An easy recipe for chocolate shortcrust pastry. The perfect way to add an extra chocolate twist to a dessert with a versatile chocolate pie crust or tart shell recipe.
For this easy shortcrust pastry recipe with chocolate, you'll need:
- Flour - either all purpose flour or plain flour.
- Cocoa powder - for a richer chocolate flavour, I recommend using Dutch-processed.
- Brown sugar - a couple tablespoons of light brown sugar or light brown muscovado, firmly packed.
- Coffee - for my recipe, I use instant coffee granules and water. This can be replaced by strong espresso or filtered coffee. The key is this needs to be cold for mixing your pastry dough.
- Butter - unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled.
Why use coffee with chocolate pastry?
Coffee is frequently paired with chocolate as it accentuates the flavour of cocoa. This means that this easy chocolate tart shortcrust pastry will not taste of coffee, but instead it will taste more strongly of cocoa than it would without the coffee.
That said, if you don't have access to coffee (either instant, filter or espresso) or do not want to include this for any reason, you can leave the coffee out entirely and just substitute with cold water.
Tips for Making Shortcrust Pastry with Chocolate
So this is basically the same process as any other shortcrust recipe. You have your dry ingredients, chilled butter and cold liquid. The key differences are:
- You're including cocoa powder with your flour.
- The liquid I call for in my chocolate pie crust recipe is coffee.
To start this recipe, you will want to ensure that your butter and coffee are well chilled. Depending on how long you've had these out while making preparations (such as chopping the butter into pieces or making the coffee), you may find it useful to place in the freezer for 15 minutes rather than just the refrigerator. This will give these a nice quick chill while you mix your dry ingredients.
Once you've mixed together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub the chilled butter into the mixture. You're not wanting to work this too much at this stage - pockets of butter are what give shortcrust its characteristic short texture.
Then add in the chilled liquid. Start by adding half of this - about 3 tablespoons and mix into the dough with your hands. Continue adding a little at a time until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the liquid.
Once the dough has come together, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours (or up to 3 days). When ready to use, roll out on a lightly floured surface, line your pie or tart dish.
Baking Chocolate Shortcrust Pie Crust
So now that you have your dough, the next steps will depend a bit on the specifics of the type of pie or tart you are making. The recipe below provides instructions to blind bake this pastry case with timings that are suitable for an 8" or 9" round baking tin.
This dough is versatile and can be used for other sized bakes, such as tartlets (like these chocolate ganache tarts) or even smaller cupcake sized bakes, such as these mini pecan pies. The timings will vary for these.
In some cases, you may not need to blind bake this crust - especially if your pie recipe will bake for at least 40 minutes once filled. If your recipe is for a no-bake filling or something that bakes for a short amount of time, you will be best to blind bake this crust.
Once you've lined your tart case and gently pressed the crust into all edges and corners, chill this a second time. Shortcrust doughs do best thoroughly chilled. I would recommend chilling for at least 15 minutes once you've lined the case (which is usually perfect time for preheating the oven!).
When ready to bake, line the inside of the chocolate pastry shell with aluminium foil and fill this with baking beans, rice or dry pasta to weight down. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and weights, returning to the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes to allow the case to cook through.
Best Tips and Tricks
- Use aluminium foil instead of parchment paper to line the inside of the pastry dough case. This makes it easier to press the lining into the case more smoothly than working with crinkled parchment paper. This can also be used to overhang the edges in case your oven runs hot and you are worried of the top edge catching.
- Use baking beans, uncooked rice or dry pasta to weight down the lining, ensuring this covers the bottom into the edges.
- No need to prick holes in the pastry. The aluminium and weights should keep this down smoothly.
- If making a tart crust, allow the dough to overhang the baking case. Shortcrust often shrinks when baking and it will be easier to trim the rough edges after baking using a sharp knife than to recover a pastry case that has shrunk down while baking.
Absolutely! This recipe will help you make an easy chocolate pie crust or chocolate tart shell. This chocolate pie crust made with cocoa powder and coffee produces a simple chocolatey shortcrust that works great for all sorts of pies and tarts.
Once this dough is made, the cocoa pastry will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days prior to use.
Alternatively, you can also easily freeze this pastry dough for up to three months. Simply place the wrapped chocolate shortcrust dough in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before attempting to roll out.
This recipe is for chocolate shortcrust pastry dough with cocoa powder. It may be possible to use other forms of chocolate in the making shortcrust, however, you cannot substitute melted chocolate or other chocolate chips in this particular recipe.
No, not in all cases. If you are substituting this chocolate pie crust into a recipe that does not call for a pre-baked pie shell, this can usually be left unbaked prior to filling and baking.
To judge whether or not it should be blind-baked, take note of how long the pie is due to bake once filled. If it will bake in an 8" or 9" baking tin for 40 minutes or more, then you are most likely safe not to blind bake. If the filling is unbaked or bakes for a short amount of time, you will need to blind bake this crust first following the steps above.
Need a crust? Try out these other recipes for quick and easy pie and tart bases:
Or maybe some pie and tart inspiration:
Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry
- 1¼ cup all purpose flour or plain flour
- 2 tablespoon cocoa powder dutch processed
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar (muscovado) firmly packed
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee see note
- ⅓ cup cool water
- ½ cup unsalted butter cut in small pieces and chilled
- Begin by mixing the instant coffee with the cool water in a small bowl or jug. Stir until the coffee granules are dissolved then place the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to cool while you continue preparing the dough.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar and salt.
- Then add the pieces of chilled butter. Rub this together with your hands until the butter is distributed in the flour. See images in blog post for demonstration.
- Slowly add your chilled coffee. Start by adding about half of this and mixing into the flour mixture. Continue to add a little bit at a time until the pastry dough comes together. You may not need all of the liquid.
- Knead the dough a couple of times until this forms a ball. Then wrap this with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or until needed (up to three days).
- After chilling, remove from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured work surface until about ⅛" thickness. Use to line your pie plate or tart pans.
- Once your baking dish is lined with the dough, return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- If blind baking, place aluminium foil inside the crust and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175C/155C Fan) oven for about 30 minutes, remove the foil lining and bake again for 5-10 minutes until the crust appears dry.