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This chocolate custard tart is a decadent, luscious triple chocolate baked tart. Smooth chocolate custard is baked into a chocolate shortbread crust and drizzled with white chocolate for the perfect finishing touch.
If there’s one thing I’m completely unable to resist, it’s the slice of chocolate tart on the dessert menu. There’s something so deliciously decadent about a rich, silky chocolate dessert. There’s a reason I have an entire guide dedicated to chocolate!
I originally came up with this when participating in 2020’s Halloween Treats Week. After all, what holiday encourages indulging in sweets like Halloween?! It’s a grown up dessert, with just enough spooky flair to suit any Halloween occasion.
Of course, you can also make it any time of year, and decorate it for an elegant, show stopper dessert.
Anytime I make a dessert like this one, I find it easiest to talk about in layers. Much like my cherry rhubarb or no bake peanut butter pie, you start with the crust and work your way up to the top layer.
Your chocolate tart beings with the chocolate shortbread crust. It’s a riff on my never fail shortbread ratio, flavored with cocoa powder. By using melted butter and confectioners sugar instead of the usual creamed butter and granulated sugar, it’s a perfect, tender cookie crust that holds shape well.
When you’re looking for sugar to make this, don’t forget to try Dixie Crystals!
Next is the chocolate custard filling, made by melting chocolate chips with heavy cream and corn syrup then beating it with eggs.
Finally, white chocolate gets drizzled on top. I did this one for Halloween, and created a dense web for chocolate spiders. But you could go as simple, or sophisticated with your drizzle as you like.Take a look more spooky Halloween recipes from our #HalloweenTreatsWeek Bloggers today: Halloween Cookies & Bars:
- Frosted Frankenstein Brownies from Big Bear’s Wife
- Spider Web Chocolate Tart from The Flour Handprint
- Moldy Bits of Glass Muffins (Matcha Muffins) from The Spiffy Cookie
- Halloween Pretzel Treat from Devour Dinner
- Graveyard Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats from JZ Eats
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cups from Sweet ReciPEAS
- Monster Marshmallow Pops from Sweet Beginnings
- Wicked Witch Fudge from Take Two Tapas
Tips for Making a Baked Chocolate Custard Tart
I think this is the kind of dessert that gets a rep for being difficult or challenging, but I’m happy to tell you it doesn’t need to be. With a few key tips you’ll find that it’s really simpler than it seems.
- Don’t grease your tart pan. There’s plenty of butter in the dough to prevent sticking.
- Sift the dry ingredients together in your shortbread dough, to prevent streaks of flour.
- You can press the dough directly into the pan, or roll it out and press it in that way. I preferred rolling it out, (even though it broke when I turned it into the pan) so that the bottom and sides were equal thickness.
- If rolling out use a silicone baking mat and a piece of parchment, or two pieces of parchment, to prevent sticking. If you must dust, use cocoa powder instead of flour to prevent white spots.
- Press it firmly into the sides so it picks up and holds the shape of your pan.
- Leave 1/2 to 1 inch of dough above the edges of your tart pan to account for shrinking. Trim any excess after the pre-bake.
- Brush bottom and sides of tart crust with egg white and water as soon as it’s done pre-baking and return to the oven for a minute. This seals the holes.
- Begin your custard filling after you’ve pre-baked the crust, so the crust will be cool and ready when your filling is.
- Don’t beat the hot cream and chocolate, this will create air bubbles in your custard. Take your time and fold the chocolate and cream together for a perfectly smooth baked custard filling.
- Temper the eggs for the custard by drizzling a little chocolate off a fork into the eggs while beating them. Once you’ve done this 4 to 5 times, you should be fine to slowly stir the eggs into the chocolate.
- Once your custard has been poured into the shell gently lift up one corner just a bit and drop it. This will lift any air bubbles to the surface, gently sweep the away with small piece of parchment paper.
- Bake until the custard wobbles like jello. If you begin to see cracking around the edges of the custard or large bubbles, it’s getting overcooked. Remove it immediately.
- Bake on a baking sheet to make removing the tart pan easier. Let cool completely before removing the tart pan.
- Tarts can be fragile, I found using several offset spatulas most effective to move the tart off of the tart pan base. Get the serving plate close, so you move it as little as possible.
