This Coffee Tart or Mocha tart recipe is a dream for coffee lovers! Pâte Sablée filled with silky Coffee ganache and decorated with cream that makes it effectively a Cappuccino Tart. Once the Pâte tart shells baked, it is a super easy and quick recipe, the coffee ganache is literally 3 ingredients!
Learning how to make Pâte Sablée tart shell is one of the most versatile baking skills one can learn as with one base recipe using different fillings and toppings you can make tons of different variations. Make sure you check out my Ultimate Pâte Sablée Guide that explains everything about how to make sweet shortcrust including ingredients, technique, equipment and even more.
Table of Contents
What is a tart?
Tart is a freestanding shallow open-faced pastry, often baked in a tart ring with fluted or straight sides. Smaller tarts are referred to as tartlets. Making Pâte Sablée tart shell is one of the baking basics worth mastering for every home baker and let me tell you that this is the only tutorial you will ever need!
This Coffee tart recipe is one of those impressive recipes every home baker will be able to make at home following my step by step recipe. Pâte Sablée filled with silky coffee ganache is a beautiful and incredible delicious pastry for a weekend treat or afternoon tea.
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking this Mocha tart. A short recipe alone not able to call out all the details that you need to pay attention to while baking therefore most of my recipes contain important information about ingredients and technique
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. In general, replacing egg, using gluten-free flour, skipping certain ingredients etc. will all have an impact on your Coffee tart
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method if you want consistent results
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid under baked, burnt, sad looking desserts
Some important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Mocha Tart recipe
For the Pâte Sablée, sweet shortcrust
- Flour: I am using pastry flour for this tart shell recipe, feel free to use AP if can’t find pastry flour in your local supermarket. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Almond: Some Pâte Sablée recipes contain almond, some don’t, I prefer mine with some almond flour in it from taste and texture point of view. It is worth to buy good quality ground almond, without skin. You can replace with equal amount of flour
- Sugar: This sweet pastry dough is made with icing sugar. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients especially chocolate desserts. This is a sweet tart dough and I just love that extra very mild salty kick at the end
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be on room temperature, this is an exception and you have to take it very seriously. Butter needs to be chilled, which means take the butter out of the fridge, cut into cubes then place it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before using it
- Egg: Room temperature as always
As you can see this is a super simple recipe in terms of the ingredients. The secret behind making beautiful, neat and delicious tart crust is all about mastering the technique, understanding how temperature plays in role while working with the dough and using the right equipment that I will be all explaining further down in this recipe.
For the coffee ganache
- Chocolate: Coffee ganache is a white chocolate based silky coffee flavoured ganache that has no white chocolate taste whatsoever since white chocolate has a close to neutral flavour and colour. However please bear in mind that the mocha ganache will be as delicious as the quality of the chocolate and coffee you are using. Please please please use good quality chocolate that you would anyway enjoy eating on its own and avoid using “baking chocolate”. I am using Valrhona Ivoire 35% white chocolate that tastes amazing and works wonderfully silky while making ganache
- Double Cream: Also known as whipping cream or heavy cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40%, in my recipes I use 36% double cream . Avoid substitutes like vegetable based “whipping cream”
- Coffee: I am using freshly brewed espresso like coffee for the most delicious flavour
Check out some of my other coffee desserts as well!
For the decoration
- Cream: To turn the coffee tart in a cappuccino tart, I am using an easy yet pretty cream decoration on top and dust with
- Cocoa powder: Always use unsweetened, 100% cocoa powder in baking. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark colour and it is lower in acidity
5 Baking tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Coffee Tart recipe
As mentioned above this Mocha tart is a relatively easy recipe with impressive results however there are a couple of tips I want to share with you so your Coffee tarts will turn out exactly like mines. First and foremost please make sure you check out my Pâte Sablée tutorial where I share plenty of important information you need to know about how to make sweet short pastry.
Some key considerations you have to bear in mind while making this Coffee tart:
1. The importance of temperature while making Pâte Sablée, sweet shortcrust tart shells
When I started experimenting with baking, I had several disastrous attempts making tart shell. Now I understand that the one and only reason I failed was me being inpatient and forcing the dough even when its temperature was inappropriate.
Baking is science and in general temperature is one of the most important factors to understand AND utilise for our benefit. When I say temperature I don’t purely mean baking temperature but also the environment we work e.g kitchen temperature as well as the dough temperature.
