Chocolate Orange Frangipane Tart: gluten-free

Chocolate Orange Frangipane Tart: gluten-free

I think my chocolate orange frangipane tart is the best tart I have ever created. Inspired by my new baking book; Beatrix bakes nut crust. I decided to create a walnut buckwheat flour version and top it with orange marmalade and chocolate frangipane filling. I baked this for our wedding anniversary and this chocolate tart was so delicious I couldn't keep this recipe to myself. Gluten-free too which is always an added bonus. Set aside a few hours as this takes time to prepare and bake but it is totally worth the effort. The nut crust is baked a little longer to enhance the nut flavour, I love the walnut, buckwheat and chocolate orange combination, I hope you love it too.

Time = once the nuts are toasted and cooled, under 30 minutes to make and roll to dough. Freeze for 1 hour, then blind-baking 30-45 mins. Then the completed tart takes 40-50 minutes to bake
Makes = 470g; enough for one 23cm (9inch) tart, serves 8-10
Store = pastry 3 days in fridge, 3 months frozen. Tart 3-4 days in a sealed container. In winter no need to refrigerate.

Ingredients for the nut crust

  • Finely chopped walnuts (toasted) – 75g (about 3/4 cup)
  • Buckwheat flour (or regular flour) – 190g (about 1 cup + 1/4 cup)
  • Caster Sugar –30g (1/4 cup)
  • Sea salt – 2g (1/4 tsp)
  • Unsalted chilled butter –150g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • Chilled Water – 25g/ 25ml

Chocolate Orange Frangipane Filling

  • Softened unsalted butter – 165g (2/3 cup)
  • Castor sugar – 160g (3/4 cup)
  • Eggs – 3
  • Ground almonds – 150g (1 + 1/4 cup)
  • Cocoa powder sifted – 50g (1/2 cup)
  • Buckwheat Flour or gluten-free flour – 9g (1 tbsp)
  • Cornflour – 3g (1/2 tbsp)
  • Zest of orange – 1-2 tsp
  • Flaked almonds – 1-2 tbsp
  • Orange Marmalade – 1-2 tbsp


  1. NUT PREP. – toast the walnuts for 30 mins at 150˚C. Cool for 30 minutes then chop finely. You can use a blender or food processor, or a mortar and pestle, however as walnuts are fairly soft I find chopping them easy.
  2. MAKING THE PASTRY – Combine the crushed/chopped nuts, buckwheat flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gently rub the chilled cubed butter and flour mix with your fingertips until the butter is the size of small peas. The butter lumps will melt during the baking to create a flake in the pastry. Next, add the chilled water to the butter/flour mix (I don't often have ice cubes so I use very chilled water from the fridge, but you could add ice cubes to your water). Continue to mix with your hands to form the dough. The mix will look crumbly when you first start then it will start to come together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap to form a disc, then press around the edges to smooth out any cracks. If the dough is not too warm, try rolling out immediately otherwise chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  3. ROLLING - place the dough on a pastry mat or a lightly floured surface, and press the dough gently with your hand to warm the dough before you start rolling. Using the rolling pin press the rolling pin gently twice to ease the dough out, then roll out the dough to about 30cm, and 4mm thick. Dusting with flour underneath to prevent the dough sticking as you go. This dough can be a little tricky, as the nuts can create cracks. Don't worry, you can easily patch them after lining the tin.
  4. PREPARE your 23cm (9inch) removable base tart tin with a light greasing of butter. Gently lift the rolled dough and flop into your tin and patch any cracks. Trim off any excess with your rolling pin. The video has very clear instructions if you get stuck.
  5. CHILL the pastry shell in the freezer for 60 minutes.
  6. BLIND BAKE THE SHELL – preheat the oven to 180˚C. Cover the frozen dough with a piece of foil, making sure the sides of the dough are covered. Fill the lined tin with baking beans, rice, beans or sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes until the biscuit base is a deep golden brown colour. You will smell when the shell is cooked. My oven is usually hot so it only takes 35 minutes.
  7. MAKING THE FILLING – using the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer beat the butter and sugar for 30 seconds in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  8. ADD in the eggs, one at a time, beating as you go, until the eggs are combined. Gently combined all other ingredients. Make sure you sift (or whisk to remove any lumps) in the cocoa powder, buckwheat flour and cornflour before adding. Remove from the stand mixer and using a spatula fold through the mixture to ensure everything is combined. You can rest this in the fridge until the pastry is cooked, then remove 10 minutes before adding this in, I didn't for the video and it was a little harder to pour in.
  9. REMOVE the baked shell from the oven and cool slightly, about 5 minutes before adding the layer of marmalade or your preferred jam.
  10. CHECK the oven temperature drop it down 20˚ to 160˚C.
  11. POUR in the frangipane filling into the baked pastry shell.
  12. TOP the filling with a sprinkling of flaked almonds to add a pretty touch.
  13. BAKE in the preheated oven at 160˚C for 40-50 minutes until set in the middle.
  14. COOL on the bench for 10-15 minutes then remove the tart tin ring. If you can resist wait a few hours before serving if you can't wait you could eat this after 30 minutes, slightly warm but be careful when cutting and removing the slices as it will be a little delicate.
  15. SERVE as is, it doesn't need cream or ice cream

Sue Maree P Baking Tips

  • Flour – Buckwheat flour could be swapped out for Spelt, gluten-free or regular flour
  • Nuts – try hazelnuts, pecans, almonds or peanuts. You may prefer to pulverise the harder nuts.
  • Chocolate – you could leave out the cocoa and make this without chocolate
  • Tin – I use a removable base 23cm (9inch) tart tin and it always comes out perfectly.
  • Tray lining – use a heavy-based baking tray under your pie or tart this helps support them when sliding in and out of the oven. Do not use a light tray as this can bend when heated.
  • Prepare the nut base 2-3 days before and leave in the freezer.
  • Baking time – for the video I forgot to drop the oven down to 160˚C so I slightly overcook my tart, my almonds will a but toastier than preferred bit it still tasted delicious.