A chocolate tart beyond compare

If you’re not in the habit of using the word “ridonculous,” you’ll want to christen it after a bite of this indulgent chocolate tart. Which is good news, since there’s absolutely nothing else to say about it.

I hadn’t really been planning to let you in on this sorry state of affairs; but as I’ve been sitting here for quite a few minutes now without a single word to say about this incomparable chocolate tart, it seems I have no choice. The writer’s mind is a vessel for metaphor; and with spring palpably on its way today, a girl’s prose should be awash in buds and birds and blossoms. The American literary tradition was built on days like this. So then, tart, why the blank stare?

I can only think that perhaps when I say that this luscious tart, which derives from the beautiful, if somewhat impenetrable, book The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis, is beyond compare – well, that perhaps I mean it literally. Beyond compare. Eschewing all metaphor. Yes, that must be it, right?

Or maybe I’ve been bewitched by the dark and sultry magic of the perfectly smooth, intensely rich filling, which stops just inches shy of absurdity, repenting for its textural opulence with its sparely sweet taste. Maybe the crisp, eggy shortbread shell, whose heady aroma invites you to dive straight into the mixer, has simply driven me to distraction. People have taken vows of silence for less-divine awakenings, I’d bet.

(Reverent pause, a bit uncomfortably long.)

Oh hi – sorry. What was that about spring arriving? Spring, as in eight more weeks until bathing suits? Perhaps I’d better let you get on with making this thing of beauty so you’ll have time to properly repent for your own culinary sins of the flesh before then. I’ll be doing a bit of that myself in the coming weeks. Just so you know, I will also be continuing to futz around with the more technical aspects of this site for the next little while. Some of these changes will be visible, others not; but my (currently elusive) goal is that they all will be neutral to positive. (Notice how the comments section, though still usable – and please do! – is half its normal width today? Yeah, I don’t know how to fix that.) Since the umami tech department consists of the best and the brightest that our advertising revenue can buy (hi there, it’s scrappy old me again!), I will thank you now in advance for your patience with any glitches that may occur. With any luck, you’ll have your nose in the mixer bowl when the code starts to fly.



  • oooh AYUM.
    I don’t think I’ll be eschewing anything like this… my chances for being a bathing beauty were ruined years ago.ReplyCancel

  • Mmm. More chewing, less eschewing. I could get into that as a personal mantra.ReplyCancel

  • […] A chocolate tart beyond compare Pour the chocolate and butter mixture, which should be just warm, into the bowl with the sugar and egg mixture, and mix until well combined. Pour the filling into the tart shell. Bake for five minutes. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Recipe here. This photo is from the IFA Food Porn photo pool. Join in on the fun! […]ReplyCancel

  • Ridonculous is such a cute word! An apt word to sell a tart, when no other word will do.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn

    Hey Carolyn! I have made several tarts over the past few weeks, and cannot seem to get the crust right. Every time I break out the pie weights and pre-bake, the sides shrink down and I am basically left with nothing but the bottom of the crust. Please help!ReplyCancel

  • Hi Kathryn – oh no, shrinkage! Brave of you to put that forward, my friend. Seriously, though, first and foremost, I’m impressed with your prolific tart making!

    It sounds like one (or both) of two things may be happening. Most crust recipes tell you to add water just until the dough comes together. It’s pretty easy to be tempted to add a little too much water, since it makes the dough feel easier to work with (and we’re only talking teaspoons here – no major gaffes on your part). Once the heat of the oven hits the dough, though, the excess water will literally vaporize, leaving you with less crust – so that could be part of it. You might try working with a tad less water and see if it helps.

    The other trick is to really make sure you’ve rolled out the dough large enough that you won’t have to stretch it one bit. Stretching dough will get you nowhere. It’s like cramming yourself into too-small spandex – it may seem like a clever solution when you’re getting all tarted up (ba-dum bum), but it will leave you with unsightly bulges and sometimes even some naked spots at the end of the day. To avoid these and other reputational disasters, start by rolling out the dough to the point that it is one to two inches bigger in diameter than your pan, so that you will have enough excess to work with. Then, when you ease the dough into the pan, be sure to tuck it thoroughly against the bottom and the sides and along the seam where the sides meet the bottom – there should be some right-angle-age going on. You should almost err on the side of compressing the dough a bit rather than stretching it at all. I think there is so much talk about not handling your dough too much that people are getting afraid to even touch it. You do need to use a bit of pressure to be sure there’s no gap between the dough and that “corner” around the perimeter of the pan.

    Hope that helps. Report back when you try again! And remember, ugly tarts can be tasty tarts, so don’t worry too much.ReplyCancel

  • That chocolate tart looks so good!ReplyCancel

  • Faye

    Just made this recipe. Making the pastry in the food processor didn’t work so well for me. Came out very wet. Ended up making pastry by hand in the end but the filling was divine. Very, very, very rich and intense but I served it with toffee ice cream which balanced it out. DeliciousReplyCancel

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