Friday, September 1, 2006

How ‘bout a Little Java With Your Joe?

The best news I’ve read in a long time came from a brief report in a recent New York Times health section. Coffee, it seems, can now be considered a health drink. According to the report, the medicinal properties of this exemplary beverage include lowering the risk of a plethora of ailments, including heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and diabetes. And contrary to all those who prudently advocate on behalf of moderation, in the prevention of certain diseases, a lot of coffee (more than 4 cups a day) can be even more beneficial than a little.

So sip on that, tea drinkers.


The Queen will admit that her previous admiration for the brew had more to do with its flavor and energizing properties than its antioxidant benefits. Specifically, when the busy-ness of our daily existence forces us to cram ever more into each moment, when all the best and worst of life is coming at you with a vengeance, when you discover that the reason your jaw hurts is because it is spending far too much time in a clenched position and you find that your shoulders have become permanently inched closer to your neck in such a way that you swear passersby are muttering “hunchback” – all this while you’re trying desperately to adhere to the bumper sticker wisdom that advocates that “Attitude is the only difference between Ordeal and Adventure” . . . Well, let’s just say that caffeine helps to make it feel like more of an adventure.

In celebration of this vindicating good news (What? The Queen vindictive? Surely you have me confused with someone else), I offer you coffee pie. Actually, it’s more of a mocha tart (kick up your heels, neglected chocoholics). But the velvety filling does contain a satisfying jolt of espresso and as a bonus, is simple to make. It is, in fact, the perfect quick dessert, especially when you’re feeling as if you are mere footsteps ahead of the posse.

So,bottoms up. What do you say we pull an all-nighter?


Warm Mocha Tart

Adapted from Bittersweet Artisan

This is a straightforward, albeit scrumptious dessert; I like my coffee black and my mocha tart unadorned. But if you need cream with yours, hon, then that’s okay. Add a dollop of the freshly whipped version alongside the tart, and spoon a little into your cup, too.



1 stick butter, melted
¼ c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
¾ t. vanilla extract
1 c. flour


3 T. butter, sliced
½ c. sugar
¼ c. cocoa powder (I like Green & Black’s Organic)
1 c. whipping cream
1 ¼ t. instant espresso powder or 1 ½ t. instant coffee crystals
½ t. vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350. For the crust, mix together butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and mix until blended. (Mixture will be soft.) Press dough into bottom and up the sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t turn off the oven!

For the filling, stir together butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and cream in saucepan. Cook over medium heating, whisking, until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and stir in espresso powder and vanilla. Just before the crust is done, whisk the beaten egg into the hot chocolate mixture.

Pour the filling into the hot crust and now, turn off the oven. Leave the tart in the oven until it trembles slightly in the center when the pan is nudged, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

May be served warm or at room temperature.


Contrary to what you may have heard, studies show that coffee does not stunt one’s growth and will do no harm to children. The Queen is, in fact, a testament to that: a person who swilled the dregs from the percolator at a very young age and who now stands at an Amazonian 5 ft. 8 inches tall. (In the interests of your health, however, I’d suggest you don’t ask about the Queen’s other measurements.)


At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Starbux know about this?

At 1:24 PM, Blogger bakerymaiden said...

how do you feel about decaf mocha tart?

At 3:41 PM, Blogger markb said...

What bakerymaiden said. A slice of pie for dessert, and the kids will be up until 3 a.m.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger The Queen of Tarts said...

Anonymous, I think Starbucks funded the study.

bakerymaiden, Those of you who radiate a natural buzz can certainly substitute decaf.

markb, Here's your solution: Keep the tart to yourself and feed the progeny Twinkies.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger markb said...

Twinkies act as a sedative?

At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

What a great recipe! Although are you sure about that 1 1/2 cups (!) of instant coffee crystals?

I, too, read the article and was trying to figure out how I could apply it to me and not my husband, who tends to have digestive problems when he drinks the stuff but loves it so much he's in deep denial. I did try to hide it from him but he came home from work waving a copy in my face, "See, coffee is good for me!"

Great website!

At 11:29 AM, Blogger The Queen of Tarts said...

rebecca, I am shocked and horrified that such an error occurred! Clearly, I wrote this in a state of caffeine deficiency; a double shot of espressso would have prevented any such typographical blunder. I've now corrected the measurement; thanks for bring it to my attention. Hope you'll stop by again. . .


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