Tarte Ambroisie

The word ambroisie derives from Greek mythology and it means ‘food of the gods’. The tart ambroisie originally comes from a world-famous three Michelin star restaurant in Paris – L’Ambroisie. It was founded 35 years ago by Bernard Pacaud and it continues under his son’s – Mathieu Pacaud – oversight.

Seemingly simple with only two components, beware, chocolate tarts can be tricky. First is the pastry, which has to be executed perfectly. It must be very thin, merely enough to support the layer of chocolate, with a delicate crumb that shatters when your fork touches it. The second part is the chocolate, which must be smooth and rich. Many recipes use a simple chocolate ganache, which can be dense or heavy and boring. Pacaud came up with the genius idea of combining a chocolate ganache with a sabayon. The result is exceptional. The chocolate sabayon resembles a chocolate cloud, full of small bubbles. Elegant and indulgent. A simple delicacy elevated to another level.

Use the best possible chocolate you can find. For us, the very best option is Valrhona Guanaja 70%.

Tarte Ambroisie

Course: FrenchCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Yields a tart of ⌀ 20cm.


  • Chocolate ganache
  • 80g chocolate 70%

  • 100ml double cream

  • Chocolate sabayon
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 40g golden caster sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • Pâte brisée
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened

  • 120g icing sugar

  • 54g eggs

  • Zest of 2 small lemons

  • 2g salt

  • Vanilla (optional)

  • 30g ground almonds

  • 250g low protein flour (for example a cake flour)


  • Pâte brisée
  • Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: butter, icing sugar, eggs, zest of lemons, salt and vanilla.
  • Mix until a homogenous batter is obtained.
  • Incorporate the ground almonds and the flour into the wet mix avoiding kneading the dough*.
  • Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day just before baking, take the dough out of the fridge, and roll until very thin (about 3-4mm, we prefer thinner tarts, but 0.5cm thick is a canonical figure too) using as much flour as you need to prevent it from sticking to the surfaces.
  • Transfer the rolled dough into your tart mould and cut off any excess.
  • Place the tart shell in the fridge and let it rest for 2h (If you aren’t patient, the sides of the tart will slide down to the bottom. Really! 😉 ).
  • Just before baking, preheat the oven to 160C. Take the tart shell off the fridge and poke the bottom several times using a fork. Bake the tart for 10min.
  • Chocolate ganache
  • If you aren’t using a couverture, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat up the cream and pour over the chocolate. Mix until smooth.
  • Chocolate sabayon
  • Take a medium pot and fill with water half way through. Bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile, combine the egg, yolks, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl that will fit on the top of the pot.
  • Using a hand mixer, whisk the ingredients until the mixture quadruples in volume.
  • Fold in the chocolate ganache. Set the bowl over the bain marie and heat up the mixture to 40C.
  • Fill up the tart shell with the chocolate sabayon.
  • Place in a preheated oven to 180C. Bake for 9-10min.
  • Check the internal temperature of the sabayon. It should reach 70-75C in order to set. You will need to adjust the cooking time to exactly how you want the tart done, the consistency will resemble a crème anglaise at 70C, and a flan 75C.
  • Cool down the tart for at least 1h. Sprinkle generously with cocoa powder.


  • *Try to transfer the dough onto a flat surface and get a dough scraper. Then, spread the dough on the surface and scrape back into a ball. Repeat until the dough is homogenous. This method ensures even mixing without kneading the dough. The crust of the tart should be thin and brittle, therefore the dough shouldn’t develop much gluten structure.


  1. Hello and thank you for your research and the generosity of sharing your recipe with us!

    I was wondering about step 4 when making the chocolate sabayon.
    Heating up the delicate egg/sugar/salt mixture after the chocolate is folded in over a bain-marie won’t it deflate very easily?
    What technique did you employ? Whisking? Spatula?
    Is it not better to do it the classical sabayon way of heating up the eggs/sugar/salt mixture over a bain-marie, taking the mixture off the heat when the desired thickness is achieved and then folding in the chocolate?

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Max,

      Thank you for your question.

      This is indeed different from a classic sabayon. In this recipe, the idea is to have a very aereated mixture (it is essentially a meringue enriched with yolks) into which to fold the chocolate ganache. A spatula is the least agressive way to do that.

      Bear in mind that we are not cooking the egg mixture in the bain marie in any case. Instead, we are slightly raising the temperature of the filling to 40C so that it sets exactly as we want it within 9 to 10min of baking. If the temperature of your filling was colder, it would take longer to set, requiring more baking and probably inconsistent results. Moreover, if your egg mixture is at room temperature and the ganache close to 40C, this process is short and not too harsh on the foam. Simply mix delicately with a spatula from time to time until you reach 40C.

      Why not use a classic sabayon?
      You could indeed make a chocolate sabayon and pour it in the tart shell, but the foam will be denser. In this recipe, the sabayon has egg whites to hold more air and whites tend to curdle faster than yolks. This recipe (and so does Pacaud’s original) intends for the custard/sabayon to be set inside the tart, acquiring and holding up its shape when cut, while holding a large amount of air within it.

      You could think about the filling more like a set chocolate mousse than a sabayon.

      Hope it helps!

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