Goals and Chocolate with Francois: Chocolate Pecan Tart

by Joanne on December 31, 2010

1820.54 miles. That’s my official tally for 2010.  The road miles put in for running enjoyment and race training.  So I didn’t hit 2000 miles but who knows what 2011 might bring.  I’m hoping to run Boston without pain (or at least not too much).  In any event, I’m hoping to RUN BOSTON and that’s what I’m working towards in training for the next 3 months.  It’s not going to be easy.  In fact, last week I ran over 40 miles and this week I’ll run 45 plus and it was TOUGH!  I’m wondering how I’ll ever log my goal miles of 60 to 70?  In the back of my mind, I know I’ll do it. It’s just getting psyched to go for it.  Right now, while I’m running with discomfort (hip, hamstring…butt burn from P90X Ab ripper!!!!) and that’s making every run less than enjoyable.  Like I said, I’ll do it.

What are your goals for 2011? 

 Here’s a tip:  Set 3 goals to work toward.  One, you KNOW you’ll achieve.  Two, you need to work to achieve, but deep down, you know you’ll do it. And Three, the ultimate goal.  Number three is what you really want but you’re going to have to put forth mental and physical effort to get there.  So….what’s YOUR ultimate goal?

Chocolate Pecan Tart: The recipe that almost wasn’t.

It dawned on me Wednesday that I hadn’t made this months Francois Payard recipe.  The pick this month was made by Susan of Baking with Susan.  *Check out her site for the original Payard recipe. 


The group, Chocolate with Francois bakes a monthly recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany.

chocolate with Francois

The recipes are challenging and do take a bit of time. Joanne doesn’t like recipes that take a lot of time so, consequently, the recipes are edited to suit the schedule. 

Since I had forgotten about the recipe this month, corners were cut.  The following method is how I made my sweet tart dough.  You will want to begin with this dough if you decide to indulge in this well worth while dessert.  *Love pecan pie?  You’ll SWOON over this this!


Sweet Tart Dough (enough to make 2 x 9” tarts) *Make sure to see Susan’s site for Francois Sweet Dough method.

**You’ll have enough dough for 2 tarts OR to make little tartlets


  • 3 stick of unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 5 cups flour

Combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until combined.  With mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating one before adding the other.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.

Pat into 2 large discs.  Wrap each in wax paper and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe. *A couple of hours in the fridge would be good and overnight even better. If you’re short on time, like I was, do it my way and simply chill while you work on with the rest of the recipe.

NOTE:  You might want to roll out the dough, line the tart pan with the dough and THEN chill.  Otherwise, you will have to wait 30 minutes when you are doing assembly.


Make the candied nuts (DOUBLE recipe if you are going to make 2 9” tarts) (Pecans ONLY were used in the original recipe but I ran out so I added other nuts to fill)

  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray a large baking sheet liberally with non-stick cooking spray. 

Put the nuts in a bowl.

In a pot, heat the sugar and water to a bowl.  Immediately remove and pour over nuts. Mix to coat.  Spread nuts evenly over baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Remove and cool completely.

Make the Filling *Remember! Double up if you are going to make 2 x 9” tarts


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 12 TBS Promise Healthy Heart margarine, melted  (*This recipe is by no means “healthy”.  But I ran out of butter so I used what I had on hand and that was the margarine. It worked GREAT!)

Put the flour, syrup, honey, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and mix until combined.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add the melted margarine (or butter) and mix until that is combined.  *If you don’t use right away, you can refrigerate this for up to 2 days.

Assembly for 1 Tart to serve 10

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips *or use all chocolate chips

Remove one of the sweet tart dough discs from fridge and roll out with a little bit of flour to about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to fill a 9” tart pan.  *I sprayed my tart pan with non-stick spray to make getting the finished tart out very easy.

Put the pan with the tart dough back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Remove tart shell and put all the chocolate (white and semi sweet) in the bottom of the tart shell.  Top with the candied nuts.  Pour the filling mixture over all the chips and nuts and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Filling with be nicely brown, somewhat set, but still soft in the middle. Let cool before serving. 


Whoops! I forgot the chocolate sauce…


This recipe is just too good not to try. Enjoy! and GREAT PICK SUSAN!

Best wishes for a very happy, healthy New Year to everyone!

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  • At 2010.12.31 07:38, Heather said:

    Holy miles!!! That’s pretty amazing, Joanne!
    Happy New Years Eve!!!!

    • At 2010.12.31 10:35, Tammy said:

      I like your three goal plan. Maybe I’ll try that. It’s sort of ironic that you coupled it with a post on baking as I was just saying that maybe in 2011 – I should bake.

      • At 2010.12.31 11:00, Sophie said:

        Waw! I am gobsmacked here,..really! Your chocolate pecan pie looks so tasty & fabulous too!


        • At 2010.12.31 13:24, Monet said:

          The chocolate drizzle on that last piece made me swoon. This looks so very good. Pecans are huge down here in Texas, but I’ve yet to make a pecan pie. This might just be the recipe to try. I can only imagine how great it must taste. Thanks for sharing with me. I hope you have a safe and joyous New Years celebration tonight!

          • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elizabeth Milton. Elizabeth Milton said: Goals and Chocolate with Francois: Chocolate Pecan Tart | Apple … http://bit.ly/ezjoJz […]

            • At 2011.01.01 09:11, Julie said:

              That’s an amazing accomplishment! I have a weight loss goal for 2011. A difficult challenge when I am baking things like this, although I only had one bite of this. That was probably still a zillion calories. I loved this tart, one of my favorite recipes.

              Happy New Year!

              • At 2011.01.01 11:51, Kevin (Closet Cooking) said:

                A chocolate pecan tart sounds so good!

                • At 2011.01.04 15:41, Leslie said:

                  Congrats on all you accomplished in 2010. Your tart looks amazing, Joanne!!

                  • At 2011.04.05 00:33, Susan said:

                    Sorry it’s taken me to long to comment on your post. :} Your tarts look terrific, especially the one with the chocolate sauce on it! I hope your running is still going strong! My goal? To develop healthy eating habits (and lose some weight).

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