Jam Tart with Cocoa Nib Crust: Crostata di Marmellata con Fave di Cacao

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 03:38
jam tart
Difficult Level
Cooking Time
20 minutes (plus 2 hours to chill)

There’s a cute twist to this simple, no fuss, seven ingredient chocolate tart crust. It’s made with finely ground cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs---little broken up bits of toasted cocoa beans--is chocolate in its purest state.  Nibs are as chocolaty as chocolate can be: with nothing added--no sugar, no vanilla, no preservatives, just 100% pure chocolate. 

Here they are ground in a coffee bean grinder creating a flour-like texture, that gives the crust a deeply rich full-of-chocolate flavor and aroma.  The crust, by the way, comes together in minutes, and is more a batter, than true crust. You just blend, then spread into a tart pan, top with jam and bake for 20 minutes.  Simple, yet sophisticated. Apricot, pear, raspberry and cherry jam go especially well with this rich chocolate crust.  Orange marmalade too. 

The recipe comes from one of Turin’s renowned pastry chefs and chocolatiers, Marco Vacchieri. 

Serves 8 


Cocoa nibs: 1/2 cup
Unsalted butter: 6 ounces, 1 1/2 sticks, room temperature, plus more for the pan
All-purpose flour: 8 1/2 ounces, about 1 3/4 cups, plus more for the pan
Confectioners’ sugar: 1 cup, plus more for garnish
Eggs: 2 large
Cocoa powder: 1 tablespoon, plus more for garnish
Jam or marmalade: 12 ounces, any flavor


Grind the nibs in a coffee grinder until they resemble flour. Reserve.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 9-inch tart pan or spring form cake pan.

In a bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the eggs, until creamy and well combined.  Add the reserved nib’s powder, coco powder, and flour and beat until well combined. 

Spread 3/4 of the batter into the bottom of the pan, and up the sides to a height of 1 inch. Spread the jam evenly along the bottom of the tart. Decorate with the remaining crust by piping it out with a pastry bag or thick plastic bag. Or you can top it with teaspoon-sized dollops of dough instead.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is firm. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Serve at room temperature, topped with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder.