I love a buttery shortbread crust on a tart and it is a go-to for many of my favorite tart recipes. There are some tarts, however, that do a bit better when there is a little more chocolate involved and for those tarts I use a Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust as the base. This easy-to-make shortbread is made with cocoa powder, which gives the crust a nice bittersweet chocolate flavor without making the crust too rich or heavy. In fact, the tart crust is crisp and tender, with a nice buttery note to it.
Like many shortbreads, this dough is made by cutting butter into a mixture of dry ingredients. The mixture should be fine and sandy, with the butter cut down to tiny pieces to create a tender shortbread. This can be done by hand, but mixing up the dough in the food processor is faster and easier. The finished dough is crumbly and is simply pressed into the tart pan, rather than being rolled out. This makes tart assembly very easy, especially since the crust doesn’t need any pie weights or special treatment before baking. The crust is a great base for all kinds of tarts. It can be baked completely and filled with pastry cream and fresh fruit, or filled with a rich chocolate ganache. It can also be used for baked tart fillings, and baked along with the filling rather than being prebaked.
Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust
1 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Pulse to combine.
Cut butter into several pieces and add to flour mixture. Pulse until mixture is sandy and butter is well-incorporated.
Pour crumb mixture into a 9 or 10-inch tart pan (or 4 individual tart pans). Press firmly up the sides and into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
Crust can be filled without pre-baking.
For a baked crust, bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until firm. Allow to cool before using.
Makes 1 9 or 10-inch tart.