Looking to spruce up your shortcrust? Reach for the cocoa powder and get creative as we show you how to make and cook with luscious chocolate pastry…
We didn’t think there was a way of making pastry even better - the fact we have over 600 pastry recipes goes some way towards demonstrating how much we love the stuff all on its own. But then we heard the words ‘chocolate pastry’ and our world was turned on its head.
Better still, far from requiring elaborate cooking methods, chocolate pastry couldn’t be simpler to make; it takes about five seconds to turn your standard shortcrust into something to go cocoa loco over. Read on to discover how to make chocolate pastry and the best ways of putting it to delicious use…
How to make chocolate pastry
Tubs of cocoa powder forever languish in our home cupboards, but they’re the key to creating this masterpiece in chocolate. A standard 375g pack of sweet shortcrust pastry can be transformed with only two tablespoons of cocoa, but you can add up to four depending on how dark and rich you want it. Just roughly tear the pastry into a food processor, add the cocoa and blitz until the two are combined.
Word of warning, this can’t be replicated with a pack of ready-made puff pastry – in order to achieve the requisite layers, the block should be left as un-tampered with as possible, so it certainly shouldn’t go anywhere near a blade.
Shortcrust pastry that has been homemade from scratch can also be made choco-licious. If you’re making pastry to line a 20cm round tin, use the quantities of our lighter chocolate tart recipe and follow the first two steps, then either fill it with the moussey chocolate mix suggested, or go freestyle and change the chocolate shade or omit the coffee.
Five ways with chocolate pastry…
Salted honey fudge & chocolate tart
This recipe uses a pack of ready-made shortcrust, and along with cocoa powder, honey is drizzled into the pastry mix to complement the salted fudge filling. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can add crumbled homemade honeycomb too, which goes to show just how hardy a solid pack of shortcrust can be. This recipe suggests you dice the pastry before blitzing, so if you prefer to do this than tearing it straight into the mixer, both methods have the same end result.
Black Forest tart
This recipe contains three different forms of chocolate – powdered, milk and dark – so it’s one for the serious cocoa lover. The whole thing is balanced out by juicy, fresh cherries and a neutral dollop of crème fraiche to serve, meaning this 70s chic slice sings with harmonious top notes.
Orange & chocolate drizzle tart
What is there to say about the heavenly pairing of chocolate and orange? In this classy recipe, one of our favourite flavour combinations gets a grown-up feel. The chocolate pastry is left super simple – some of the other recipes here have icing sugar, eggs and other components added – giving the base a subtly saccharine edge. Considering the relatively small number of ingredients and low maintenance preparation, this recipe definitely wins on the effort versus reward ratio.
Double chocolate caramel tart with frosted pistachios
Trust Tom Kerridge to go all out. He creates a chocolate pastry from scratch and uses humble cocoa powder, but one with 50%-70% cocoa content. Then, he pulls out all the stops and adds a chocolate caramel filling, plus frosted pistachios and rum cream. Did we mention the whole thing can be prepared in advance and assembled ready to dazzle a dinner party crowd? And that the pastry can be frozen? Tom, we salute you.
Dark mocha torte
This simple chocolate and coffee slice is more impressive than it looks, the rich, fudgy filling being its forte. If you wanted to add some decoration, you could crush an extra handful of toasted hazelnuts and scatter them on top of some thickly-whipped double cream to serve. Chocolate on chocolate, topped with yet more indulgence - pretty much everything we'd ever want in a dessert.