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Brownie Tart:

1 1/4 cups (125 grams) pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 ounces (85 grams) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, regular unsweetened or Dutch-processed

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs (150 grams), at room temperature

3 ounces (85 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature (diced)

1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

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Brownie Tart: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) round tart pan with a removable bottom (can also use a spring form pan). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet.

Place the pecans (or walnuts) on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then coarsely chop.

In a heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel), placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and, using a wire whisk, beat in the cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract until incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Whisk in the cream cheese, just until small pieces remain. Stir in the flour and salt. Finally, stir in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the tart pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the batter has set. If you insert a toothpick into the center of the brownie it should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. If desired, dust the top of the tart with unsweetened cocoa powder before serving.

This tart can be stored in the refrigerator for about one week or it can be frozen.

Makes about 12 servings.


This Brownie Tart has a wonderfully rich chocolate flavor and a creamy smooth texture. Its chocolate flavor comes from both semi sweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. The surprise ingredient is the addition of cream cheese, which tempers the richness of the chocolate and gives the Brownie a slightly tangy flavor. We also add some toasted pecans which give extra flavor and a pleasing crunch.

As I said above, the chocolate flavor comes from both semi sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. The type of chocolate you use, either semi sweet or bittersweet, and the brand you use, will determine the chocolate flavor of your Brownie. So use a good quality chocolate that you would enjoy eating out of hand. For the unsweetened cocoa powder, you can use natural unsweetened or Dutch-processed (my personal preference).

For the nuts, you can use pecans or walnuts, or even hazelnuts or almonds. I like to toast the nuts first as this really brings out their full flavor. If you like your Brownies without chopped nuts, simply leave them out. Or you could replace them with chocolate chips.

This Brownie Tart recipe is very loosely based on a recipe in Rose Levy Beranbaum's book 'The Pie and Pastry Bible'.