The Basics of Sweet Pastry from Brussels

chocolate tart

Dark and White Chocolate Tart

chocolate tart

With only a tablespoon of added sugar this eggless tart has to be the best way to show off the true flavours and texture of good chocolate.


Brussels chocolate

A summer city break to Brussels, where the streets are lined with beautiful Belgian chocolatiers, it was hard not to have chocolate on the brain when I returned back to London.

Brussels chocolate

White, dark and milk chocolate was flowing all around from Grand Place in the city of Brussels to the little cobbled streets branching off.  Right through to Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, a stunning glazed shopping arcade, the sweet trail carried on with the heady aroma of Belgian waffles wafting through the air.

Brussels chocolate

Brussels chocolate

I couldn’t help but step into the pretty shops displaying endless lines of dainty chocolate cups, intricately decorated along with caramel balls and truffles.

My favourite treat of all had to be sweet and juicy strawberries dipped in fine dark chocolate.

Brussels chocolate

On purchasing a few blocks of Belgian chocolate I became inspired to write about a dessert I have actually made on several occasions.  A dessert that really shows off the best of high quality chocolate without tampering with it too much; chocolate tart.

chocolate tart

I have made this tart so often not only because of its crowd pleasing chocolate factor but because of its ease to make.

Jazzed up versions of the tart have been created for birthdays; some with salted caramel and some with fruit and meringue.  However the recipe below is one of pure chocolate indulgence.

It is made using my recipe of basic eggless sweet shortcrust pastry as a vessel for the chocolate.  I encourage you to try it out and master.

pastry

Pastry making is such a wonderful technique to learn as it can be used for so many desserts.  Fill a blind baked pastry case with fruit, cream or anything you like!

I guarantee the taste of homemade pastry is a million times better than shop bought.  The satisfaction of making your own crumbly shortcrust pastry is next to nothing.

chocolate tart

My husband especially loves the simplicity of this dark and white chocolate tart.  Pastry and a blend of chocolate.  That’s all.  With only four main ingredients, it is elegantly simple but seriously and deliciously chocolatey too.

chocolate tart

Print Recipe
Dark and White Chocolate Tart
Try to use the best quality chocolate you can afford. There is no where for bad chocolate to hide and I promise it will be worth it! I used an 8" round sandwich cake tin for this tart. A pie dish of similar size could also be used.
chocolate tart
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Sweet Pastry
Chocolate Ganache Filling
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Sweet Pastry
Chocolate Ganache Filling
chocolate tart
Instructions
  1. PASTRY: In a mixing bowl, add the salt, sugar and flour. Stir well.
    chocolate tart
  2. Chop the butter, cold from the fridge, into pieces and add into the flour. Begin to crumble the butter into the flour using your fingertips or a fork.
    chocolate tart
  3. Work lightly but quickly ensuring the butter does not melt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
    chocolate tart
  4. Trickle a tablespoon of water (preferably ice cold) over the flour butter crumb mix and then bring together using the fork at first then your hands.
    chocolate tart
  5. Add another tablespoon of water and a third if required pressing the mix together to form a dough. Do not over kneed the pastry or it will produce a tough texture once baked.
    chocolate tart
  6. Flatten the dough into a disc to help with rolling out later then wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
    pastry
  7. ROLLING: Once rested and chilled, remove the cling film and place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Let it warm up for a few minutes at room temperature before rolling out into a circle around 10" in diameter. Place the tin on top of the rolled pastry to measure the piece ensuring it is large enough.
    pastry
  8. Using the rolling pin, gently roll up the pastry to help lift it over the tin then carefully roll it out to cover.
    pastry
  9. Let the pastry sink and ease it into the tin without stretching it if possible. Do not worry if the pastry breaks, it can easily be re-attached by pressing together again and sealing with a fingertip of water.
    chocolate tart
  10. Trim the pastry from the edges of the tin using a knife then create a pattern by pinching your fingers around the pastry or simply press down the edges with a fork. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
    chocolate tart
  11. BLIND BAKE: Remove the pastry from the fridge and lay some baking beads or beans in the centre. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove the beads and leave the pastry case to cool completely.
  12. GANACHE FILLING: Melt the white and dark chocolate in separate bowls over a pan of water on a low to medium heat (bain-marie). Ensure the water is not in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Stir the chocolate occasionally to help with even melting until the chocolate is smooth and runny. Stir half of the cream into the white chocolate and the other half into the dark chocolate to form 2 separate ganaches.
  13. Once the pastry case is cooled, pour and spread the dark chocolate ganache into it covering the entire base. Leave to set for a minute.
    chocolate tart
  14. Spread over the white choclate to cover the dark chocolate being careful not to mix the two.
    chocolate tart
  15. With the extra dark chocolate kept for decoration, scrape a piece along it's side with a sharp knife to create curls or flakes. Sprinkle these onto the white chocolate layer and create waves using the back of a teaspoon or a blunt knife.
    chocolate tart
  16. Leave the tart to set in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Use a sharp knife dipped in boiling water and dried to cut out neat slices of the tart.
    chocolate tart
Share this Recipe

Let me know how you get on with pastry making and if you have any other ideas for filling a basic pastry case.  Send your photographs to me I would love to see them!

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