While making sweet tart crust, temperature is everything! If the dough is too hot, it’s sticky and can’t be rolled out or shaped. If too cold, it will easily break. The entire tart making process is a balancing exercise between keeping the dough cold enough but not too cold.
To give you a concrete example, in a home kitchen environment on a warmer day this practically means taking the dough in and out of the freezer about 15 times in between steps to ensure the dough is always on the right temperature to work with. If you are lucky and have a cold kitchen, you might be ok with 2-5 chilling breaks. Yes, not just to chill the dough once or twice but to be in control of the dough temperature all the time! Obviously in professional kitchens temperature as well as humidity is under control and the rolling process is done by a laminator machine, however in home environment this is something we have to be super careful with.
2. What equipment is needed to make Pâte Sablée tart shell
You can only achieve neat, visually appealing, even golden colour tart crust by using professional baking equipment. Luckily these are available to purchase on Amazon not just for professionals but also for home bakers. If you want to make beautiful, patisserie style tarts it’s worth to invest into a perforated baking mat, a couple of perforated tart rings and a silicon mat.
Silicone baking mat
I recommend using 2 Silicone baking mat for rolling the pastry dough out in between them. The recipe is designed in a way that you do not need to add extra flour while rolling the dough however it might stick to your kitchen counter so use silicone baking mat. It’s also possible to use 2 sheets parchment paper however the silicone mat provides a much neater, smooth surface. It can be washed and then used all the time so overall worth the investment. I am using the “Amazon basics” cheapest version so no need to buy anything expensive.
While rolling, start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions. Again remember, temperature is very important. If the dough is too cold, you won´t be able to roll it out. If too warm, it will be difficult to handle and will even stick to the silicone baking mat.
Perforated baking “air” mat
The air mat is perfect for baking tart crust, éclairs or even cookies. Thanks to the holes in the mat, the heat spreads evenly throughout mats’ surface guaranteeing a perfect and even baking without blind baking. The dough won´t puff up while baking the tarts and will be super neat and even.
While baking the tart shells, use the Perforated “air” baking mat straight on top of the oven rack (so not in a baking pan) so that the air can circulate properly. I have been using Perforated “air” baking mat for more than a year now from a brand called Silikomart and loving it.
Perforated tart ring
The Perforated tart rings are non-stick and stainless, they allow homogeneous baking due to the even air circulation. It’s a a genius solution, isn’t it? Silikomart (and some other quality brands) offering the rings in various shapes and sizes, I am using a 8cm (3,14inch) diameter round version. As far as I can see there are several cheap copies of the initial Silikomart product, I am not sure though whether they are made of the same material and whether they work or not.
No need to grease the tart rings, the dough will stick to its side providing a very neat looking beautiful tart shell. I have been using my Perforated tart ring for over a year and it’s the best investment I have ever made.
I can not recommend it enough, it’s really one of those tools you have to invest in once and then will change your baking experience forever!
