Catherine’s Chocolate Roman Numeral Tart



Makes 23cm

This is a delicious rich chocolate tart. If you have a sweeter tooth than me (though I’m hard to beat), add some runny honey to the cream when mixing the filling.


For the pastry

  • 220g plain flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold water

For the filling

  • 60g butter
  • 200g chocolate drops
  • 3 tbsp rum
  • 80g cooked beetroot, pureed
  • 200ml double cream
  • 3 eggs, beaten

For the clock face

  • Cocoa powder, for dusting
  • White “roll out” fondant icing
  • Gold edible shimmer powder
  • Paint brush
  • Music notes and numeral cutters

Preheat the oven to 190°C/ Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Brush a 23cm deep loose-base tart tin with melted butter. 

To make the pastry, sieve the flour, icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Beat the egg with the water and add to the flour and butter and mix until the pastry forms a medium dough.  Wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.

Flour a work surface with some cocoa powder and roll out the pastry slightly larger than the tin.  Line the tin with the pastry and lightly prick the base with a fork. Place in the fridge to rest for approximately 20 minutes.  Remove from the fridge, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Place in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until just baked. Set aside.

To make the filling, add the butter, chocolate and rum to a bain marie and melt gently. Set aside to cool.  Add the beetroot to the chocolate butter mixture and fold in the cream and eggs.

Carefully pour the mix into the pastry case and bake for about 20 minutes or until just set. Leave to cool completely and only add the clock face when you are about to serve.

To make the clock numbers, roll out the white fondant, paint with the golden shimmer and then cut out “12 / 3 / 6 / 9” in roman numerals.  Cut out two “clock arms” with a sharp knife – one shorter than the other and paint with gold shimmer and leave all to dry.

This is best done overnight or kept dry in a sealed container.  

When ready to serve, lift the tart out of the tin and place on a board or cake stand. Dust the tart with cocoa powder. Place the numbers on the tart.  Position the “clock arms” on the face – five to twelve and serve.


Fine foodCatherine FulvioGood living