Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats

What a week, what a week! Not to be THAT PERSON who talks like they’re the busiest in the room—because no one likes that person—but it is fair to say that life has been a little gnarly lately. (Sidenote: Is gnarly back? Can we make it come back? Sometimes no other word will do!) After wrapping up a few projects, I am so excited to sleep a little more, eat nutritious adult-type meals, and most importantly, share this recipe for a Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats with you!

Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats |

I always want to like fresh kumquats more than I actually do. If you’re not familiar with them, kumquats are wee little citrus fruits that look like miniature oranges. The inside is quite bitter, but unlike most citrus fruits, the peel is sweet. In a perfect world, bitter innards + sweet peel = delightfully delicious fruits you can pop like breath mints. In my world, the kumquats are usually still reaaaallly tart and I can only eat a few before I have to give up and admit that I’m too much of a wussy to hang with the sour citrus.

So, naturally, when faced with a pound of fresh California-grown kumquats, I candy the heck out of them and pair them with chocolate and a sweet hazelnut crust. THAT is a kumquat I can get behind!

Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats |

Oh, and I also amuse myself by crafting Pac-Man-esque still lifes with my tart. Normal? Normal.

Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats |

Candied fruit has a whiff of the old fashioned, but I promise there’s nothing dated about pairing juicy, sweet-tart kumquats with rich chocolate ganache and a crisp, buttery hazelnut shell. Keeping the kumquats in half, rather than slicing them, means that they retain their plump shape and burst open in your mouth, only instead of getting bitter acid* like you would with a fresh kumquat, you’re getting sweet juice with just a hint of sourness.

*It is possible I exaggerate. Maybe I am still holding a grudge from The Mouth-Puckering Kumquat Batch of February 2013. Who can say for sure?

Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats |

This is an elegant little dessert that’s perfect for serving in thin slices after dinner, topped with softly whipped cream, a kumquat slice, and a scattering of hazelnuts. Kumquats are nearing the end of their season, so if you see them in stores, snatch them up and give this tart a try!

Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats |

And if you’re now inspired to make All The Kumquat Things, here’s one of my favorite recipes from years past: Raspberry Kumquat Sugar Cookie Cake. A cake that tastes like a sugar cookie, filled with homemade raspberry jam and (yep) candied kumquats? Heck yes!

Raspberry Kumquat Cake |



Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats
This chocolate tart has a sweet, buttery hazelnut crust and a topping of juicy, sweet-tart candied kumquats!
Recipe type: Tart
For the Candied Kumquats:
  • 1 lb kumquats
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 2½ cups water
For the Hazelnut Tart Crust:
  • ⅓ cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
For the Chocolate Filling:
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
To Make the Candied Kumquats:!
  1. Slice the kumquats in half, and remove any visible seeds. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and place it over medium heat. Stir occasionally while the sugar dissolves, and bring the sugar syrup to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add the halved kumquats and turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer the kumquats, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent, about 30-40 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the sugar syrup and place them on a wire rack to cool to room temperature and drain of excess liquid. If you want to make these in advance, store the kumquats in the sugar syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, and drain them well once you’re ready to use them.
To Make the Hazelnut Tart Crust:!
  1. Place the toasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and process them until they’re finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the hazelnut powder in the bowl, and pulse briefly until everything is well-blended. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse until it is in small pea-sized pieces. Add the egg yolk and pulse in long 5-second bursts until the dough starts clumping together.
  2. Turn the dough out of the food processor and knead it lightly several times to incorporate any extra flour. At this point, the dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for several days. If you’re ready to use it now, spray a 9-inch tart shell with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Press the dough in an even layer into the bottom and sides of the pan. Freeze the shell for 30 minutes, and while it’s in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the top of the tart dough with nonstick spray, then press a sheet of foil onto the shell, shiny side down, and fill the foil with dry beans, rice, or pie weights.
  4. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, until the sides start to take on a little color and the center no longer looks raw, then carefully remove the foil and weights. Bake for an additional 12-14 minutes, until the shell is golden brown. You might want to cover the sides with foil to prevent them from getting too dark. Let the shell cool completely before filling it.
To Make the Chocolate Filling and Assemble the Tart:!
  1. Place the finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and place it over medium heat. Bring the cream to a simmer, with bubbles appearing all along the sides of the pan, but don’t allow it to boil. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate.
  2. After a minute, whisk the cream and chocolate together until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Add the softened butter, the vanilla extract, and the salt, and whisk them together.
  3. Pour the chocolate into the tart pan. Refrigerate the tart briefly to firm up the chocolate until it’s semi-set – about minutes should do it. You want the chocolate to be firm enough to support the kumquats, but not completely set, so that the kumquats will stick to the chocolate. Arrange the candied kumquats on top of the chocolate in concentric rings. Refrigerate the tart to set the chocolate completely, for about 1 hour. For the best taste and texture, bring the tart to room temperature before serving.
Other nuts can be substituted for the hazelnuts: pecans, almonds, and pistachios all work well. If you want to omit the nuts entirely, replace them with ¼ cup of all-purpose flour.


