Holiday Test Kitchen 2020

Chocolate Lilikoi Caramel Tart
Photo by Jessica Kapoor

Liliko‘i, a.k.a. passion fruit, is one of Hawai‘i’s gifts to tropical fruit lovers the world over. What better way to showcase the fruit than by pairing it with some of the best chocolate grown on Maui?

Sweet on Maui chef Jessica Kapoor says, “My first thought for a holiday potluck recipe was something indulgent and beautiful, something that is so special, you might eat it just once a year. I wanted a recipe that was not too difficult to make, but had a big ‘WOW!’ factor in flavor and presentation. Next, I thought about complementary flavors, seasonal and local ingredients, and chose fresh liliko‘i puree to brighten the rich chocolate ganache.”

As if that weren’t enough to keep fruity-chocolate lovers happy, she continues: “A layer of dark salted caramel for a bit of extra sweetness gives the overall flavor profile a little more depth.” I’m in dessert heaven already, and then she says, “To complement the creamy, rich fillings, hazelnuts and locally harvested mac nuts in the crust add a toasted crunchiness.” One of the best points she makes in sharing this recipe: “It can be made ahead [of time] and will keep for up to a week in the fridge.”

Jessica has given us a very special holiday ending, indeed! Mahalo, Chef!

Recipe for Chocolate Liliko‘i Caramel Tart
Sweet on Maui

Yield: 1 9” round tart or 4×9” rectangular tart | Prep time: 1 hour, plus time for baking and cooling steps. | Servings: 12–16


  • 1/4 c. hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 1/4 c. macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • pinch of ‘alaea salt
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla


  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1. Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, room temperature pinch of ‘alaea sea salt


  • 4 oz. good-quality dark chocolate, 64% or higher (our preference: 65% Maui Ku‘ia Estate dark chocolate)
  • 4 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1. oz. fresh liliko‘i puree
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toast macadamia and hazelnuts 10–15 minutes until mac nuts turn golden. Cool completely. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of toasted nuts for garnish.

Raise oven temperature to 350Åã. Place nuts and half the sugar into the food processor and pulse until ground. Add remaining sugar, flour and pinch of salt, and pulse until finely ground. Add chilled butter and pulse again until no large pieces of butter are visible. Add egg and vanilla and pulse until mixture comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently, making sure all ingredients are incorporated. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Roll out the crust to the size of your tart pan plus 1.” on all sides. Spray tart pan lightly with oil and transfer dough gently, tucking into corners and sides of the pan. Trim extra dough from the top edge of the pan by pressing and rolling with the rolling pin. Blind-bake the crust for 15 minutes by crumpling parchment paper (to soften it), placing the paper atop the crust and filling it with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights. Remove parchment and weights and return to oven for 10–15 minutes, or until crust edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Add the sugar, corn syrup and water to a heavy-bottomed, medium sized saucepan. Stir to combine and wash down sides with a wet pastry brush. Bring to a boil over medium heat (2–3 minutes), then raise heat to high and cook, stirring continually, until syrup turns a medium- to dark-amber color (4–6 minutes). Remove from heat and immediately add softened butter. Use caution, as mixture will bubble vigorously. Add cream and stir again. Return to the stove and cook to 242 degrees. Remove pot from heat and cool 20–30 minutes. Pour into tart crust and chill for 20–30 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of ‘alaea salt.

Chop chocolate into small pieces and place into a metal bowl. Heat cream to boiling and pour over chocolate pieces. Let sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture in small circles, starting from the center, gradually moving outward until ganache is evenly mixed throughout. Add softened butter and stir until fully incorporated. Add liliko‘i pur.e, mixing well. Cool for 10–15 minutes. Pour ganache over the firm caramel. Tap pan lightly to spread the ganache, or use an offset spatula.

Garnish with reserved nuts, edible flowers, or coconut flakes, and return to the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Slice with a warmed knife blade.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

− 1 = 1