Italian Chocolate and Cheese Tart

Encased in a crisp dark chocolate pastry, the luscious creamy filling of this tart is packed with chocolate chips and mixed peel, giving it a wonderful flavour and texture – very Italian, very luscious, very lovely.

This recipe is an adaptation of one by Catherine Atkinson from her excellent book “Pastry Recipes”.

IMGP3893 Sat 10th - Italian Chocolate Cheese tart for Peter Williams & Family

          Servings: 8 – 10                                                                          Time: About 1 hour 45 min.
                           Difficulty: Moderate, care needed lining the flan tin with pastry


    For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 30g/1oz cocoa powder
  • 60g/2oz caster sugar
  • 115g/4oz butter, diced
  • 60ml/4fl oz dry sherry (or brandy or leave out for non-alcoholic version)
  • For the filling
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 120g4.5oz/ caster sugar
  • 250g/9oz Ricotta cheese
  • 250g/9oz Mascarpone cheese
  • finely grated zest of a lemon
  • 100g/3.5oz dark chocolate chips
  • 120g/4.5oz chopped mixed peel


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/Gas 6. Grease (with butter ideally) a 23cm/9″ loose bottomed flan tin. Dust very lightly with flour or cocoa powder.

2. To make the pastry, sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl then stir in the sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then work in the sherry with fingertips until the mixture comes together to form a firm, smooth dough. (It may be quite sticky though) Form it into a disc shape, wrap in cling film and cool in the fridge for 10 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 30 – 35cm diameter. (Use clingfilm on top if it’s very sticky.) Line the flan tin. Make a ball from any off cuts of dough and gently press the pie dough into the fluting and “corners” of the tin. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, then add and lightly beat in the ricotta and mascarpone cheeses. Stir in the lemon zest, mixed peel and chocolate chips. Pour this mixture into the pastry case and level the surface.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 170C/150Fan/Gas 4 and continue baking for 30 – 40 minutes until the top begins to colour at the edges, but still has a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin.