Chess Tart

A rich chocolate and pecan tart with just a hint of coffee, does it get much better than this?

Prep Time
30 min
plus chilling
Cook Time
25 min
Recipe by
Megan Williams, Pastry Chef
Etch Restaurant
Nashville, TN


8 oz. (227g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, unsalted, softened
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. (113g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (6g) kosher salt
1 lg. (50g) egg
1 tsp. (5g) vanilla extract
2⅔ cups (340g) all-purpose flour


5 tbsp. (70g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, unsalted
5.5 oz. (155g) bittersweet chocolate, with at least 55% cocoa solids
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. (175g) granulated sugar
2 tsp. (10g) vanilla extract
1 tsp. (1g) instant espresso powder
½ tsp. (3g) kosher salt
2 lg. (100g) eggs
1 cup (113g) coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Crust: Combine butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Increase speed to medium high (speed 6 on KitchenAid) and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn the mixer off, add 1 egg and 2 tsp. vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Turn the mixer off, scrape the sides and the bottom with a rubber spatula, and mix for one minute on medium high to incorporate the egg.
Turn mixer off, add flour, and mix on low until flour is fully incorporated. Divide the dough in two pieces, 12.5 oz. (354g) each. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9½ or 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray the line the bottom with a parchment paper circle. Press the dough into an even layer along the bottom and up the sides of the pan, starting at the center and pressing it out gradually. The crust will be almost 1/4” thick all over. When it is all pressed out, use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust all over. Freeze the crust for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 375° (350° convection). Bake crust for 10 minutes to par bake. Remove from oven and press down on any part of the crust that puffed up during baking. Cool crust fully.
Filling: Reduce oven to 350°F (325°F convection). Melt the remaining butter and chocolate over a double boiler in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Turn off heat. Whisk in sugar. Remove bowl from the water bath. Whisk in vanilla, espresso powder, salt and eggs. Whisk to combine. Add pecan pieces and stir with a spatula to combine. Pour filling in prepared crust.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until chocolate filling looks jiggly but the center puffs up. Cool pie and slice. Serve at room temperature or reheat slices in the oven. Serve with softly whipped cream or ice cream.
The crust recipe makes enough for two tarts. You can freeze the extra dough for up to a month, or roll, cut and bake it as shortbread cookies.