Passion-fruit ‘Brulee’ Tart w/ Chocolate Brownie Crust

I don’t know if i should blame it on my French heritage or my Piscean nature but i have a knack for meditating on the small moments and little pleasures of life. Shhh… don’t tell anyone now but I actually enjoy digging my hands in coffee beans, skipping stones and popping bubble wrap. I am shameless.

Today, i had one of those ‘instant Kodak’ moment when the delicate ‘brulee’ layer of this passion-fruit tart cracked to the gentle pressure of my spoon opening the door to unimaginable creaminess. I was in heaven for a split of a second. The seductive passion-fruit flavor, the slightly chewy chocolate brownie and the crisp caramel working together as a team for my own selfish enjoyment.

But i needed to make sure those stolen moments of pure bliss weren’t the fruit of my over-reactive imagination, and that my bias toward anything chocolate wasn’t affecting my judgment – so i set up a sort of clinical trial on a subject at hand – Mrs Big Bossman. I needed objectivity. Here’s what i got:

– Mmmmmmmmmmm. It’s gooood. Nooo it’s better than that! Wow…amazing! (she said with her eyes closed)

Surprising results can occur when matching passion-fruit and chocolate. Try it at your own risks. Side effects may include nonsensical babbling, sweating, chills and a post-coital tone of voice.

Passion-fruit ‘Brulee’ Tart w/ Brownie crust
(adapted from Chef Rob Feenie)
~Serves 6~
Chocolate Brownie:
  • 4 oz. bittersweet Valrhona chocolate, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • butter for mold
  • flour for dusting
Passion-fruit custard:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup passion-fruit purée (or melted passion-fruit sorbet)
  • granulated sugar for topping

Chocolate Brownie:
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisk in the cocoa powder. When chocolate is melted, remove from double boiler and keep warm.With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Continue mixing while adding eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in flour and salt. With a spoon, fold the warm chocolate mixture into the batter and blend well.If you are making individual servings, use an 11- x 7-inch metal pan. For a tart, use a 9-inch springform pan. Line pan with parchment. Butter and flour it. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Batter should be no more than 1 inch deep. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and cool in the pan.

Passion-Fruit Custard:
Heat butter and cream over double boiler and stir until blended. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and yolks over hot water until slightly warm. Slowly whisk butter mixture into eggs, followed by the sugar and purée. Place the bowl in a water bath or transfer the custard to a double boiler over barely simmering water, and stir until the spoon leaves a trail when pulled through mixture. Remove from heat and strain.

To Assemble:
Preheat oven to 250°.For individual servings, cut chocolate base into six 3-inch rounds. Use a separate cutter for each tart so that you can leave the base in the cutters, using them as a mold. Place the cutters on a parchment-lined baking sheet and fill to the top with the custard. For springform tart, remove the chocolate base from pan and discard parchment. Wash sides of pan. Dry thoroughly and replace chocolate base. Pour in custard and smooth the top. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes for individual rounds or 20-30 minutes for springform pan. Remove from oven and run sharp knife around edge to keep custard from sticking to sides of pan or molds-this will prevent cracks in the filling. Cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, run a knife around edges of molds or pan and remove desserts. Sprinkle custard evenly with granulated sugar and caramelize with small torch.Serve with crème anglaise and chocolate sauce, or simply with a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.
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  • elay

    wow…i am in burger king right now and suddenly i don’t feel like eating these fast food junk that i ordered…what i’d like to have now is this yummy-looking passion fruit brulee tart with chocolate brownie crust…

  • AzAzura

    I don’t know how you manage to take really nice pictures.
    I had a chocolate -passionfruit mousse the other day, and I never thought that I would enjoy that combination so , so much !The challenge for me to do this , is I don’t have a bunsen burner at home , so I would put the brulee under my grill and it won’t be evenly burnt.I’m sure mine will not be as pretty as yours :o)

  • Ann

    My voice sounds funnt… and I haven’t even tadted it…


  • Ann

    You see? I was so into this I couldn’t even type!

