Chocolate tart with fresh berries (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

I got married 8 years ago on the 14th of February 2004 – it was the first Saturday in February that suited everyone. Although we’d been dating for 4 years prior, it came as a surprise to most of our Rock ‘n Roll industry friends that we had decided to actually tie the knot. In a church. A real wedding, with a white wedding dress! (OK, ivory white…)

My parents were extremely excited about our decision to get married. Now their daughter wouldn’t “live in sin” with her boyfriend anymore, and my Mom could plan the wedding to her heart’s content. She was an amazing wedding planner, presenting me with options about the flowers, the catering, the décor, and all I had to do was choose the best option. We had a lot of help from friends to make this the most affordable wedding ever: I made my own dress (yes, I can sew), my best friend volunteered to do my make-up (, our sound engineer friend lent us his PA system for the music and speeches, another photographer friend took fantastic pictures for free, my Dad’s friend down the road lent us his beautiful car for the bridal transport – the list goes on. We chose not to have an elaborate wedding cake, but rather had a fantastic dessert buffet which everyone loved.

We danced to ACDC’s Thunderstruck untill after 04h00, my wedding dress black from all the spillage on the floor. We went home, shoeless, abundantly opening all the presents without even making notes of whom to thank for what. We fell asleep just before the break of dawn, with smiles on our faces, thankful for the best day of our lives.

Since then, the 14th of February doesn’t hold a corny air of kitsch Valentines teddies and cheap (yet expensive) red roses. It is our special day. A reminder of the choice that we made to share our lives forever. And we choose to celebrate it each year with great food and lots of great wine – no gifts. I am a lucky woman, being married to an angel of a man. The love of my life.

If you would like to spoil your love this Valentines Day with a decadent treat, be sure to make this immaculate chocolate tart. It is a very simple recipe, but gets raving reviews every time.


  • 200 g packet of Baker’s Nutti Crust cookies (caramel oats biscuits)
  • 60 g butter, melted
  • 225 g dark chocolate (use the best quality you can afford)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cream
  • zest of half an orange, peeled into strips (not grated)
  • about 250-500 g berries of your choice (eg. raspberries, blackberries)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a food processor, process the cookies to fine crumbs. Add the butter and process untill mixed.
  3. Transfer crumbs to a fluted tart tin with removable base. Using a cup with a flat bottom (I use a measuring cup), flatten the crumbs on the bottom and onto the sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes untill just slightly darker in colour. Set aside to cool.
  4. Break the chocolate into blocks in a medium size glass bowl.
  5. In a small saucepan, add the cream and orange rind. Heat untill boiling point, remove from heat at once, quickly remove orange rind with a slotted spoon, then pour immediately over the chocolate. Stir with a spatula untill fully melted, smooth and glossy.
  6. Pour warm chocolate mixture into baked base, then chill in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Remove from fridge, carefully remove the fluted side of the tin, top with berries, and sprinkle with a little sifted icing sugar if necessary. Serve cold.


This post was written especially for The Pretty Blog:

Text, recipe, testing and preparation: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox

Photographed by Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius, Ilse vand der Merwe and Tasha Seccombe

Share this:


  1. ” Hi Tasha , I made this last night, must say very easy and the nicest tart I’ve ever tasted, not as sweet as it looks and the nutty crust is a real find! Thanks for sharing this…. Will post some proper pics of it later mmmm a pity I do not have that 60mm lens yet…” Ilse, this lovely comment is from my FB page – nicest tart she’s ever tasted and I agree! Tx

    1. Wow, what a huge compliment! Thanks so much Tasha – I have to say, your camera-magic plays a big role in making my food look great! Looking forward to the next shoot already. 🙂

  2. […] The recipe is here, on Ilse’s blog, The Food Fox. Be sure to stay a little longer and visit the rest of her site… There are some mouthwatering recipes to be discovered! […]

  3. Happy Belated Anniversary!!!

  4. Oh and this tart is super gorgeous! The photo is very inviting.

    1. Totally agree – so beautiful (and obviously tasty too!).

      1. Thank you Aleksandra! Yes, it is really very tasty – I think the orange peel makes all the difference. Enjoy!

    2. Thank you Tia! It is such an easy no-stress recipe, but with maximum visual effect. That means the romance can take centre stage… 🙂

  5. Wow what a gorgeous photo! Can’t wait to try this out now that my local food coop is having more fresh berries in stock (been using frozen all winter long).

    1. Fresh berries really make a huge difference to the look and the taste! Enjoy the new season’s treats!

  6. I made this for my valentines dinner but substituted dark chocolate for white chocolate as my husband prefers it. Made small individual tarts as i knew it would be much sweeter and the tart berries helped as well. Delicious and a must keep recipe!

    1. Wow, Bianca, I never even thought of using white chocolate! That must be so delicious! Will certainly try it next time, thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

  8. […] Chocolate tart with fresh berries… Mmmm… I have already downloaded the recipe here and I can’t wait to make it […]

Comments are closed.

You may also like...