3. Process of making sweet shortcrust pastry
Now that we covered the most important factors you have to bear in mind while making Pâte Sablée, let´s see how exactly to make sweet shortcrust for this Mocha tart
- Make sure all ingredients are measured with Digital scale and prepare all the tools ahead:Rolling pin, Silicone baking mat, Perforated “air” baking mat, Perforated tart ring
- Place the measured butter cubes into the freezer for 5-10 minutes
- Sift together dry ingredients; flour, icing sugar, almond, salt, mix so they are combined properly
- Add very cold butter cubes to dry ingredients and rub the mixture between your hands until it becomes a sand like consistency. This will take about 3 minutes, make sure you do not spend too much time with this step as butter can easily warm up and that is something we want to avoid
- Add egg into the mixture and mix with your hands just until the dough comes together. First it might look crumbly but do not add more wet or dry ingredients to the recipe instead gently knead the dough with the palm of your hand for a minute or two (do not over knead and do not use mixer) just until the dough becomes smooth
- If the dough is too warm and sticky, place it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes first. Otherwise continue with rolling the dough out into 2mm thickness between two Silicone baking mat. The recipe quantity is designed in a way that once you roll the dough out it will reach the silicone baking mat from edge to edge
- Place the dough into the freezer for 10-15 min in between the two Silicone baking mat. Do not remove the mat at this point as the dough might stick to the mat while it is warm and it would break the dough
- Prepare your oven rack with the Perforated “air” baking mat and Perforated tart rings on top
- Take the dough sheet out from the freezer, remove the top of the silicone mat, and using one of the Perforated tart rings, cut out 8 circles – this will be the bottom of your tart crust. Carefully move the dough circles with the help of an Offset spatula and place them into the rings one by one
- If at any point the dough gets too warm to work with, pop it back into the freezer for 5 minutes. You might need take the dough in and out of the freezer a lot of times but that is fine, don´t try to force the dough while it is warm. It is extremely important to work with a dough which is cold enough to be able to handle (so not sticky) but not too cold which would result in breaking it
- Cut 8 long stripes out of the dough, this will be the side of the tart
- Carefully place the stripes into the ring one by one. Press each stripe onto the side of the rings so it sticks to it. Again make sure you work with a dough that is cold enough but not frozen as that would make impossible to place it into the tart ring without breaking it
- Place the Perforated tart ring with the pastry dough in them into the freezer for 1 hour
- Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F
- After 1 hour take the pastry dough with the rings on them out and trim them with a sharp knife
- Bake for 20 min then carefully remove the rings. Once you take the tarts out of the oven wait for a minute or two for the pastry to somewhat contract within the ring then you will be able to easily remove the rings. If ring seems to stuck onto your pastry it means probably you will need to bake it for a few more minutes
- Once tart rings are removed, bake the tart cases for another few minutes. The tarts will be ready baked already after a few minutes however if you wish to bake it until golden brown then bake it for another 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet if necessary
- Let them cool on the Perforated “air” baking mat before filling them with coffee ganache
4. How to make coffee ganache
Chocolate ganache is literally chocolate and cream mixture with endless uses; cakes, cupcakes, tarts etc. Coffee ganache is a chocolate ganache with added coffee, so easy! As usual, the quality of the ingredients will highly impact the end result. While taste is obviously very important, in case of chocolate the quality goes way beyond taste, good vs poor quality chocolate that can make or break any recipe. I recommend to chose a high quality brand with high cocoa content chocolate to avoid disappointment. I am using Valrhona Ivoire 35% white chocolate that tastes amazing and works wonderfully silky while making ganache.
Regarding the cream, I am using heavy cream that has 36% fat content. Do not make ganache using low fat creams or vegetable creams.
Chocolate ganache is a 1:1 mixture of chocolate and warm cream. While making coffee ganache some of the cream is replaced with coffee.
- Place finely chopped chocolate into a bowl
- Brew an espresso like strong coffee
- Mix freshly brewed coffee and cream
- Heat mixture until just simmering. If it’s boiling, the cream is too hot and could burn the chocolate. If the cream is not warm enough, it won´t melt the chocolate properly
- Pour warm cream and coffee mixture over the chopped chocolate
- Let the two sit for a minute then stir together
- Wait to slightly cool before filling the tart shells, in the meantime don’t let it cool completely as it will thicken
Note: The quantity needed for this Coffee ganache might vary depending on how thick on thin you make the tart shells. Very thin tart shell requires more filling than if tart shell is thick
5. How to assemble this Coffee Tart
First, you will make the tart shells then you have to let them cool before filling. Next, make the coffee ganache then pipe not too warm, not too cold ganache (while it is still runny) into the tart shells and smooth the top with an offset spatula. The tarts will need to be refrigerated for a few hours before decorating for the ganache to set.
Before decorating make sure tarts are well chilled and coffee ganache is nicely set. Whip very cold cream until stiff peaks then using a 104 ruffle nozzle tip decorate each tart and dust with cocoa. While whipping cream make sure you start on low speed then gradually increase. Stop beating the cream as soon as it reaches a pipeable consistency (stiff peak), avoid over beating as it can easily curdle and that would be impossible to pipe.
Some more tart recipe ideas to try
Creamy Raspberry tart – This Raspberry tart recipe is an ideal balance between buttery, melt in your mouth shortcrust pastry and silky raspberry ganache with full of natural raspberry flavour
Triple Hazelnut nut with gold chocolate disk decoration - This Triple hazelnut tart recipe is a dream for hazelnut lovers but what makes it even more special is the gold chocolate disk decoration melted on top! Contrasting layers of melt in your mouth hazelnut Pâte Sablée tartlet shell, silky hazelnut ganache, crunchy hazelnut .. a super complex dessert experience that is much easier to make than it might sound!
