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Chris King's Bitter Chocolate Tart with Coffee Créme Chantilly

The secret to this great tart is using excellent dark chocolate - Chris King prefers Valrhona, which you can find online. Also make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin to ensure they mix well.

Chris King's Bitter Chocolate Tart with Coffee Créme Chantilly

This delicious and sophisticated tart recipe comes from Chris King, the Executive Chef at The Langham Hotel in London. It has been on the menu at Roux at the Landau and Chris has taught it to guests in his cooking classes. An essential part is making your own sweet pastry - a little daunting but it will come with practice!

About this recipe

Preparation Time 90 Minutes
Cooking Time 35 Minutes
Makes 1 tart
Chris King's Bitter Chocolate Tart with Coffee Créme Chantilly Chris King's Bitter Chocolate Tart with Coffee Créme Chantilly


For the sweet pastry

  • 700g plain flour
  • 375g unsalted butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75ml ice cold water
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 yolks
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 375g chocolate, at least 70% cocoa
  • 250g unsalted butter

For the coffee créme chantilly

  • 180ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp chilled espresso coffee



This pastry recipe makes more than you need for the one tart. It’s very hard to make a small amount of pastry, but any you have left roll into a tart shell, wrap it tightly and freeze it for up to a month. Just defrost and bake.


For the pastry: In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment slowly mix the icing sugar and diced butter (at room temperature) just until it’s homogenous. Try not to whip any air into the mix, or the texture of the tart will not be as ‘short’ and crumbly.


With the mixer paddle still moving slowly add the egg yolks one by one to the mix. Once they’re all incorporated add the flour, all at once, to the bowl. Mix gently until the pastry starts to come together then drizzle in some of the water. You may not need it all, it depends on the flour you’re using, and the size of your egg yolks.


As soon as you’ve added enough for the pastry to form a ball and come away from the sides of the bowl stop mixing, it’s ready.


Separate the dough into 2- 4 balls (depending on the size of your tarts) and slightly flatten them (it makes it easier to roll later) wrap them in cling-film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


On a cool surface, lightly dusted with flour, roll out one of your balls slightly wider than your tart tin and no thicker than 2 millimetres. Lightly dust your rolled pastry with flour and place your rolling pin on top. This takes a little leap of faith, roll the pastry over and around the rolling pin then lift it up and gently unroll it into your tart mould. If all’s well it should have unfurled perfectly into the tin.


Make a little marble of excess dough and use it to gently push the pastry into the corners of the tin. Leave the excess pastry hanging over the edges of the mould, it is better to trim them later. 


With a fork prick the pastry base all over and leave to rest in the fridge for another thirty minutes.


Line the base with greaseproof paper and pour baking beans up to the top (fancy ceramic or dried chickpeas will do). Bake at 165°C for about 20 minutes.


Remove the baking beans and paper and brush the tart with the egg yolk and milk mixture, this will patch up any cracks and waterproof your tart shell from the filling keeping it crisp and short.


Return the tart shell to the oven for five minutes, or until golden brown. At this point leave the edges (which will probably look a little dark by now) hanging over the tin.


For the filling: First, make a sabayon. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl for 1 minute. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk constantly for 7- 8 minutes until the sabayon is light and fluffy.


Melt the chocolate and butter over the simmering water, then fold together with the sabayon.


Pour into the cooked tart shell and bake at 140°C for 15 minutes, leave to cool but serve the tart at room temperature.


For the crème Chantilly: whisk the cream until it starts to thicken slightly, add the chilled coffee, crème fraîche and icing sugar and whisk again until soft peaks form. Be careful not to whisk so far that the mixture splits.

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