Chocolate Tart with Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt

This Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt is rich, sweet but not cloying, and perfect for parties. It has a delicate cookie crust. Sea salt creates a perfect flavor balance, enhancing the bittersweet chocolate. People will beg you for this decadent chocolate tart recipe! 

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart Recipe with Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt.

Over the years I’ve shared many recipes for tarts, galettes and pies. I often write about techniques for working with dough, but I’d like to try and visually demonstrate some of the methods I’ve been describing.

My friend recently hosted a dinner party, and for dessert she prepared a wonderful chocolate tart with toasted coconut and sea salt. It was rich, dense and had just the right amount of saltiness. I had to recreate it at home.

I swapped out the original tart dough with a modified version of my pâte sucrée, which is basically a big cookie. It’s a very forgiving dough, easy to roll out, and it worked perfectly here.

A slice of chocolate tart separated from the full tart.

How to Roll Tart Dough

Dough is all about butter temperature. If the butter is too warm, the dough will become sticky and difficult to manage.

Alternately, if it’s too cold, the dough might crack when you try to roll it out. You want the dough to be chilled, but I typically let it rest for 3-5 minutes after removing it from the refrigerator.

Tart dough being flattened with a rolling pin.

I try to use as little flour as possible while working with dough since adding too much can dry out the crust. To speed things up, you can take cold dough that has just been removed from the refrigerator and smack it several times with your rolling pin.

This will help soften up the butter. It’s also rather cathartic.

Rolling out dough on a marble board.

If at any time the dough becomes too soft and sticky, simply place it in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes (or longer, if necessary). A bench scraper can make lifting and moving the dough much easier. In the background of some of these photos you can see my cake lifter, which is essentially a massive bench scraper.

Because I was taking photos, the dough got very soft and had to be refrigerated a few times once it was fully rolled out. The cake lifter was helpful, but under normal circumstances it would be overkill. You want to move more swiftly, if possible.

This won’t work with every dough, but because pâte sucrée includes egg yolk, you can easily roll or press it back together if any cracks form. There won’t be as much elasticity and shrinkage as you get with other doughs, such as my more standard pâte brisée, seen in this quiche.

Rolling chocolate tart dough

All doughs have a tendency to shrink in the oven, so I recommend, creating what’s known as a “lip.” After placing the dough into the tart pan, you want to gently press up some of the excess dough and fold it inward, using your hands as a guide.

Shaping tart dough

Then, press your rolling pin along the top of the pan to trim away the excess dough and push the overhang inward at the same time. Use your thumb to push the excess dough from the lip into the flutes of the pan and upward at the same time so that there is a small amount of extra dough peeking over the top of the pan.

This is a safety net against the dough shrinking in the oven.

A side angle of the tart in the pan.

A photo of docked tart dough.

Poking holes in to bottom of the dough helps prevent air bubbles from forming, which will cause the dough to blow up like a balloon. Yes, I know my sheet pan is dirty. I prefer to think of it as “well loved.”

I hope these dough tips were helpful! Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I’m happy to go into further detail on anything. You can also reach me via the contact form, but if you have a baking question, someone else might be wondering the same thing!

Can you freeze tart dough?

This tart dough freezes very well. Wrap it tightly in plastic film and freeze for up to 3 months.

Additional Chocolate Tart Notes

  • The progress photos show double the amount of tart dough required for the recipe. If you are new to working with dough, I recommend doubling the recipe so there is more to work with while rolling and shaping the tart.
  • While it’s not essential, I absolutely love using Valrhona bittersweet chocolate. It has a rich flavor and smooth texture that’s noticeable in recipes. It’s a bit more expensive up front, but if you like baking, they sell 2 pound bags. Their website also sells smaller bars that are less expensive.
  • If you’re not ready to work with homemade tart dough, you can use store-bought pie dough. The chocolate tart won’t have the same flavor and texture, but the filling will make up for it.

A photo of the finished chocolate tart recipe.

Savory-Simple-Recipe-Chocolate-Tart
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Chocolate Tart with Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt

5 from 12 votes
This Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt is rich, decadent and perfect for parties. People will beg you for the recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate tart
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 10 slices (approximately)
Calories 425
Author Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

for the tart dough

  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

for the tart filling and topping

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions

  • Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse several times to combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse several more times until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, briefly whisk together the egg yolk, water and vanilla extract until frothy. With the machine running, pour the liquid in until the dough has just come together. Wrap the dough in plastic, giving it a few quick kneads first if the ingredients don’t look completely incorporated, and flatten into a disc. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin circle that is approximately 12 inches in diameter. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and then gently unroll it into a 9-inch tart pan, leaving slack so the dough can settle into the flutes. Gently shape the dough to the side of the pan and trim away any excess dough (see photos and images for a more thorough tutorial). Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Use a fork to prick numerous holes in the dough to prevent air bubbles. Add a layer of aluminum foil and dried beans to weigh down the dough. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes, removing the beans and foil halfway through, until the dough has just firmed up on the bottom. Allow to cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, stirring once, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Place the bittersweet chocolate in a large bowl.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Once it’s just simmering, pour over the chocolate and stir until very smooth. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla and sea salt and add to the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Pour into the pre-baked tart shell and bake for 25-28 minutes. The center of the tart should wobble just slightly while the sides should appear solid. It will continue to set as it cools. Remove from the oven.
  • While the tart is still warm, sprinkle the toasted coconut and coarse seat salt on top, very gently pressing into the chocolate to help adhere. Let the tart cool for 1 hour before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Notes

This tart dough freezes very well. The progress photos show double the amount of tart dough required for the recipe. If you are new to working with dough, I highly recommend doubling the recipe so there is more to work with while rolling and shaping the tart. You can then wrap and freeze the remaining dough for up to 3 months.
   
I used a Wilton 9x1-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
Filling adapted from The Washington Post and author Kathy Gunst.
   

More Tart Recipes

   
If you like this recipe, check out my Cranberry Pecan Tart and Spinach, Artichoke and Caramelized Leek Tart!

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 17.6% | Vitamin C: 0.4% | Calcium: 11.3% | Iron: 7.9%

Recipe Troubleshooting

For help troubleshooting a recipe, please email recipehelp@savorysimple.net. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! This email address is only for recipe troubleshooting; Solicitations will be ignored.

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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