It’s totally that time of year. Time to button up my blouse, dig out my cranberry red lipstick, and invite people over for dinner. My usual dinner of scrambled eggs and popcorn isn’t going to cut it. It’s the holidays and people need to be, you know… impressed! No pressure or anything. Seriously, no presh.
Except, wait… why am I still feeling the pressure? The holiday season is awesome and just a bit overwhelming/intimidating/oh goodness gracious/what dessert am I going to make/ what shoes am I going to wear. I get it. I really do. I am here (with my aggressively colored blouse on) to help.
I got a dinner party plan, and I partnered with the Almond Board of California to bring my plan to life. This holiday dinner planning is serious business. There is focaccia to make, Brussels sprouts to roast, and pork loins to roll. There’s also some fun and short videos to inspire you each step of the way!
There’s also this clever holiday guide with every recipe from Almond Roasted Focaccia Bread with Grapes and Rosemary to Cherry Almond and Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Loin. Yea… I kinda pulled out all the stops (and all the almonds).
When it comes to planning a holiday menu, dessert is usually the first thing I think about. Yes… appetizers and side dishes are important, it’s just the sweet end that always comes to mind first.
This sweet and creamy Honey Almond Butter Chocolate Tart is dreamy beyond compare.
The tart has three elements: a shortbread crust, a creamy almond butter mousse filling, and dark chocolate ganache.
Let’s start with the crust!
The beauty of this crust? It’s a press-in crust! Absolutely no rolling necessary. No dirty countertops! A total win.
Butter is broken down into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly and incorporated.
An egg is our crust binder.
After a good stir, it’s press-in time!
I topped the dough with just a bit of flour as I pressed it into the pan.
Oh! I totally have a baking pro-tip for you. To keep the tart crust from shrinking during baking, freeze the crust for an hour before placing it in the oven. Baker’s secret from me to you.
While the crust freezes and bakes, it’s time to make the filling.
It’s so simple, you’re going to want to high-five me. First things first: turn heavy cream into whipped cream. Done. Second things second: grab a jar of nutty almond butter and measure out half of a cup. Third things third: grab a spoon and eat two heaping spoonfuls of almond butter straight from the jar. You know you want to.
Cream cheese is blended with almond butter and honey. It’s smooth and nutty and crazy delicious!
It’s time to marry whipped cream and creamy almond butter goodness.
Folding the almond butter filling with the whipped cream is easy. It takes some simple stirring and folding action. The hardest part is keeping the spoon out of your mouth between stirs. That’s real.
Once all the whipped cream is incorporated into the creamy almond butter the filling is utterly irresistible. It’s soft and light and flavored with toasted ground almonds and sweet honey.
And that’s it for the filling! Once the tart crust is baked off, this filling goes in! No more baking!
No decadent tart would be complete without chocolate.
I mean… come on!
This glossy chocolate ganache is so easy to make, I feel like it could either be a huge problem or a blessed solution.
Cream is heated until it is steaming hot.
Steaming hot cream is poured over dark chocolate pieces. The two stand and marry for 30 seconds… then they’re stirred together into this awesomely glossy chocolate ganache. It’s everything ever.
Get a load of what’s happening here.
Crust is golden and lovely, filling is creamy and nutty, chocolate is just dang classy. It tastes thoughtful and festive.
I love that this is an almost no-bake situation! The crust is press-in and bake, and the creamy almond filling really carries the dessert. It feels comforting and fancy all at once.
I told you I had a plan! Holiday dinner just got awesome. This Roasted Almond Focaccia Bread with Grapes as Rosemary is such a winner. It makes your house smell like fresh baked bread… because you totally just made fresh made bread! The almonds are toasty and crunchy while the grapes are sweet and juicy after some time in a hot oven. Swoon!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sliced Almonds and Pomegranates are a play on all that is crunchy, roasted and fresh!
The Cherry Almond and Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Loin will have guests wondering just when you became Julia Child. It’s a show stopper with it’s earthy, sweet and crunchy filling. Like.. whoa!
I hope you’ve found a bit of inspiration! In the very least, I hope your brain is filled with creamy Honey Almond Butter Chocolate Tart thoughts and you’re ready for some champagne and good company! xo, joy
ALMOND BUTTER CHOCOLATE TART
Makes one tart
For the Tart Shell:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg, beaten
For the Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup almond butter
½ cup honey*
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
*check the ingredients on your almond butter. if the almond butter is unsweetened, use 1/2 cup honey. if your almond butter has sugar in the ingredient list, use 1/3 cup honey.
To Make the Tart Shell:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add cold butter and quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry cutting tool until well incorporated. Some butter pieces will be the size of small peas; others will be the size of oat flakes. Add the beaten egg and use a fork to bring the mixture together. The dough will be moist but not wet.
Place dough into a 9-inch round, removable bottom tart pan (or similar, like a rectangular pan approximately sized 14x 4.5 x1). Use your fingers to press the dough across the bottom of the tart pan and up the sides. Press the dough evenly throughout the tart pan. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the dough several times and place tart in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one side of a piece of foil with butter. Remove the tart shell from the freezer and press the foil into the tart shell, butter side down.
Bake the tart for 18 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow tart shell to cool completely before filling.
To Make the Filling:
In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, almond butter, and honey. Beat until smooth and creamy, ensuring that all of the ingredients are well incorporated, about 5 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla extract.
Remove bowl from the mixer. Use a spatula to stir in one third of the whipped cream until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold together. Filling will be the texture of a fluffy mousse. Store in the refrigerator until ready and the tart shell is cool enough for filling.
To Make the Ganache:
Place finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat heavy cream in the microwave until hot and steaming, about one minute (depending on your microwave). Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Slowly stir the chocolate and cream mixture until chocolate is melted and mixture is glossy. Add salt and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
To Assemble the Tart:
Smooth filling into the bottom of the cooled tart shell creating an evenly smooth top. Pour ganache over the top and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle with toasted, sliced almonds and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.