Chocolate, Orange & Hazelnut Tart

James Ramsden’s chocolate, orange and hazelnut tart is a delicious, decadent dessert, perfect for winter entertaining. Quick and easy to make (particularly if you cheat and use ready-made pastry), it will look after itself in the fridge for up to three days.

Image: Clare Wnborn



I was tempted to remove the comma from the title of this recipe and make it using that well-known cricket ball-sized confection. Perhaps it’s for the best that I didn’t. This is a treat.

Mr Fox Notes: the tart is brilliantly freezable. If making your own pastry is a bridge to far (we hear you), use a shop-bought shortcrust – we thoroughly recommend Dorset Pastry – or a good quality ready made tart shell. 

For the pastry

100g/3½oz/7 tbsp cold butter, cubed

200g/7oz/generous 1½ cups plain flour

a pinch of salt

2 eggs

For the filling

300ml/10fl oz/1¼ cups double cream

300g/10½oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces

1 egg and 2 egg yolks

100g/3½oz/½ cup caster sugar

100g/3½oz/¾ cup hazelnuts, toasted, then chopped

zest of 1 orange

To serve

icing sugar

single cream


To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (I usually pulse in the food processor). Add the salt and then one of the eggs and mix until it forms a dough. Add a little cold water if it isn’t coming together. Briefly knead, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, or the fridge for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 3mm/1/8 in thick. Line a 25cm/10in tart tin, prick a few times with a fork, and return to the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.

Line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, dried chickpeas or old pasta – anything to weigh it down. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden. Remove the baking beans and parchment. Beat the remaining egg and brush the pastry all over. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 150° C/300°F/Gas mark 2.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Slowly bring the cream to a boil, then take off the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Stir, then leave to melt completely. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat this mixture into the melted chocolate. Fold through the hazelnuts and orange zest. Tip into the tart shell and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool completely, cover and chill or freeze.

TO SERVE: Dust with icing sugar and serve the tart with single cream

Extracted from Do-Ahead Christmas by James Ramsden, published by Pavilion. Photography by Clare Winfield.  

For more on getting ahead in kitchen this Christmas click here. To try a savoury recipe from James click here.