Cheat’s tart – chocolate version

Here’s a chocolate version of my cheat’s tart. Same concept with the fruit on top, but with a chocolate base and a white chocolate and mascarpone filling. The base is no more work than the vanilla version (just add cocoa!), and the filling only requires a bit of chocolate melting and some simple mixing. The chocolate base is adapted from Laura Calder (apple cream cheese tarts from French Taste), and the filling is from Nigella (chocolate raspberry tarts from How To Be a Domestic Goddess).

Tart base

I made these a day in advance, and they kept well in an air-tight container. I doubled my previous recipe as I needed 8 (10cm) tart shells:

180g butter
140g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
200g flour
50g cocoa

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix in the flour and cocoa to form a smooth dough.
  5. Divide the dough evenly among the tart tins. Press into the tins so that the pastry goes up the sides a little and the base is roughly smooth.
  6. Bake for 7 min – cool completely before storing.


Chocolate tart shells


110g white chocolate
200g mascarpone
200ml cream

  1. Melt the white chocolate, let cool a little bit while you do the next part.
  2. Whisk the mascarpone together with the cream, being careful not to over whisk – all that’s needed is to combine the cheese with the cream.
  3. Fold in the melted chocolate. Store covered in the fridge until needed.


Use as much or as little as you like, fresh or frozen, or indeed some other seasonal fruit.

Chocolate berry tarts

To serve, simply spoon the filling into the tart shells, and arrange the fruit on top. I just put everything on the table and everyone assembled their own tarts.

I made these for Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner with my family – we had counted on buying a special white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from Heart of Flavour in Newmarket (if you haven’t been there, it’s really worth trying), except that they’re not open again for another 2 weeks. I took the opportunity to make something that has the white chocolate and cheese component, and that I could do quickly over two evenings after work.

The base is biscuity and chocolatey, the filling is soft and luscious, and the fruit adds a great finishing touch. Extra fruit goes down quite well dipped in the filling. Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!


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