29 Responses to Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats
  1. I have never had a kumquat. I sure as hell love saying kumquat. But I’ve never seen them here in Oz, only once on a tree in someone’s yard. I’m going to have to track some down. This looks amazing.

  2. Medeja says:

    It sounds so tempting! Looks delicious! And is just perfect :) Have no idea where to get those kumquats, they looks so cute on top of that tart :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Medeja! It might be a geographic thing. They’re really common in California, where citrus grows well, but I imagine they can be hard to find in other places. You could replace them with other candied citrus peel, or even fresh berries for a different version!

  3. I use the word gnarly all the time. Mostly to describe my dogs teeth, but I use it. I think it needs to make a come back. It’s a good word. You know, I have never had a kumquat-for shame, right? What kind of foodie has never had a kumquat? It’s just that I’ve never seen them at a local market. They’re all cute and mini. Plus, no peeling. Yay for that! This tart looks gorgeous, and I love those shiny little quats.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha! Gnarly is the PERFECT word for dog teeth–obviously! Let’s make gnarly happen in 2014. And I hope you’re able to track down some kumquats! Could be a regional thing–we’re swimming in ‘em in my area. No peeling is definitely a bonus!

  4. If this is old fashioned, then I am proudly old fashioned! I’ve never tried a kumquat, but a chocolate tart is always the best way to try something new!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Agreed! Even if you find kumquats aren’t your thing, at least you’ll have a chocolate tart to console you. :) Thanks Mary Frances!

  5. Danguole says:

    Girl, when YOU say you’re crazy busy, I believe you (unlike most people to be honest, because I’m the worst).

    Secondly, HEY SOUL SISTER. I love everything about this and will never get sick of citrus and chocolate, especially when you do your thang with it. Lovely!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Shaking my fist at you for getting that Train song stuck in my head, but hey, I can’t be mad at you, Soul Sister! When are you going to make a kumquat cocktail so we can be internet twinners?

  6. Love this gorgeous pie! I brought home some kumquats the other day intending throw them in a veggie roast. But I ended up eating half of them solo and then let the other half get moldy. Whoops. I wish I’d thought to candy them like you did.
    But seriously…this pie is mesmerizing to look at. Hazelnuts, citrus, chocolate….perfect pairings!
    Hope your life gets a little less crazy soon … stressed/busy is no fun

    • Elizabeth says:

      Kumquats in a veggie roast–I am intrigued! Do they withstand the roasting process well? Do the insides get mushy? So many questions over here! Definitely try candying them next time–plus, if you dry them off a little after, you can dip them in chocolate for a most excellent little snack!

  7. I love how you say ‘keep reading, sugar!’ So sweet :)

    This tart is beautiful! The kumquats look like even better versions of themselves. Lovely!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you! Funny you should say that, I was just debating changing it recently–maybe I’ll keep it awhile longer! And I love your description of the kumquats–in my opinion, candying does make them a little better than their usual selves. :)

  8. The candied kumquats are freaking gorgeous on the top of the tart! Love it. I’ve never actually ate one, but am kind of intrigued now. Only kind of because I am also a wuss when it comes to sour things.

    • Elizabeth says:

      That’s the beauty of candying–add enough sugar syrup to them, and they are downright delicious! Thanks Miranda. :)

  9. Seriously. Kumquat is like, the best word ever created.

    The tart looks amazing! And despite loving the word I have never had a kumquat. I wouldn’t mind this being my first time though. Sounds so good.

  10. Johlene says:

    Busy that´s a word I know.. trying to balance everything can be hard but hey we have this chocolate & kumquat tart to keep us even busier! A busy I like ;-) haha This looks delicious!!!!!!!!!!!! Xx

  11. Gnarly is totally back – in my world anyway. So is rad. I think I’ve had a kumquat once, but kind of like you, was unimpressed. Of course, it was not steeped in sugar and plopped on top of a chocolate tart, so it really had nothing going for it. I’m all about going old-fashioned if it turns out like this!
    And busy – I bet!! I think of all the things you do, and I wonder how you do it. Are these projects ones we’ll be privy to eventually, or are they not blog/food related??

    • Elizabeth says:

      I love rad, too! Let’s make it all happen. 80′s and 90′s slang is coming back in a big way, thanks to me and you. :) And I agree, kumquats definitely need some help by way to sugar and chocolate to be their best.

      Yes, these projects will be shared in the next month! Thanks for asking, Sara. :)

  12. ela says:

    I’d like to eat everything that you post in your blog, yes, all of it looks amazing and I’m sure they’re all delicious!

  13. That looks amazing!I’ve never had a kumquat but now I want to- especially on top of a chocolate tart!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thanks Chloe! Kumquats are a lot of fun to play with, especially if you combine them with sugar and chocolate. :)

  14. I’ve never tried a kumpquat, but they sound lovely and I like sour fruit so I think I’d loooove them! Especially when chocolate is involved!
    I want this <3

    • Elizabeth says:

      If you love sour fruit then they are definitely for you! I wonder if they’re available in Spain? I hope you’re able to find them and give them a try!

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