Saint Emilion chocolate tarts

Makes 8 Cakes, Bread and Pastries



For the pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks mixed with 1tbsp cold water

For the mousse filling

  • 125g plain dark chocolate (70-75% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
  • 125ml double cream
  • 3tbsp sweet Marsala
  • 100g hard amaretti biscuits
  • 1 large egg
  • 3tbsp caster sugar

To serve

  • dark chocolate curls or grated chocolate
  • edible gold leaf (optional)


To make the pastry, put the flour, cocoa powder, almonds, sugar and a pinch of sea salt flakes in a food processor and whizz. Add the butter and process to form a crumb texture. Add the egg yolks and process until the mixture clumps together. Tip on to a large sheet of baking paper, flatten out a little, cover and transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190C/170C F/Gas 5. Put a baking sheet on a middle shelf in the oven to heat up.

Cut the pastry into 8 equal pieces and thinly roll out, one at a time, then use to line 8 fluted, loose-bottomed tins, 10cm diameter x 2cm deep. Prick the bases with a fork and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Line the pastry cases with circles of scrunched up baking paper cut to fit up the sides of the tins, add baking or ceramic beans and put the tins on the baking tray to bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes until the bases are crisp. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 140C/120C F/Gas 1.

When the pastry shells have cooled a little, loosen them but leave in the tins.

Meanwhile, make the mousse filling. Put the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. After 5 minutes, remove the bowl, leave for a few minutes and stir until smooth, then leave the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the Marsala over the amaretti to soak for 5 minutes.

Separate the egg and put the white into a medium bowl and the yolk in another. Whisk the white to soft peaks, then gradually add 2tbsp of the sugar, whisking between each addition, to make a meringue. Add the remaining sugar to the yolk and, without washing the beaters, whisk until thick and creamy. Fold the cooled chocolate into the yolk mixture, then very gently fold in the meringue mixture using a large metal spoon to get an even-coloured mixture.

Spoon exactly 2tbsp of the mousse into each pastry shell. Drain the amaretti of excess Marsala and roughly crush, then sprinkle an even amount over each tart. Evenly divide the rest of the mousse among the tarts, allowing the amaretti to show a little and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven – don’t worry if they’re still a little wobbly.

Leave to cool, then carefully remove from the tins and allow to firm up on a wire rack. Once cooled, chill for at least 1 hour before decorating with the chocolate and gold leaf, if using.

This recipe featured in the Christmas 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe, click here.

Recipes and food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.
Recipes and food styling by Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling by Angela Dukes.


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