Chocolate and Orange Frangipane Tart with Pecans – Gluten Free

Buckwheat shortcrust, especially made with the mixture of buckwheat flour and ground buckwheat kernels, makes the best shells for any tart. However, it provides particularly nice complimentary texture and balance of flavours in chocolate frangipane tart, with the inclusions of two sources of oranges. Orange marmalade is applied to the bottom of the tart, underneath chocolate frangipane cream, and mildly bitter orange glaze is used to brush the top with pecan nuts, creating an amazing flavour mix in this tart. Those of you who read my blog regularly, know that I do not use butter in my frangipane cream. I always replace it with either soft cheeses (as in this case), or with thickened fruit puree to achieve better texture and more sophisticated taste.

I baked 2 tarts with the portion of the dough in the recipe below, and prepared 2 separate frangipane cream portions for each tart. The difference in tarts can be seen in the quality of pecan nuts. In the first bake many nuts were broken, so I had to make nut layer from separate pieces, while in the second bake all pecan nuts were in one piece.


buckwheat crust (for 2 tart shells)

  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • 80g buckwheat kernels, ground to make coarse flour
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 80g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 15g coconut sugar (or any other unrefined aromatic sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • gluten free flour mix to roll the dough

chocolate frangipane with soft cheese (to fill 1 tart)

  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 150g cottage cheese or firm ricotta cheese (I use my homemade cottage cheese)
  • 100g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar
  • 85g almond meal
  • 15g pure cacao powder
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla extract


  • 2 heaped table spoons of fine orange marmalade (can be replaced by sour apricot jam, medium density, not runny)
  • 150g pecan nuts
  • 2-3 table spoons of orange glaze, warmed up before use


Orange marmalade and glaze have to be prepared at least 1-2 days before baking the tart. Orange marmalade of medium density preparation can be found here. Orange glaze can be prepared by adding sugar to orange juice and cooking until the consistency of thick syrup, that becomes solid when cooled down. However, I have prepared orange glaze by adding sugar to the liquid portion of pureed cooked oranges. Orange puree that I prepared for orange and almond cake was too runny, so I drained it and collected the liquid portion. Orange glaze prepared from the liquid from whole cooked and pureed oranges had more flavour with a touch of pleasant bitterness in it.

Buckwheat crust preparation can be found here.

  • divide prepared dough in two equal portions (280 and 285g)
  • use each portion to make the shell for 1 tart
  • pastry can be rolled immediately after preparation
  • for convenience I rolled the dough and put it into tart baking tin and refrigerated it overnight
  • the second portion of the dough was stored 5 days refrigerated, taken out of the fridge, rolled, place in a tart baking tin and refrigerated overnight

  • crumple a sheet of baking paper
  • place paper over the dough
  • use baking weights
  • bake the shell for 15 minutes in fan forced oven preheated to 170C
  • take baking tin out, take weights of the pastry shell, let the shell cool down to room temperature

  • apply orange marmalade and spread it evenly on the bottom of the pastry shell

  • mix dry ingredients – almond meal and cacao powder in a bowl
  • separate eggs
  • beat/whisk egg whites to soft peaks
  • add 2/3 of sugar in portions, while beating eggs whites to hard peaks
  • whisk egg yolks with 1/3 sugar to double in volume and light pale colour

  • add vanilla sugar and vanilla extract to soft cheese
  • add 1 table spoon of egg yolks to soft cheese, mix ingredients together, making a soft paste
  • add the rest of egg yolks, combine to even texture
  • add dry ingredients to wet, combine with spatula

  • add 1 serving spoon of egg whites
  • combine ingredients to loosen the mixture
  • add the rest of egg whites
  • gently combine all ingredients

  • spread chocolate frangipane cream in tart shell
  • level the surface
  • place pecan nuts on top of the cream, gently push them down

  • return the tart into preheated to 170C oven, bake for 45 minutes
  • the cream will raise during baking and some cracks might appear in between the filling and pecans
  • while cooling down, the filling will settle and cracks will close
  • heat orange glaze
  • apply it on freshly baked tart when it is still hot and inside baking tin

  • spread the glaze with a pastry brush, take the excess glaze off
  • remove the sides of the baking tin
  • leave the tart on the bottom until it is completely cool and hard
  • for an easy way to separate the tart from the bottom, I like to use the sheet of baking paper, measured to the exact size of the bottom
  • I use the cut-offs of the dough for another medium size tartlet

Frangipane tart with pecans which have a rectangular shape is easier to slice nicely.

16 thoughts on “Chocolate and Orange Frangipane Tart with Pecans – Gluten Free

    1. Figs, in my opinion, will do better without chocolate. Their gentle taste will be completely overpowered by strong chocolate flavour.

      1. That would be nice, but you will have to recalculate ingredients for frangipane cream. It might be easier to use quality vanilla source and pure cacao butter, but not too much as it has a tendency to firm texture. I haven’t used it in baking, only in handmade chocolates. If you want to use white chocolate, be aware of its sugar content, you might have to reduce sugar itself and might not have it enough to whisk egg whites and egg yolks separately.

  1. I understand, the tart will be too sweet, maybe it’s better to use white chocolate with different kind of fruits – like sour cherries or prunes.
    Thanks for ideas!

  2. Love your pictures and directions–making this recipe seem doable. Question: Why do you use an unfermented sugar like coconut sugar? What effect does this have on your dessert? Just curious. 🙂

    1. You can use any type of sugar, it will not effect the texture of the dough. However, unrefined sugar adds extra flavour to the shortcrust. Coconut and Panela sugar I use most often, replacing small part of regular sugar.

  3. I am so excited to try this! both your sweet and savory buckwheat crusts! I’m curious if you have ever tried to make a hot water pastry with buckwheat to make – say – a high meat pie? I really miss Tourtiere (a french canadian meat pie) and raised steak pie. yum 🙂

    1. Hi Christine, I enjoy baking with buckwheat flour. I have many recipes for the rolling pastry or batter, but I have never tried to make the dough with hot water, though considered it when was preparing for making soba noodles. The pastry that might be suitable for the type of pies you are interested in, might be taken from the recipe of covered tart with pears, only the savoury version of the crust.

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