Bold Baking Basics, Breads & Doughs

How to Make Chocolate Pastry

5 from 1 vote
Learn How to Make Chocolate Pastry and unlock the secrets to tender, melt-in-your-mouth deep chocolate pie crust to elevate your desserts!
Chocolate Pastry is perfectly prepared in the fluted-edge pie pan. A wooden rolling pin is in the top left corner of the image and a small bowl of extra flour is in the top right corner.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Learn How to Make Chocolate Pastry and master the beautifully tender, deliciously crumbly dark chocolate shortcrust pastry that will elevate your desserts. This crust takes only 15 minutes to make and delivers deep chocolate flavor, not to mention gorgeous rich color!

  • The high butter-to-flour ratio makes this crust tender and crumbly, unlike a flaky pie crust.
  • The cocoa powder helps absorb moisture, contributing to the tender, crumbly texture.

This pastry’s melt-in-your-mouth texture, rich chocolate bar flavor, and dramatic color make it a delectable and beautiful pie or tart crust choice. You can double-down on the chocolate by using it with Pear and Chocolate Frangipane Tart or Decadent Chocolate Pudding Pie, use it to set off fruit tastes in Mile-High Raspberry Meringue Pie or Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Pie, or make it a yummy vanilla and chocolate treat with Chocolate and Raspberry Panna Cotta Tart.

Table of Contents

Chocolate Pastry is perfectly prepared in the fluted-edge pie pan. A wooden rolling pin is in the left bottom corner of the image and a small bowl of extra flour is in the top right corner.

What is Chocolate Pastry

  • Chocolate Pastry is a shortcrust pastry flavored with cocoa powder. This type of sweet pastry is tender and delicate and a wonderful choice for tarts, pies, galettes, and even cookies!
  • “Short” here means the crust falls apart easily into small pieces because it has a higher fat content than standard pie crust. Additionally, shortcrust recipes either contain a minimal amount of added water or none at all. Therefore, fewer gluten strands are formed, which gives the crust a crumbly texture.
  • The first records of shortcrust pastry date back to 14th-century England. At that time, “short” meant easily crumbled, especially compared to “long” crusts of the time, which were sturdy, tougher pastries. Bakers started using cocoa or melted chocolate in pastry in the 19th century, and it’s the base of many of today’s traditional and creative dessert creations.

Tools You Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • All-purpose flour

    • All-purpose flour has a protein content of around 9-11%, which is perfect for forming the needed amount of gluten to give the pastry enough structure while still keeping it tender.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

    • Unsweetened cocoa powder, which is pure chocolate with most of the cocoa butter removed, adds deep chocolate flavor to this pastry.
  • Granulated sugar

    • Granulated sugar lightly sweetens the pastry.
    • The sugar contributes to the texture by aerating the pastry by incorporating air and retaining air. When sugar is creamed with the butter, it dissolves in the film on the surface of the air bubbles. This sugary syrup film prevents the bubbles from drying out and tightening up too fast.
  • Salt

    • Salt enhances flavors and keeps baked goods from tasting flat.
  • Butter

    • Butter contains approximately 80% milk fat. This high-fat percentage helps coat the flour, inhibits gluten formation, and forms a crumbly, not chewy, texture.
    • Butter also deeply enriches the flavor of the pastry.
    • You know your butter is at the right temperature when you push your finger in the butter, and it makes an indent but doesn’t easily squish right through. How to Get Room Temperature Butter is a great help if you’re using butter from the fridge.
    • How to Make Homemade Butter teaches you how easy it is to make your own.
  • Egg

    • The egg is a binder, holding the pastry together. The proteins in the egg white provide structure, and the fat in the egg yolk contributes to the pastry’s tenderness.
    • In addition, the egg adds rich flavor and contributes to the golden-brown color.
    • A whole egg in this recipe yields a firmer crust, and this helps make it easier to work with. In contrast, Pâte Sucrée (French Sweet Shortcrust Pastry), another shortcrust, contains only egg yolk and is therefore more delicate.
  • Water

    • The small amount of water in this pastry recipe binds the flour and fat (butter) together, making a cohesive mixture.
    • Use only the amount of water necessary to bring the dough together. Too much water will adversely affect the signature tender texture of this Chocolate Pastry.

