Chocolate Custard Tarts

, from Issue #26. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chocolate Custard Tarts

The Barossa is home to Careme Pastry, which makes excellent puff pastry, among other varieties. Every Saturday they have a stall at the Farmers’ Market selling a range of delectable cakes and pastries. Although they don’t make these particular tarts, they provided some of the inspiration for them. Crisp, buttery pastry with a warm chocolate custard filling are a match made in heaven. The custard can be made 2-3 days ahead.


1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons Dutch cocoa
450 ml milk
50 grams good quality dark chocolate

To cook
300 grams puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg wash)
icing sugar to dust


Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C. Lightly grease a 12 hole, 1⁄2 cup capacity muffin tin.

Custard: Whisk the egg, egg yolks, caster sugar, cornflour and cocoa in a bowl to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the milk and tip into a saucepan.

Place the mixture over a medium-low heat and, whisking constantly, cook until it forms a thick, glossy custard. This will take at least 8-10 minutes. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat or let the custard boil as it will curdle and look grainy. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate to melt.

Tip into a bowl and cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Cool.

To cook: Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured bench and cut into 12 cm squares. Line the tart tins, pleating the sides and letting the corners of the pastry poke up. Chill until firm. Brush the edges with egg wash. Divide the custard between the pastry cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until the pastry is a good golden colour and the filling is puffed.

Remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12.

Dutch Cocoa: this richer, darker cocoa has an alkali added, which neutralizes the cocoa’s acidity. The process is known as ‘dutching’ – the cocoa is not from Holland. Available from specialty stores and good supermarkets.