The Inspiration Behind One Of Ina Garten's Absolute Favorite Desserts

We all know Ina Garten can make dreamy breakfast cakes and bakery-style cookies, but one of her absolute favorite sweet treats is not actually her own recipe. She's a huge fan of a certain chocolate tart created by chef Erin French. 

French is behind the restaurant The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. The same name was used for a supper club, failed restaurant, and pop-up before its most recent and successful incarnation. Now, The Lost Kitchen is located in a restored mill, and diners come from all over to taste French's creations. The food is grounded in tradition and simplicity, and the tart Garten loves is reflective of that. Chocolate is incorporated into all three parts of the dessert: the crust, filling, and glaze. The nuances of the chocolate itself are meant to take center stage.

Garten first came to know of French's work after a beloved former employee took a job at The Lost Kitchen, while French has described Garten as an idol of hers. The two met for the first time on an episode of Garten's "Be My Guest." Both women seemed a little starstruck, equally in awe of the other and excited to dig into warm conversation (and warm banana muffins). On the episode, they bonded over their similar food philosophies and experiences as self-taught cooks. A recipe inspired by French's chocolate tart even made it into Garten's cookbook "Go-To Dinners."

What goes into Ina Garten's favorite chocolate tart

Any great pie or tart needs to start with a delicious base, and the chocolate crust in Erin French's recipe definitely holds up. Made of chocolate cookies, sugar, and butter, this is the kind of crust that you want to sink a fork into, not something you leave behind in favor of the filling. Garten is partial to Dewey's Brownie Crisp Cookies for her take, but plain chocolate wafer cookies will also work.

The filling is made up of the usual suspects — heavy cream, butter, eggs, and bittersweet chocolate — but it does not include any extra sugar, unlike many other recipes for similar desserts. The sweetness comes only from the melted chocolate, the cookie crust, and glaze that goes on top as the final layer. The glaze uses bittersweet chocolate as well as one of Ina Garten's favorite secret ingredients: instant coffee. It makes the chocolate taste more chocolatey, without taking the dessert into a mocha direction. This is the same hack that makes Garten's chocolate cake so dang good.

A final sprinkle of flaky salt is all you need to finish it off. Simple ingredients, plenty of cream and butter, and tons of chocolate come together for the perfect bite. "I'm obsessed," Garten wrote of the recipe on Instagram. "It's so easy to make and delicious!!"