Bitter Chocolate Tart with Candied Whole Mandarins

12:56 am on 27 February 2007

To me all good dessert menus are judged on the quality of their tarts, which should be made fresh for each service, (lunch and dinner), or at the very least once a day. The pasty crisp and the filling rich and smooth.

(Serves 8)


Sweet pastry

  • 125gm unsalted butter
  • 125gm icing sugar
  • 250gm soft flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch table salt

Tart filling:

  • 125gm bitter dark chocolate 72% cocoa butter
  • 50gm castor sugar
  • 15gm Dutch cocoa
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 125ml milk
  • 250ml cream

Candied Mandarins:

  • 4 mandarins
  • 200gm sugar
  • 400ml water
  • ½ vanilla pod


Candy the mandarins by bringing sugar and water to the boil over a medium heat. Add the split vanilla pod. Prick the mandarins all over with a skewer and place in the syrup, the syrup must cover the mandarins.

Cover with a paper lid; simmer for 3 hours until candied. Remove from the heat, Cool the mandarins in the syrup. Store the mandarins in the syrup in a glass jar for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

For the filling:

Heat together the cream and milk, pour over the egg yolks and sugar and whisk together. Finely chop the chocolate and add to the cream and milk mixture and stir till smoothest the filling to one side while you prepare the pastry.

Prepare the tart case:

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk the eggs and pour into the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, beat with a wooden spoon to combine. Fold in sifted flour. Knead the mixture with your fingers; form into a paving stone shape and wrap in Clingfilm and leave to rest for at least 1hour in the refrigerator.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface; carefully line a 24cm flan ring with the pastry.

Prick all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising, line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Blind bake at 150°c for 12 to 15 minutes, carefully lift out the baking beans and set to one side for further use.

Replace tart shell into the oven and cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes till a golden sandy colour.

Pour the filling into the hot tart case and bake for 50 minutes at 130°c until set. If you have any filling left over pour into small ramekins or egg cups and bake at the same temperature for small chocolate pots.

Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour, place in the refrigerate to chill for 2 hours. The tart will continue to set as it cools.

To serve:

Cut the tart into 8 wedges with a hot sharp knife, dust with a little Dutch cocoa; set a wedge in the middle of the plate. Lift mandarins from the syrup drain and cut each into 4 and arrange next to the chocolate tart.

Suggested Wines To Go With Today's Recipe:-


Whatever fits your budget

Lustau East India


Grahams Fine Tawny

Grant Burge 10 yr old Tawny

From Nine To Noon

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