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Matcha Passion Fruit Bars (about 20 servings)

Someone I know on Twitter wanted to make a unique dessert bar, in some way involving chocolate, for the Super Bowl. I suggested something like lemon bars, but with passion fruit and green tea (in honor of the Packers) since both pair well with chocolate. But then…she asked for my recipe.

Thing is, I didn’t have one. So, of course, I stalled. Yeah! Sure! Um, gimme a chance to type it up!

I didn’t graduate from the CIA and make my career out of sugar just to tell people, “figure it out yourself.” So I experimented. Put passion fruit and green tea bars on the menu at work. Made three or four batches. And figured one out, just in time.

Matcha Passion Fruit Bar

My husband couldn’t love the Packers more. He wears a cheese hat to the bar to watch the games (seriously). He knows the names and numbers of all the players, three strings deep. He follows them on Twitter. When Farve left? He didn’t bat an eyelash. He wasn’t a Farve fan. He was a Packers fan.

I did my best to channel his enthusiasm and (here it comes) passion, into this dessert, hopefully fit for a Super Bowl Party. Go Pack Go!!

Cocoa Crust
3 1/2 ounces powdered sugar
5 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 ounce cocoa powder
5 ounces cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 ounce buttermilk
1 Tbsp vanilla

Crunchy Layer
2 ounces crushed cocoa nibs

Matcha Crust
3 1/2 ounces powdered sugar
5 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 ounce matcha (about 1 Tbsp)
5 ounces cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 ounce buttermilk
1 Tbsp vanilla

Passion Fruit Curd (recipe below)

Chocolate Drizzle
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9” x 13” baking pan with 3 layers of foil, each long enough to exceed the pan by a few inches. This will not only completely cover the bottom of the pan, but also provide resilient “handles” so that later you can grab the foil and lift the pastry out after it cools. Grease the foil lightly.

First, make the cocoa crust. Mix the dry ingredients together in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a fine, crumbly texture. You can do this by hand, if you like, but it takes a lot longer to cut the butter as finely with your fingers.

Stop the food processor and drizzle the buttermilk and vanilla over the mixture and then pulse only until incorporated, two or the times. This will result in a mixture like damp sand, which you can easily sprinkle into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. (If you pulse too much, the dough will begin to form a ball which you will have to roll out instead of sprinkle; super annoying.)

Sprinkle the cocoa dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and pat it down into a single, even layer. I’ve found using a flat tool (like a metal spatula or rubber bowl scraper) will create the most perfectly flat layer, if you have a compulsive streak about you, but you can easily do this with your fingers.

Next, sprinkle the cocoa nibs over the cocoa crust, and pat them down lightly to secure them to the crust.

Now make the matcha dough just as you did with the cocoa dough. When it comes time to sprinkle the dough into the pan, just be gentle as you pat the dough down, so as not to disturb the cocoa dough beneath.

Carefully dock the dough with a fork and bake for 30 minutes, or until the matcha dough has just begun to gain a few golden flecks around the edges. About halfway through, check on the dough and use a spatula to deflate any areas that have begun to puff up or rise unevenly.

While the dough is baking, you have just enough time to scale out and prepare the curd.

Passion Fruit Curd
16 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
14 ounces sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 ounces passion fruit juice
2 ounces butter

Set a medium bowl fitted with a sieve or strainer to the side.

In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt together. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan large enough to accommodate the entire mixture, bring the passion fruit juice to a boil. Temper it into the egg mixture, then transfer the warm egg mixture back to the sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 140° and then strain into the waiting bowl. Whisk in the butter.

Turn the oven temperature down to 325°.

Pour the passion fruit curd over the par-baked crust (it’s perfectly okay if the crust is piping hot from the oven; just as okay if it’s been sitting out a few minutes) and cover the pan with a sheet of foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the curd does not jiggle when you shake the pan. It will have a nice, strong set.

Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate at least an hour before cutting.

To remove the pastry from the pan, loosen the edges with a knife, and then tug gently at the foil around the edges. When you’re sure the pastry is loose, grab the foil on both sides and lift it out, transferring to a cutting board.

