This recipe is from Viola Buitoni, a descendant of the family that launched the Buitoni pasta company and the Perugina chocolate company in Perugia, Italy. Perugina is perhaps most famous as the makers of the Baci hazelnut-chocolate kisses, each of which contains a love note concealed inside the wrapper.
This recipes incorporates Baci chocolates, fresh ricotta, cheese, espresso, rum and a surprise ingredient: a pinch of black pepper, for a rich and decadent tart.
- For the Pasta Frolla (Crust):
- 270 grams all-purpose flour
- 100 grams caster sugar (fine-grain sugar)
- 135 grams room-temperature butter
- 4 egg yolks
- Grated zest of one orange (or lemon)
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- For the Filling:
- 6 Baci Perugina chocolates
- 2/3 pound fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup strong unsweetened espresso
- 2 tablespoons rum
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 3 room-temperature eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Place all the ingredients for the crust in a mixer bowl and outfit the mixer with a paddle attachment. Work on medium to high speed until they start coming together in large crumbs.
Empty on top of a piece of plastic wrap and gather with the tip of your fingers. Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.
If using a food processor, pulse until the ingredients start coming together, then proceed as above.
Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling:
Pulse the Baci in a food processor until they are at a medium grind.
Push the ricotta through a fine sieve. Combine it with the sugar and whisk until smooth and shiny. Mix in the espresso, rum and pepper.
Divide the eggs and set the whites aside. Work the yolks into the ricotta mixture one at a time. Lastly, mix in the ground Baci.
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
Roll the crust dough to just under 1/4” thick and lay on a tart pan or ring. Cut off the excess dough around the sides (you can use it to make cookies), prick the bottom with the tines of a fork and put the tart shell in the refrigerator to chill.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and carefully fold them into the ricotta cream, moving the spatula top to bottom and back and forth if the whites get lumpy.
Pour the filling into the chilled shell and place the tart pan on a cookie sheet.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes. Check halfway through the cooking: if the top of the tart is getting too golden, loosely tent with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
It is ready when it is bouncy but not jiggly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out slightly damp but otherwise clean.
Let cool and dust lightly through a tea strainer with the cocoa powder before serving.