Strawberry Pistachio tart - This Strawberry Pistachio tart consist of Pâte Sablée sweet shortcrust pastry filled with silky Pistachio ganache and topped with delicious fresh strawberries. Beautiful contrast of rich and nutty Pistachio ganache and refreshing fruit in a buttery, sweet but not too sweet melt in the mouth pastry shell.
Fig Frangipane tart – Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust) filled with a incredible delicious, easy almond cream (frangipane) and a slice of fig is what makes this tart a truly amazing autumn recipe! The Franginape tarts are sweet, fruity and nutty at the same time
Caramelized banana & Caramel tart – This Caramelized banana and Caramel Tart is the perfect easy yet fancy dessert you can make at home and impress everyone ! The tart has 3 elements: Home made Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust) tart shell, 5 minutes caramelized banana layer, super quick and easy 3 ingredients caramel layer on top
Lemon meringue tart – This Lemon meringue tart recipe is a decorative, individual dessert version of the well know lemon meringue pie. I love how the sweet and silky Swiss meringue complements the tangy and creamy lemon curd
Passion fruit & Chocolate tart – If you have not tried pairing passion fruit and chocolate before, you are missing out, they are truly match made in heaven! Silky & rich chocolate ganache meets floral & tropical yet tangy passion fruit curd in this Chocolate Pâte Sablée tart shell!
Salted caramel & Chocolate tart – This Salted caramel chocolate tart is one of my favoruite tarts ever! Salted caramel and Chocolate are match made in heaven… It just tastes phenomenal as the buttery caramel with slight salty kick meets the silky chocolate ganache!
For the Pâte Sablée
For the Coffee ganache
- 400 g (1½ cups) White chocolate good quality, eg. Valrhona
- 250 g (⅔ cups) Heavy Cream
- 50 g (⅕ cups) Coffee freshly brewed eg. espresso
- 100 g (½ cups) Heavy Cream very cold
- 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder unsweetened to dust
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
For the Pâte Sablée
- Sift together dry ingredients; flour, icing sugar, almond, salt
- Add very cold butter cubes and rub the mixture between your hands until it becomes a sand like consistency. This will take around a minute or two
- Add egg into the mixture and mix with your hands just until the dough comes together, few seconds
- Knead with the palm of your hand for a minute or two (do not over knead and do not use mixer) just until the dough becomes smooth. Form a disk and cover the dough in plastic wrap. Let it rest in the fridge for min 2 hours. You can leave it resting in the fridge over night or you can even freeze the dough
- After the dough rested roll it out into 2mm thickness between two Silicone baking mat. Do not use extra flour for rolling
- Place the dough into the freezer for 15 min in between two Silicone baking mat.. Do not remove the mat at this point
- If at any point the dough gets too warm to work with, pop it back into the freezer for 5 minutes. You might need take the dough in and out of the freezer 10-15 times. It is extremely important to work with a dough that is cold enough to be able to handle (so not sticky) but not too cold which would result in breaking it
- Cut 8 long stripes out of the dough, this will be the side of the tart
- Carefully place the stripes into the ring one by one. Press each stripe onto the ring so it sticks to it
- Place the Perforated tart rings with the pastry dough in them into the freezer for 2 hours
- Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F
- After 2 hours take the pastry dough with the rings on them out and trim the top to the level of the tart ring with a sharp knife
- Bake for 18 min then carefully remove the rings and bake for another 5 min. Let them cool on the Perforated "air" baking mat
For the Coffee ganache
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and place them into a bowl
- Brew fresh coffee and mix it with cream
- Heat cream and coffee mixture in a saucepan over medium heat just until simmering
- Pour warm cream coffee mixture over chocolate, let it set for a minute until chocolate gently melts then stir together
- Once tart tart shells cooled down to room temperature pour warm chocolate ganache into tart shells. Smooth the top with an offset spatula
- The tarts will need to chill in the fridge for min 4h before decorating for the ganache to set
- Whip very cold cream up until stiff peaks, pipeable consistency. Using 104 ruffle nozzle tip decorate each tart then dust with cocoa powder