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Chocolate Tart with Pastry Cream and Strawberries

Chocolate Tart with Pastry Cream and Strawberries-feature-tart on wood board

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5 from 3 reviews

Chocolate Tart with Pastry Cream and Strawberries, a stunning dessert that combines a buttery crumbly chocolate pate sucrée, a luxurious vanilla bean pastry cream, and fresh sweet strawberries. A forkful and you'll be in dessert heaven!

Ingredients

Scale

Chocolate Pate Sucrée (makes 2 x 8" tarts):

  • 245 g (1 1/2 cups) flour 00, or all-purpose flour
  • 100 g (3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp) icing sugar
  • 18 g (3 Tbsp) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 g (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, organic, free range
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream:

  • 4 egg yolks, organic, free-range
  • 140 g granulated sugar
  • 45 g corn starch, sifted
  • 500 ml whole milk or half and half cream (or part milk, part cream)
  • 1 vanilla bean

Strawberries:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (or fruit juice of your choice)

Instructions

Chocolate Pate Sucrée:

  1. Sift the flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  2. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture looks sandy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix on low, stopping when the dough is barely mixed and some of the dry ingredients are still visible.
  4. Empty the dough onto a wood board (or counter) and press it down with the palm of your hands to work in the last of the dry ingredients.
  5. Shape the dough into two flat rectangles, wrap them in plastic and set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight. You can also double wrap one pastry dough and freeze it for a later use (up to 2 months).
  6. Remove the pate sucrée from the refrigerator and wait a couple minutes so that it is not too hard to roll. Lightly flour a work surface and both sides of the dough.
  7. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thick, making sure it is not sticking to the work surface, and giving the dough a 90 degree turn after each roll, flipping it over and adding flour as needed. As the dough gets thinner it is more delicate and flipping it over will be more difficult. Just keep rotating it and lightly flouring as you roll.
  8. Roll your dough on the rolling pin and gently place it over the tart pan with removable bottom, pressing the dough delicately at the bottom and edges of the pan. With a sharp knife trim the excess dough on the edges.
  9. Using a fork, lightly poke holes in the bottom of the shell so that no air bubbles form while baking.
  10. Refrigerate the shell for at least 15 minutes before baking.
  11. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
  12. For an 8-inch tart pan, bake for 18 minutes, (you will see the edges of the tart separating from the sides of the pan).
  13. Take out of oven and let cool on a rack, while you make the pastry cream.

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream:

  1. Add the cream (or milk and cream) in a pot with a heavy bottom.
  2. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and extract the seeds with the tip of a knife. Add the pod to the pot with the milk/cream (the seeds you will add to the sugar in the next step).
  3. Bring the pot to a low boil over medium/low heat, then remove from the heat.
  4. In a small bowl add the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla bean and massage to infuse the sugar with the vanilla essence.
  5. In a medium bowl add the yolks, and the vanilla sugar. Whisk well but quickly (if you leave the sugar in contact with the yolks for too long, it will crystallize the proteins making them insoluble).
  6. Add the sifted corn starch (or flour) and mix well.
  7. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the milk/cream. Add two ladles of milk to the egg mixture to temper and dilute it a bit, mix, then pour the mixture back into the pot with the remnant milk/cream and bring it back to the stove on low heat.
  8. Let it thicken by whisking continuously.
  9. Immediately remove the cream from the heat and pour it into a bowl immersed in a larger bowl filled with ice cold water, while stirring constantly. The intent is to cool the cream quickly by bringing the temperature down.
  10. Cover the cream with plastic, letting the plastic touch the cream to avoid from drying out.
  11. Let cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. At this point the pastry cream is ready for use.

Assembly:

  1. Wash and thinly cut the strawberries. Macerate them for a few minutes in sugar and lemon juice (or fruit juice).
  2. Take the pastry cream out of the refrigerator and stir.
  3. Pour few tablespoons of cream on top of the tart and spread with a small offset spatula.
  4. Arrange the strawberries on top as you most like, and sprinkle with icing sugar (optional).

Notes

With this recipe for the pate sucrée, you will have enough dough for 2 x 8-inch tarts. Bake one now and freeze the other dough well wrapped in plastic for a later use. You could also bake one tart in a 9" tart pan. 

Leftover pastry cream keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days. We had the leftover pastry cream topped with some berries for a gluten-free, light dessert.

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