A crostata is an Italian pastry. The dough for the pastry is referred to as pasta frolla (a close relative of shortbread) and is usually filled with seasonal fruit or any number of homemade jams, sometimes even chocolate. Since it’s February in Chicago, and there’s no local fruit to be found, and because I love chocolate, I decided on dark chocolate crostata.
While by no means in keeping with Italian tradition, I can’t resist the combination of dark chocolate and Mexican spices — ancho, chipotle, guajillo, and cinnamon. Thus, this is a twist on the traditional crostata, and hopefully not offending too many purists out there. I used a combination of 72% and 85% cacao, so this is intensely chocolaty, and pairs nicely with the buttery, flaky crust.

Thinking that mixing some seedless, red raspberry fruit preserves, or fresh raspberries when in season, in with the ganache (with or without the aforementioned spices, your call) would be a nice combination. Definitely something to try with my next batch.

You can prepare the crostata in a tart pan with a removable bottom for a more polished look or you can make them free form (as I did) for a more rustic look.


Spicy Dark Chocolate Crostata

Pasta Frolla

1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
⅓ cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Flatten and refrigerate for one hour.

Chocolate Ganache

7 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon guajillo powder
1/2 teaspoon ancho powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Add the spices and stir until incorporated. Place the ganache in the refrigerator, and chill until set. At least two hours.

Assembling the Crostata

Makes 6 mini crostata

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Divide the dough into 6 pieces (~ 2 1/2 ounces each).  Lightly flour your work surface. Flatten the first piece of dough and lightly sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness (about 6 1/2 inches in diameter). Cover the dough with a layer of ganache, leaving an inch around the outside. Fold the sides of the dough in, pinching the corners, making 5-points. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Prepare an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water) and brush over the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let cool. Grate a little chocolate over the top. Serve immediately.

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Looks good!!!!


Looks good!!!!

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