Cut into bars or as you see fit and drizzle with melted chocolate.

As this pastry sports the colors of the Green Bay Packers (Mr. BraveTart’s team), I cut mine into football shapes for the Super Bowl.

Cocoa Green Tea Passion Fruit Bars

If you want to do this too, first cut the pastry with a round cutter into approximately 20 rounds. Obnoxiously, you will have to wash the cutter after each use.

Once the rounds are cut, use the same cutter to cut each round into a foot ball shape, leaving a tiny crescent moon sliver behind. After you’ve finished cutting, fill a small pastry bag with melted chocolate and pipe the football lacing on top of each one.

Fork!

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Any questions?

Feb 03, 2011 · 12:23 AM

Those football fruit bars are brilliant! Love all those colorful layers.

 · Cakewhiz · www.cakewhiz.com

Feb 03, 2011 · 12:49 AM

I love these flavors and especially the football versions (though I’m surprised you’d be brave enough to feed such a sophisticated treat to the sports fan crowd 8p).

 · Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets · 6bittersweets.com

Feb 03, 2011 ·  2:26 AM

These are crazy!! I thought I was passionate about passion fruit! I’m very excited to try these. Where do you find Matcha powder?? Check out my post on passion fruit bars.

 · Dana Zia · danazia.wordpress.com/

Feb 03, 2011 · 10:45 AM

Wow, so impressive! I love the looks of these, and the flavors are so unique! A real stand out! Thank you.

 · Lisa W · Finecooking.com

Feb 03, 2011 · 11:46 AM

@Lisa, yay!! I hope you’ll forgive my ruse, but now I do have a recipe thanks to your inquiry! I had a lot of fun trying to figure out something festive for the occasion. I hope you make them!

@Xiaolu, yes, these are shamefully too sophisticated for a Super Bowl party. I don’t know if dessert bars with fruit curd could qualify as tarts, but they definitely qualify as BraveTarts.

@Dana: My favorite online tea resource is Essencha, a real life tea shop not too far from home for me, but fortunately with a phenomenal online store for everyone else. They sell a mind blowing matcha sawa, which I used in this recipe.

Alternately, anyone in the Lexington, Kentucky area can buy good quality matcha at Dong Yang Market. Even though it's a Korean market, they sell a small tin of matcha, imported from Japan, for $6.

Stella

Feb 03, 2011 ·  4:45 PM

Beautiful layers. The color is just lovely.

I’m still giggling over the cheese hat.

 · briarrose · flourdusted.blogspot.com/

Feb 03, 2011 ·  6:03 PM

Awesome! I’m loving the flavor combo and the design is just so darn cute!

 · Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie · Www.okiedokieartichokie.me

Feb 03, 2011 · 10:08 PM

These are absolutely beautiful!

 · Jennifer · www.howtopeelanonion.com

Feb 04, 2011 · 11:26 AM

These are a touchdown! So colorful and lovely. Well done on the top 9!

 · Lisa @ Tarte du Jour · www.tartedujour.com

Feb 04, 2011 ·  1:54 PM

Wow these look great! Wonderful effort on the footballs.

Stuart

 · threemealsaday · www.threemealsaday.com

Feb 04, 2011 ·  2:54 PM

Work of art with a flavour explosion. Very creative. I want it!

 · Three-Cookies · three-cookies.blogspot.com/

Feb 04, 2011 ·  4:54 PM

Wow, there is so much love in these little passion bites! Congrats on Top 9 featuring

 · Mateja @IndulgingLife · Indulginglife.blogspot.com

Feb 04, 2011 ·  8:16 PM

These are beautiful. They will make a great tropical valentine, too!

 · Lynn · www.eatdrinkmanwomandogscat.wordpress.com

Feb 04, 2011 · 10:01 PM

Wow! That’s a lot of egg yolks! Guess meringues are in order to use up all the leftover whites. Passion fruit is one on my most favorite flavors. These look divine!

 · Renee · kitchenconundrum.com

Feb 05, 2011 ·  8:41 AM

They look awesome ! Congrats on making the top9 !