Step-by-step instruction on How to Make Chocolate Pastry: rolling out the pastry dough into a round disc.

How to Make Chocolate Pastry

  • Mix the dry ingredients: Sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Finish the pastry:
    • Using a pastry blender or your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
    • Stir in the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water. Briefly knead the dough just until it comes together. Add more water only if needed.
  • Shape the pastry: Shape the dough into a disc, wrap well, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.

Can I Make Chocolate Pastry in Advance?

Yes, you can make Chocolate Pastry in advance.

    • Make the pastry and refrigerate it: Cover the dough well in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
    • Make the pastry and freeze it: For more extended storage, wrap the pastry dough well to protect against freezer burn, and freeze for up to 6 weeks.
      • Let frozen pastry thaw in the fridge overnight.
      • If you are in a rush then defrost at room temperature for 60-90 minutes.

How to Store Chocolate Pastry

  • Store unbaked Chocolate Pastry in the fridge for up to 2 days.

FAQs

  • Can I make Chocolate Pastry gluten-free?

    • If you’d like a gluten-free pastry option, you can use gluten-free all-purpose blend flour in this recipe.
    • For another great option, check out our recipe for The Flakiest Gluten-Free Pie Crust recipe.
  • Is this pie crust suitable for blind baking?

    • Yes, Chocolate Pastry is excellent for blind baking, which is fully or partially baking a pie crust before filling it so that it doesn’t get soggy.
    • Learn how to do it in our guide to How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust.

A close-up shot at the Chocolate Pastry that has is perfectly prepared in the fluted-edge pie pan.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • You can use either regular or Dutch-processed cocoa for this pastry. Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Chocolate to understand the nuances of the varieties of cocoa and chocolate used in baking.
  • You can mix this dough in a food processor if you wish. First, combine the dry ingredients, then pulse in the butter until crumbly, followed by the egg and water until just combined. Briefly knead the mixture into a dough on a work surface, then wrap well and refrigerate.
  • For recipes that require blind baking, fill a lined tart pan with parchment and pie weights and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights and continue baking until done, about another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In addition to the recipes linked above, try Chocolate Pastry with my French Walnut- Caramel Tart or Creamy Coconut Custard Tart for a nice contrast.

More Pastry Recipes

How to Make Chocolate Pastry

5 from 1 vote
Learn How to Make Chocolate Pastry and unlock the secrets to tender, melt-in-your-mouth deep chocolate pie crust to elevate your desserts!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 (10") pie crust
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill for 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Learn How to Make Chocolate Pastry and unlock the secrets to tender, melt-in-your-mouth deep chocolate pie crust to elevate your desserts!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 1 (10") pie crust

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cups (6 ½ oz/185 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/57g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (6 oz/170 g) cold butter, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons water, as needed

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
  • Rub butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of water and bring it together to form a dough. Transfer the mixture to a work surface and briefly knead the dough just until it comes together. (add additional water if needed)
  • Shape into a disc, wrap well and refrigerate for at least two hours before rolling (and up to 2 days). It can also be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use either regular or Dutch-processed cocoa for this pastry. Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Chocolate to understand the nuances of the varieties of cocoa and chocolate used in baking.
  • You can mix this dough in a food processor if you wish. First, combine the dry ingredients, then pulse in the butter until crumbly, followed by the egg and water until just combined. Briefly knead the mixture into a dough on a work surface, then wrap well and refrigerate.
  • For recipes that require blind baking, fill a lined tart pan with parchment and pie weights and bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights and continue baking until done, about another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In addition to the recipes linked above, try Chocolate Pastry with my French Walnut- Caramel Tart or Creamy Coconut Custard Tart for a nice contrast.
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Pamela
Pamela
12 days ago

Can I make this in a 9 inch glass pie pan? What would be the temperature and bake time for a blind bake with a glass pie pan? Love your receipes!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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