:

1. Combine whites with 6 oz/170 g of the sugar in mixing bowl.

2. Combine remaining 18 oz/510 g sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepot and heat until mixture reaches 235°F. Start mixer on high speed, and once sugar syrup reaches 240°F, slowly stream it down the side of the mixer. Mix until full body and medium stiff peaks. 

3. Gently fold in malt powder until dissolved. Pipe and dehydrate.

Fresh Cream Mousse:  

1. Bloom gelatin in cold water

2. Combine yolks and sugar, heat gently in warm water and whip on high to full volume.

3. Whip heavy cream to medium (soft) peaks.

4. Melt gelatin and add to yolks.

5. Add yolk mixture to whipped cream. 

6. Refrigerate until set.

Coffee Chocolate Sauce: 

1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and coffee in a saucepot over medium heat and stir until smooth.

2. Cook until the cornstarch begins to thicken; whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. 

3. Add the chocolate to the hot mixture and whisk until completely melted. Strain into container.

Chestnut Puree: 

1. Roast chestnuts until lightly browned.

2. Combine chestnuts in pot with brown butter, heavy cream, sugar, salt and vanilla bean. Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Puree and strain.

Chestnut Mousse:

1. Bloom sheet gelatin in cold water and set aside.

2. Melt white chocolate over a double boiler.

3. Roast chestnuts in oven until lightly browned, then puree with milk. Add to chocolate and mix until blended. 

4. Warm yolks with sugar and whip to full volume.

5. Melt gelatin.

6. Fold melted gelatin into yolk mixture, then fold into white chocolate mixture.

7. Whip 1 lb/454 g of the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into chocolate-chestnut mixture. Pipe mousse into desired mold and freeze.

8. Heat remaining 1 lb/454 g heavy cream and the corn syrup to just a simmer. Pour over chocolate and mix until combined. Set aside for glazing.

9. Unmold frozen mousse and glaze with milk chocolate ganache.


Spread thin layer of chestnut puree in bottom of tart shell. Place a disk of chocolate cake on top of puree. Place glazed chestnut mousse on top of chocolate cake off to the side. Pipe assorted sizes of kisses of fresh cream mousse on top. Garnish empty spaces with Malt Meringue and Coffee Chocolate Sauce. Garnish top of Chestnut Mousse with gold leaf. Serve off center on plate with a quenelle of plum sorbet on the side.