Try this recipe for tarte au chocolat, then also check out our tarte tatin, pain au chocolat, Crêpes suzette and more French recipes.


  • 275g Gianduja (hazelnut and chocolate paste) or Nutella
  • 125g 70 per cent dark chocolate, plus a block for the shavings and brushing the pastry
  • 300ml double cream
  • 450ml milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • icing sugar


  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 orange, zested
  • 1 egg
  • 250g plain flour


  • STEP 1

    This is a sweet pastry I like to flavour with vanilla seeds or orange zest to add a bit of fragrance. To make the pastry, first, beat the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer, scrape out the vanilla seeds and add them to the mixture (or use the orange zest). Then with the machine running add the egg, followed by the flour until you have a crumbly dough. Tip this out onto a floured work surface and bring the dough together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    To make the tart case, roll out the pastry using icing sugar to dust your work surface and the pin – this will keep the pastry sweet and nice and brittle. Don’t worry about the edges of the pastry cracking as you roll, sweet pastry is always a bit tricky so work with it quickly. Put a tart ring (about 23cm) on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment or lightly butter a tart tin. Roll the pastry around the pin to lift it over your tart ring or tin. Press the pastry gently into the edges and corners using a ball of excess pastry dipped in icing sugar. Don’t use your fingers as they’ll be too hot. Fill any cracks with excess pastry. Leave any overhanging pastry. Line the tart with a piece of parchment and chill it for 20 minutes so it doesn’t shrink when you cook it. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 4. Add baking beans or rice and bake it for 15 minutes, then lift out the parchment and beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is dry and a good brown colour. You must cook and colour the pastry properly, once the chocolate goes in it won’t colour any further. Turn the oven down to 160C/fan 140C/gas 1.

  • STEP 3

    To make the filling, put the gianduja and chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream and milk to a boil and pour it over, mix everything together with a whisk until you have a smooth liquid. Whisk in the eggs. At this point you’ll find it hard to believe that the filling will set but it will end up with a beautiful crémeuse (creamy) texture.

  • STEP 4

    To put the tart together, melt a little chocolate and use it to brush the inside of the tart, this will make the pastry leak-proof and stop it from going soggy. The secret to this bit is to brush the tart while it is still warm so the chocolate soaks in and fills any little cracks. Put the tart back on the oven shelf and pour in the filling right up to the top – if you do it in the oven, you won’t spill any. Cook for 40 minutes, the tart should still be very wobbly but not liquid. Cool.

  • STEP 5

    To decorate the tart, trim the edges of the cooled tart with a serrated knife, cutting away from you so any bits of pastry don’t fall into the tart, then lift off the ring. Take your block of chocolate and scrape off curls using a knife or a potato peeler. Hold the flat side of the knife against the chocolate and pull the blade along the surface either towards you or in an arc. Tip off the curls and repeat. You’ll find the chocolate responds best when it is at room temperature – if your curls are shattering, move the chocolate somewhere a little warmer and wait a few minutes before trying again. Arrange the curls on the tart and for a christmassy effect, dust the lot with icing sugar. To divide the tart evenly, cut it in half and then cut each half into 4 or more. And my final tip, cut the tart with a hot knife so it slides through the chocolate smoothly.


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