    *faints again*

  • Claude-Olivier

    Ca en jette grave en tout cas !!! Une fois de plus, bien joué Chef! Ciao

  • Manggy

    I’ll have to give that a shot someday… I’m not even sure passionfruit can be found in my country, though :) beautiful presentation.

  • Kate / Kajal

    brownie base …niice …passionfruit creme brulee …fancy ! you definitely got me eating out of your hand now. I must tell you that first shot almost had me opening my mouth to get some of that blissful dessert.

  • waliz

    hi zen..
    i have abundance of passionfruits..the yellow colour type not the the purple one..i’m not sure u use which one for your dessert…

    i will try ths out…but if it doesnt turn out well pls …dont spank me…:D

  • Brilynn

    Chocolate and passion fruit is just genius… and I’d say it can elicit gasps of delight without ever having tasted it.

  • Julie

    Just kill me now.

  • Cakespy

    It looks GREAT! Good enough to thwart fast food jonesing–love it!

  • FeelingFlirty

    I have always loved passionfruit drizzled over pavlova but have never used it in creme brulee. To think about a brownie crust makes me salivate.

    Thanks a lot.. here I was thinking I was really spiffy after making scones with jam and cream for some guests earlier and sending them off with a warm loaf of bread for breakfast.

    That doesn’t compare to passionfruit creme brulee !

    I’d like to follow you around for a week. I’d even bring my own spoon.

  • Anali

    Oh this is so not fair!!! I’m starving and getting ready to go to bed and hoping my stomach will let me fall asleep. Then I see this picture and I’m drooling and want to reach into my computer screen and grab this tart and just take a big bite!!! ; )

  • foodhuntress79

    The passion fruit goes a long way :) I used to climb the roof of my grandparents’ house for the beautiful flowers and sour fruits when I was a child. But I haven’t popped chocolate and passion fruit in my mouth at the same time, though. This dessert looks curiously delicious :)

  • Cynthia

    Oh baby, this is an X-rated post. All the sultry, sexy lanuage and undertones! (lol)

  • Zen Chef

    Elay…i had too much of it! Now i want a cheeseburger! Wanna trade? hehe

    Azazura you have to invest in a torch to make it nice and pretty.

    Ann..breath deeply now!! hahaha

    Merci Claude. On essaye! :-)

    Manggy, i’m pretty sure you can find passionfruit where you are.

    Thank you kate, i’m glad you like it! :-)

    Waliz, send me some if you have too many passionfruits! :-)

    Thanks Brilynn! Chocolate and passion is a really nice combination.

    No Julie…i won’t! We like you here! hehe

    Thanks Cakespy! It’s a great recipe.

    Feeling flirty, you are welcome to follow me around with a spoon! hahaha

    Sorry Anali, didn’t mean to torture you like this! haha

    Foodhuntress, chocolate and passion is one of this things that just works! Me don’t know why 😉

    Cynthia…really?? Now you say it!See i do things i don’t even realize. haha

  • Chicken & Waffles

    That is either an eggy goodness dessert outcome or the surface of a sleep matress bed dialed at 87. Both work for me.

  • Big Boys Oven

    lovely, great colors, so contrast. Lovely! I think I will try this recipe!

  • amyse

    I just took a bite out of my computer screen – it sure as hell doesn’t taste as good as this ‘brulee’ probably does. Beautiful. amy @

  • Zen Chef

    C & W…that was gross! hahahaha

  • Zen Chef

    Big Boys..let me know how you like it! :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Amyse welcome! and don’t choke on that computer screen! hehe

  • Mango Power Girl

    Gorgeously yummy to fall for!! I am trying to imagine the taste in my head right now, it’s torture.

  • Tartelette

    I have the same feeling of serenity when my spoon touches my grandmother’s chocolate mousse and I can feel some chuncks of chocolate she left on purpose. Gorgeous combination!

  • Zen Chef

    Mango power girl. Don’t torture yourself like this. Make it instead! :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Tartelette. Wow, that sounds pretty intense. I love it! :-)