chocolate cream tart

My husband is not a dessert fan, which always bewilders friends and acquaintances when they learn I am a pastry chef. He would happily eat pizza in place of dessert any day.  Me, on the other hand, I could live on sweets and vegetables. One of the few desserts that he loves is chocolate cream pie; I can see the allure that it has for him. Rich creamy chocolate mousse, sweet flaky pie dough topped with sweet whipped cream. What a perfect dessert!

How can you make a perfect classic dessert better? Make it into a tart with a chocolate wafer crust, dark chocolate mousse made with Mexican vanilla and topped with fresh whipped cream. Beanilla Mexican vanilla adds a bold, smoky and slightly spicy flavor to the chocolate mousse, reminiscent of the thick Mexican chocolate drink served with morning pastries in Mexico.

I garnished my tart with strawberries but in celebration of the holiday season a festive addition of crushed candy canes works perfectly for any holiday celebration!

Hot Chocolate Mousse Tart Recipe

(serves 8)

Chocolate Wafer Crust


20 Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled


Place wafers in food processor, pulse until fine crumbs. Combine with melted butter and sugar until crust forms. Place in 9inch tart pan with removable bottom and form into pan and up sides.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Mousse


4oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (chopped)
2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso
2 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure Mexican vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream


In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter, and coffee. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the two egg yolks. Cover and refrigerate while you whip the egg whites and whipping cream.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip the two egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add two tablespoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form, yet the whites are still glossy and not dry. Set aside.

In another bowl, whip the heavy cream, remaining two tablespoons sugar and Mexican vanilla extract until soft peaks form.

Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator, and gently stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture, gently but thoroughly. Fold in the whipped cream.

*Spoon into prepared crust and smooth to top of the crust

Whipped Cream


1 cup heavy cream
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. Mexican vanilla extract


Place heavy cream into mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form, add sugar, Mexican vanilla extract and beat 2 more minutes. Place into piping bag with star tip and pipe whipped cream onto tart.

**For a festive look, tart can be garnished with crushed candy canes