Storing your tart
Chocolate custard tarts are great to make ahead of time for a special occasion or party. Once cool and decorated, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days. I find the flavor best when close to room temperature, so bring it out 20 minutes or so before serving.
Using Different pans
I use a 9 inch removable bottom tart pan that’s a little deeper than a traditional tart pan. There’s no reason this recipe won’t work in yours. If you’re tart pan is wider and shallower, you’re dough should still fit.
There may be excess custard, but simply fill to almost the top of the crust and bake as directed. Begin checking the tart at 20 minutes, and in 5 minute increments after that. A thinner layer of custard will bake faster than mine did.
Eat & Enjoy!
Once you’ve decorated your tart, it’ll be pretty hard to resist taking a slice. It’s a very decadent dessert, so I’d say it serves 12 easily, possible more! I enjoyed it all on it’s own, but chocolate always pairs nicely with a fruity sauce like raspberry or strawberry syrup or a dollop of whipped cream.
Whether you’re serving this for Halloween like me, or for a fabulously decadent dessert at the end of a dinner party, I know it’ll satisfy a chocolate craving every time. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to check out these other recipes while you’re here!
Chocolate Shortbread Crust
- 10 ounces flour 2 1/4 cups
- 2 ounces cocoa powder 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
- 8 ounces butter, melted 1 cup
- 4 ounces powdered sugar 1 cup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
Chocolate Custard Filling
- 8 ounces heavy cream 1 cup
- 4 ounces whole milk 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips* 2 cups
- 3 large eggs 1 egg separated
White Chocolate Topping
- 1 ounce white chocolate
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips if doing chocolate spiders
Chocolate Shortbread Crust
- Melt butter and set side. Get out tart pan.
- Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar and salt.
- Pour the melted butter and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients and fold together until dough forms.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper until between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. Transfer onto the tart pan. (The dough may break, that's okay).
- Begin pressing the dough into the edges and bottom of the tart pan, patching any gaps with pieces of dough. Leave a 1/2" of dough above the top edge. When dough is firmly pressed into every groove and corner, prick the sides and bottom with a fork.
- Cover and chill a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. When dough is chilled, place tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven.
- Separate 1 egg and beat the white with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the mixture along the warm tart shell right away and return to the oven for 1 minute. Reserve the yolk for later.
- Drop oven temperature to 325°F.
- Combine the heavy cream, vanilla, and corn syrup over medium heat and bring the mixture to 200°F. The mixture will be steaming and simmering just at the edges of the cream when it hits the right temp.
- Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate chips and salt and let stand for 5 minutes.
- While the chocolate stands, crack the other two eggs in with the egg yolk and lightly beat.
- Begin mixing the chocolate gently, being careful not to beat (will cause bubbles in your custard). When the chocolate is melted and you have a thick chocolate sauce it's ready.
- While beating the eggs, drizzle in some chocolate off a fork or spatula. Repeat 4 to 5 times.
- Once eggs are tempered, pour them into the chocolate and fold until well combined.
- Pour custard into the cooled tart shell and gently lift up one edge, letting it drop gently to lift any bubbles to the surface. Draw a small piece of parchment paper across the surface lightly to pick up bubbles.
- Return to oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the custard has set to a thick wobble, like jello.*
- Remove and transfer tart pan to cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature.
- When tart has cooled, carefully set on top of a wide glass and very gently release the tart pan.
- Using several long spatulas, slide the tart off of the metal base (only if desired) onto a plate.
- Melt the white chocolate in your microwave on 50% power for 20 second intervals, stirring in between until melted.
- Using a fork or piping bag, drizzle white chocolate in desired pattern across the top of the tart. For a spiderweb, do many straight lines across the tart, switching directions every few seconds.
- For chocolate spiders melt remaining chocolate chips in microwave. Use a toothpick to place a small glob of chocolate onto the tart.
- Carefully use the tip of the toothpick to draw the legs out and refine the shape. Let chocolate set, then slice and enjoy!
- Store covered in fridge for up to 3 days.
I’d love to hear what you think, feel free to tag me on Instagram @theflourhandprint so I can see how it went! Until next time, Happy Eating!
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.