The Best Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust pastry is a b-e-a-utiful thing. It’s homely, it’s great to make, it’s simple and it’s versatile. From the decadent to the classic to the fun. I thought I’d show you guys a fool-proof way of creating the most crumbly, delicate pastry ever.

I’ve always made pastry the classic way – the rubbing of the butter and flour together to create breadcrumbs and to be honest, results have often been mixed. This led me to research the best ways to create the perfect pastry and I learned about the creaming method. This is exactly how it sounds – you cream the butter and sugar together before adding the flour and water. I’ll be honest with you: it’s a game changer.


Yields: 6 small tarts / 2 large

250g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
2 egg yolks
80g granulated sugar
180g butter
25ml water

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and water and beat again. Add the flour in 4 increments, beating in between each addition. Add the cocoa powder and beat once more to a paste.

Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 2 hours. Once chilled, roll out on a floured surface until around 3-4mm in thickness and mould into the tart tin of your choice. Poke holes in the bottom of the pastry case and line with greaseproof paper, filling the case with baking beans.

Bake for 15 minutes before removing the baking beans and greaseproof and bake for a further 15 minutes.