 · frenchyfod · www.frenchyfood.com

Feb 07, 2011 ·  9:33 PM

Thanks for all of the congratulations everyone!

@Renee, yes. Lots and lots of egg whites! Which is just as well, because I am always down for making a few batches of macarons. I also like to make up plain Swiss Buttercream and freeze it to pull out for cake or cupcakes. Or to go in the macarons for that matter. Egg White Fest!

Stella

Jan 26, 2012 ·  2:11 AM

Wow!! These are gorgeous! And I love all the sophisticated flavors (I’m a matcha fan – anything with matcha intrigues me). All your posts do make me want to go to your restaurant. Too bad I’m not local. Anyways I’m psyched to try making these!

 · AnnaBanana · bananadallas.blogspot.com/

Jan 26, 2012 ·  1:57 PM

@AnnaBanana, matcha is such a beautiful, underutilized flavor. Well, if you’re ever in the Bluegrass…

Stella

Jan 29, 2013 ·  8:38 PM

Do you think that instead of the coca crust that graham cracker crust would be alright? Some of my family members can’t have chocolate. Thanks. [:

 · Tina · 

Jan 29, 2013 ·  9:32 PM

Hi Tina! You can easily just double the matcha layer, too. Or make it twice, leaving the matcha out of one batch so you can still have contrasting colors. I would think the graham crust would be okay, but having not tried it myself, I can’t say how the final texture would compare.

Stella

Feb 03, 2013 ·  1:29 PM

Oh awesome! Thank you. Also, what could I do for the football lacing on top? I’ve been thinking about it and I haven’t really come up with anything that isn’t chocolate.

 · Tina · 

Feb 03, 2013 ·  2:18 PM

Hi Tina! You could make up a little royal icing and tint it brown, or maybe just pipe on some dark colored jelly (black raspberry?). If you’re crafty, you could use an Xacto knife to make a “laces” stencil that you could dust on with powdered sugar, coffee powder, etc. Hope you figure something out!

Stella

Mar 15, 2013 ·  8:26 AM

Beautiful! I have offered these to a B & G as their wedding “tart”- how long will these keep? At what point will the nibs loose their crunch?
Thanks-
chef n

 · Nancy · insisterskitchen.com

Mar 15, 2013 ·  7:16 PM

Hi Nancy! I love that the happy couple is open to something not-cake, that’s awesome! This tart keeps for about a week, refrigerated, and the nibs hold up quite well since they’re layered between two dry crusts. Hope they love it!

Stella

Jan 02, 2014 · 12:06 AM

I am SO In love w/ your writings & creative recipes! Now that our Packers have a shot at the SuperBowl (& even if not) I’m counting on you yo come up w/ a follow up dessert recipe in the green & gold ! Thank you So much for adding sophistication to the Packer celebrations!

 · MgB · 

Jan 03, 2014 ·  9:26 PM

Hi MgB! Or should I say, Fellow Packers Super-Fan? We are holding our breath over here, and I hope I’ll have good reason to create a new Green and Gold dessert sometime in the near future!!

Stella

Apr 24, 2014 ·  8:38 PM

>I didn’t graduate from the CIA and make my career out of sugar just to tell people, “figure it out yourself.”
You are really a star.

Now with all those football shapes, you’re left with awful lot of scraps/slivers all for yourself?

 · ceca · 

Apr 25, 2014 ·  8:48 AM

Forgot a question: this curd contain egg whites and a bit of butter, while your lemon curd doesn’t. Does this have to do something with being able to slice/cut it neatly, or is it something else?

 · ceca · 

Apr 27, 2014 ·  1:39 PM

@ceca, oh man, I live for extra scraps. At work, I sliced these into skinny wedges or super long bars (6” by 1/2” but the football version made the servers sooo happy for snacks.

The whole eggs are for volume, mostly. When using enough yolks to get the same weight, the curd was a little too rich for me. So I played around with whole eggs to get the bars as thick as I wanted, without such an overwhelming yolkiness. I think passion fruit works well with butter (I haaaaate lemon and butter) and I like including it for mouthfeel more than anything.

Stella



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