While chocolate and citrus might seem like a peculiar combo, chocolate actually works quite well in conjunction with oranges. Limes and lemons, not so much, but oranges are sweet enough to make for an enjoyable flavor pairing. As recipe developer Catherine Brookes describes this chocolate orange tart, it has a "rich, sweet chocolate ganache [that] tastes so delicious with that buttery biscuit base."
Brookes calls the tart "a decadent-looking dessert to serve for a special occasion." She does say, though, that it’s really not at all difficult to make. In fact, most of the time that this recipe takes is simply chilling time, so you can kick back and relax while your fridge does most of the work. Whether you’re looking to experiment with a new flavor combination or want to switch up your go-to dessert recipe, this chocolate orange tart has you covered. Keep reading to learn how to make this chocolatey, sweet, citrusy treat!
Gather the ingredients for a chocolate orange tart
In order to make the crumb crust, Brookes, who is British, uses a type of cookie known in the U.K. as digestive biscuits. These aren’t too popular in the U.S. (the cookies aren’t bad, but the name could use some tweaking for the American market), but she suggests graham crackers as a readily-available substitute. You’ll also need butter, and, for the filling, two types of chocolate: regular semisweet chocolate chips and orange-flavored chocolate. The filling also includes heavy cream and a bit of orange zest.
If you are wondering why orange-flavored chocolate is used here rather than more of the fresh orange you’ll be using for the zest, Brookes explains that orange juice wouldn’t work too well in the ganache. Using flavored chocolate, she says, "allows you to maintain the set ganache texture with just as much orange flavor." If you can’t find orange-flavored chocolate, you could always use more chocolate chips and stir in a teaspoon of orange extract instead.
Make the crust
Begin by crushing the graham crackers, either in a food processor or by using a rolling pin. Melt the butter, then mix 10 tablespoons of it — which comes out one stick plus an additional 2 tablespoons — with the crumbs. Press the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan and then put the crust in the fridge for at least ½ hour.
"The key is to use a pan with a loose base so it’s easy to remove," Brookes explains. Though, if you don’t have a springform pan on hand, you can use a pie pan or square baking pan and just line it with foil, leaving enough overlap to form "handles." You also have the option to cut and serve the tart directly from the pan as you might do with a pie or bar cookies.
Mix the chocolate and orange filling
Pour the remaining melted butter into a saucepan along with the cream and cook until the cream starts to bubble. Turn off the burner, then mix the hot cream with the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt for five minutes, then whisk the filling ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and shiny. As a final touch, flavor the ganache — yes, by this point you may call the chocolate filling a ganache — with the finely-grated orange zest.
Fill, chill, and serve the tart
Spoon or pour the ganache into the tart shell and smooth it out to make it look pretty. Put the now-filled tart shell back into the fridge, but this time leave it there for at least four hours. After four hours is up, your chocolate orange tart is now ready to serve. If you want to dress it up a bit, though, you can always top it with a few orange slices and/or some additional orange zest, or you could top it with whipped cream instead.
As an additional serving suggestion, Brookes says you could serve this tart accompanied with sorbet — double down on the orange flavoring, or opt for mango, lemon, strawberry, or another fruit flavor. She also says, though, that "just a simple vanilla or chocolate ice cream" could work well, too.
- 12 ounces graham crackers
- ¾ cup melted butter, divided
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces orange-flavored chocolate, chopped or broken into chunks
- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated
- extra orange slices and zest, for garnish
- Use a food processor or rolling pin to grind or crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
- Mix the crumbs with 10 tablespoons (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) of melted butter
- Press the crumbs on the bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan, then push the crumbs up the sides, packing them down well.
- Chill the crumb crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Cook the cream with the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until the cream is starting to bubble.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate (both types) and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the now-melted chocolate with the cream until the mixture is smooth and shiny, forming a ganache.
- Whisk the orange zest into the ganache.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the crumb crust.
- Refrigerate the tart for at least 4 hours.
- Decorate with orange slices and zest, if desired.