I really liked the combination of dark chocolate and passion fruit at Casa Velha in Portugal, so back home I developed a recipe based upon that idea without trying to copy the dish at Casa Velha. The end result was a flourless dark chocolate tartlet with a passion fruit topping that I made by adding sugar and cornstarch to passion fruit juice, and then heating it until thickened. Although this dessert was inspired by a restaurant in Portugal it isn’t Portuguese. But as a salute to Portugal, I did include Madeira in the chocolate cake. The result is very nice, especially when paired with a Moscatel de Setúbal (which is produced near Lisbon). This flourless chocolate cake recipe is very easy, as you can simply add all ingredients to the food processor.
For 4 servings
For the passion fruit jelly
5 passion fruit (2 of which are used for garnish)
25 grams (2 Tbsp) sugar
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
For the chocolate tartlets
112 grams (4 oz) chocolate, 70% cacao solids
50 grams (1/4 cup) dark brown sugar
80 ml (1/3 cup) Madeira
55 grams (4 Tbsp) butter, at room temperature + more for greasing the pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven at 180C/350F. Chop the chocolate and put it with the dark brown sugar in the bowl of the food processor.
Heat the Madeira until it’s boiling.
Turn on the food processor and with the motor running, add the hot Madeira. It will melt the chocolate.
With the motor still running, add the butter at room temperature, one tablespoon at a time.
With the motor still running, add the eggs. Add the vanilla extract as well.
Butter 4 holes of a muffin tin (each hole should be about 125 ml or 1/2 cup). Cut circles of parchment paper as big as the bottom of the holes, and line the bottom of the holes with them. Then butter the parchment paper as well. This will make sure that the tartlets will come out properly.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin.
Bake at 180C/350F until a tester comes out clean or with dry crumbs attached, 20 to 30 minutes.
To make passion fruit juice, scoop the seeds out of 3 passion fruits and push with a spoon until all of the juice has come out. Reserve some of the seeds for garnish.
If you own a foodmill, that is easier to use than a sieve with a spoon.
Put the passion fruit juice in a saucepan, and add the cornstarch.
Whisk well until there are no more lumps.
Add the sugar.
…until the sugar has melted and the jelly has thickened. Turn off the heat.
Add some reserved passion fruit seeds for garnish. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Allow the chocolate tartlets to cool to room temperature before turning over the pan to let them fall out. Peel away the parchment paper.
Put the passion fruit jelly on top of the tartlets. (As you can see, I made a double batch.)
Halve the remaining passion fruit, and serve the chocolate tartlet with the passion fruit.
This is outstanding with a Moscatel de Setúbal, especially if it is aged. It is also great with a sweet Madeira (not a dry or medium dry Madeira).
Orecchiette with lamb ragù and cream of smoked eggplant is a wonderful dish.