Aria Chocolate Tart

August 31st, 2009


Again with the MasterChef recipes….


I was jumping off the lounge screaming when I saw Matt Moran’s beautiful chocolate tart and tasting plate. It looked magnificent!


It combined dark chocolate-based components and created a lovely artwork on the plate. Every aspect seemed to have the possibility of problems, too thick pastry, grainy sorbet and bad tempering of the chocolate – leaving it not shiny and not able to be snapped.

It also involved more than 1kg of dark chocolate… crazy!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as pleased with this as I was with my most recent triple chocolate praline tart. This tart/combination was too rich for me (it may not have helped me eating parts of the dish as I was making it), but I generally only have a couple pieces of dark chocolate when I eat it, whereas I can eat half a block or more of milk chocolate in one sitting.


The sorbet was quite rich, with both the sorbet and the remaining tart filling (which was used to hold the macarons and pipe on the plate) didn’t freeze well enough (as you can probably see in some of the photos), in more than 2 hours in a normal freezer. Both the sorbet and tart filling were a better consistency after freezing overnight (we had a lot leftover as it made a heaps more than was required for the dishes).


I tried quite hard to temper the chocolate, although it still didn’t turn out how the MasterChef one did… Here are a few reasons that I think it may not have worked:

I’ve done a bit of research and found most sites say to bring the chocolate up to 46-48C, whereas this one stated 55C. Is this temperature too high?


I used a milk thermometer as it seemed more sensitive at lower temperatures than my sugar thermometer (was it not sensitive enough?)

Maybe the quality of the chocolate wasn’t good enough for this recipe?

Perhaps some water did get into the chocolate?

I put the bowl into a preheated oven of 160C – the recipe didn’t state how hot the oven should be (it may have heated too much at this stage)

I placed the chocolate covered film in a metal tube at room temperature (could the metal tube have caused it to set too fast?)


I noticed the chocolate that was spread on later films turned out shinier and cracked – did it need to be cooled to a certain temperature before spreading?


I am definitely looking forward to trying tempered chocolate again, this time using a more specific recipe, with a lower temperature for the melted chocolate.


Everyone needed to add a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream to their dish to cut the richness of all the dark chocolate.


After all that, I am glad I tried this dish, but I wouldn’t make it again. I would be interested in trying the one from Aria though to see how it compares.

Check out the full recipe at


  1. parita says:

    I am so sorry that it didnt out to your expectations..but it does look sinfully good!

  2. Katherine says:

    This looks great. I would have ruined it at the first attempt. It looks delicious.

  3. It looks fantastic! What a shame you didn’t like the flavour as much but looks wise it’s a winner. I was so excited, I met Julie and Michelle from Masterchef last night. Julie said that she was SO relieved that it wasn’t a Zumbo dessert for their final challenge! 😛

  4. Beta Gal says:

    I am so impressed! I remember when I watched the Master Chef final I thought that this sampling dish looked extremely fiddly and technical. Kudos for even attempting it.

  5. Anh says:

    Wow! You have done such a great job! I would never think of attempting this dessert!

  6. i take my hat off to anyone that attempts this. well done. looks divinely naughty eating.

  7. I’m not surprised you needed some icecream with something so chocolatey – it looks like a chocoholic’s dream! It’s interesting that the chocolate worked better after a few minutes cooling. Let us know how your tempering experiments go.

  8. FFichiban says:

    oh WOW! You’ve done an amazing job! I actually like the twist rather than the cylinder

  9. Rilsta says:

    It is pretty scary to see that there is over a kilo of chocolate in the recipe!! You did a fabulous job with it though I think I like the sound of your triple praline tart better!

  10. Anita you are amazing!!!!

    This recipe has so many different components. You are a masterchef to have made this and made it look so good.

    How long did it take you?

  11. Juliana says:

    It looks so pretty…too bad it did not meet your expectation!

  12. Anita, what a magnificent effort. I love how you have been tackling the recipes from MasterChef. Great idea. I have never tried to temper chocolate but did see it happen in Paris in a behind-the-scenes tour of Gérard Mulot. It seemed so very precise that it scared me off. You have done fantastically!

  13. I thought your DB challenge was fab, and this matches it! It looks amazing, even if you think it’s chocolate overload.

  14. Oh I have this on my to do list. Your efforts look so fantastic! I am totally impressed. Reading over the recipe there are so many elements that need to be altered for the everyday kitchen. I hope you dont have a blast freezer, if you do, I’m so envious!

  15. Barbara says:

    The idea of a tasting plate is wonderful! So many fun options you could do with that.

  16. Ellie says:

    This is so nicely done!!! I salute to everyone who has attempted this recipe 🙂

  17. Forager says:

    What an excellent looking replica of the Aria dessert! I won’t even bother trying this as I’m sure it’d be an absolute disaster for me. Awesome effort!

  18. What gorgeous plating! You’ve inspired me to play with chocolate 🙂

  19. Zita says:

    OMG… you’ve tempered a lot of chocolate …. I’m trying to recover my chocoholic here, but I seem to keep coming back for your site… for your amazing chocolate indulgence:)

  20. Trissa says:

    Tell me – where did you hide the Aria Pastry Chef?!? Hehe… just kidding! It does look so professional. Great job – too bad you didn’t enjoy it as much especially with all the effort you put in!

  21. Y says:

    Wow, kudos to you for attempting the recipe! 1kg of chocolate is very crazy indeed 🙂 Happy to help you out with your tempering issues if you want.

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