Chocolate Orange Polenta Tarts



So I’m not going to lie, this was an experiment that I’ve been meaning to try since I wrote it down on my ‘to cook’ dissertation-style list/essay. It was successful but only after much cursing, trial and error and some kitchen instinct. So…tackle as you may but be prepared to get cross. I essentially used an orange polenta cookie recipe (see here) that I have previously made which is crumbly and delicious, as the ‘tart case’ instead of pastry. Sounds simple, you’re right. then fill with chocolate orange ganache….! I lined some mini greased tart tins with the mixture and baked. However, there was a tendency for it to melt into a big pool….I used the bottom of a ramekin to push the mixture down but baking beans and parchment may have been a good shout. The mixture type does have the tendency to crisp up and harden when it cools so keep hope.

 Makes 9 mini tarts.

  • 85g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 130g polenta
  • 50g plain flour
  • Zest 1 orange
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml cream
  • 150g Green & Blacks orange chocolate


    Firstly, read above for technical details before starting. Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease about 9 small tart cases

  2. Rub the butter into the polenta, flour and sugar until combined. Add the orange zest.
  3. Mix in the egg thoroughly and chill for 1 hour, covered, in the fridge.
  4. Now, use handfuls or the mixture to press and line the well-greased tart tins to form a nice case up the sides and over the base. The mixture is fairly greasy too so it shouldn’t stick on baking. I didn’t, but line with parchment and baking beans and bake from anywhere between 20-30 minutes (helpful, sorry)- the mixture may melt down the sides but press it up to create a case. Remove the beans once the edges have begun to turn light gold and crisp and bake for a few more minutes until the cases are set.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack until really cold.
  6. While cooling, make the ganache. Simply bring the cream to near boil in a pan and then stir in the chopped chocolate and mix until melted.
  7. Leave to cool a little before spooning generously into the tart cases. Cover and chill for about 4 hours until set.
  8. Enjoy with a large dollop of cleansing creme fraiche and a grimace if this was a pain to make. Like I said it was an experiment!

NOTE: If the polenta casing was not for you, feel free to use a normal shortcrust pastry, spiked with orange zest or add a little polenta for crispness. You can also add marmalade or an orange curd to the base before pouring over the ganache which would be interesting…!?