Chocolate-Crust Tart Shell

Yield: one 9-inch tart shell
Recipe: 5/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 118

    After the classic apple pie and the classic fruit flan, I wanted to do a recipe that was undoubtedly made for me: the milk chocolate silk tart! As mentioned in a previous post, I never really liked tarts (or so I thought!) and so never baked any until now. Being a huge fan of chocolate, I figured that if there was one tart to convert me it would be this one. First, though, I had to make the tart shell! This chocolate-crust tart shell was not only easy to make, but it was very tasty. The delicious chocolate taste was undeniable, but as mentioned in Anna’s cookbook, it does not overpower the filling of the tart. Albeit I baked the tart shell a couple of minutes too long and the crust was a bit harder than I would have liked, this recipe was a definite success and I will surely use it time and time again. It’s a classic!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) unsalted butter, cool and cut into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine the flour, cocoa, brown sugar and salt.
  2. Add the butter and blend with a food processor or mixer (hand or standup) until the mixture is a homogenous, crumbly texture.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture, blending until the dough comes together. With lightly floured hands, shaped the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until firm.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, gently knead the chilled chocolate dough to soften it. Roll out the dough into a circle of about 12 inches across and 1/4 inch thick. Carefully line a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with the chocolate dough. Trim away any excess and chill the tart shell in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Placed the chilled tart shell on a baking tray and dock the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Bake the tart shell for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry has an even, dull appearance. Cool the shell while preparing the filling.

Notes from Anna:

  • Fill the pie shell soon after baking because it is fragile when not filled.
  • The shell can be chilled for 3 days or frozen for 3 months prior to baking.
  • It is essential to dock the shell with a fork (i.e. make holes in the pastry at regular intervals using a fork) to allow for any air to escape through the holes so that there is no formation of a dome in the middle of the crust.
  • Trimming the edges of the crust is most easily accomplished by rolling the rolling pin along the top of the tart pan.