Recipes & Advice
Chocolate Tarts

Makes 12 tarts

This recipe was given to us by Claudia Fleming, the James Beard 2000 Pastry Chef of the Year, and author of The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern.

Expand/Collapse Ingredient Details


For the Filling

For the Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup SCHARFFEN BERGER's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • Whipped creme frâiche, for garnish

Special Equipment

  • 3 1/2-inch round pastry cutter
  • Twelve 3-inch tart pans


To prepare the filling, put butter in a double boiler over simmering water and scatter the chocolate pieces on top of the butter. Let mixture sit until butter and chocolate are melted. Remove boiler top from heat, and stir contents until well-combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly beat eggs to break them up. Add sugar, and beat 5 minutes at high speed, until very pale and thick. Fold a third of egg mixture into chocolate mixture to lighten it; then gently fold in the rest, taking care not to deflate the eggs. Sift the flour over the batter and carefully fold it in. Cover the filling and chill 2 hours.

Meanwhile, to prepare the dough, beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add cocoa, and beat until well combined. Add egg, and beat until smooth.

Sift the all-purpose flour and almonds into the cocoa mixture. Beat mixture on low speed until well combined. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Cover, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 3/16th of an inch. Using a 3 1/2 inch round cutter, cut out 12 circles of dough, and press them into individual 3-inch tart pans, trimming away any excess dough. Chill tart shells 20 minutes.

Line shells with 5-inch squares of foil, and fill with dried beans or rice as weights. Place shells on a baking pan, and bake 12-14 minutes, until set. Remove foil and weights, and cool shells on a rack.

Divide filling among tart shells, and bake until filling is puffed and slightly cracked on top, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove tarts from pans, and serve immediately, garnished with the whipped creme frâiche. Serve with chocolate sorbet.

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