New Years Eve Chocolate Lavender Tart

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Happy New Year! I haven’t been blogging much this year, but as I sat down at the computer to unearth one of my favorite dessert recipes for a New Years Eve party tonight, I just had to come on over to share it with you too. The lavender in this recipe makes an otherwise ordinary chocolate pie something extraordinary that will surprise and delight!

I’m always looking for ways to use the lavender I harvest and dry each year from my herb garden. Hopefully you have a small bundle of lavender hanging around your kitchen or pantry just waiting to be turned into something other than a scented satchel for your underwear drawer (not that those aren’t an amazingly wonderful thing to do with your dried lavender also, but I get excited to have a variety of uses for all that lavender and even better if it involves eating… lavender ice cream is another favorite around here, but I’ll have to come back to that another day).

I wish I knew the original source of this recipe, but it’s been lost and modified over the years, so you’re stuck with the version I like to make best. The current iteration of crust is modified only slightly from this NYT Cooking recipe from Erin Jeanne McDowell.

Chocolate Lavender Tart

Download a printable PDF of this recipe here

Ingredients for the crust
½ cup (1 stick), at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups flour (any kind will work… almond, whole wheat, white)
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the filling
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons dried lavender blossoms
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate*
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon butter



  • Bring cream, milk, and lavender just to boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the lavender steep in the milk/cream while you make the crust.


  • Make the crust
    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed to combine. Scrape the bowl well.
    • Add the flour, cocoa and sea salt, and mix on low speed until dough is smooth.
    • Butter a 9-inch tart pan (preferably with a removable base). Press dough into the prepared pan, both the bottom and sides*. Prick the base of the dough a few times with a fork. (The crust is ready to be baked now, or it can be chilled for 30 minutes or up to overnight, if desired.)
    • Chill the crust while you heat the oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center of the oven. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet and bake until the crust appears firm and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.


  • Make the filling
    • Place chocolate in medium saucepan. Strain hot cream mixture into saucepan with chocolate. Stir over medium-low heat just until melted and smooth*.
    • Add cocoa powder and butter; stir until melted and smooth.
    • Pour chocolate mixture over crust in tart pan. Chill at least 45 minutes (chocolate will be slightly soft after 45 minutes and firm after 2 hours). Cut into wedges and serve.


Interesting notes:
*Original recipe says the tart can be made 1 day ahead, but I’ve eaten it three days later and it was still wonderful. Cover and keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

*Original recipe calls for chocolate chips, but I’ve used both chocolate chips and big chunks of baking chocolate and both have worked well.

*The last time I made the crust with almond flour, it was pretty wet and pressing it into the tart pan was a bit tricky, but I just went for it, sticky crust and all, and it baked up beautifully, so don’t worry too much if your texture isn’t particularly dough-like.

*This works really well in a double boiler if you have one. I usually just put a ceramic bowl over a pot of boiling water. It’s not perfect, but it works in a pinch.

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