Chocolate Cinnamon & Orange Pasteis De Nata

Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


Disclaimer alert! These aren’t ~real~ pasteis de nata. Those heavenly little Portuguese custard tarts, with their blistered tops that you dust with cinnamon and sugar. I’m pretty sure those require a special tin, and a very complicated pastry technique, and the magic of the air in Portugal.


But these have their own special magic, too.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


Maybe my favourite thing about these tarts is the pastry. It’s made from store bought, all butter puff, but the method is crazy cool. You roll the dough out, then sprinkle it with demerara sugar, cinnamon and orange zest, before rolling it up into a log.


You cut the log into six pieces, and then flatten and press each piece out to make a tart shell. The result is a textural, flaky, chewy, buttery and flavoursome dream. I love a good pastry hack.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


The filling is even simpler than the pastry. Its a case of melting some chocolate and cream together, and then stirring in yet more cinnamon, orange zest, a little sugar and an egg.


Once the pastry and the filling have come together in a glorious, crispy, yet jiggly union, the tarts are topped with an orange caramel, giving them a creme brûlée style shatter of toffee as you take a bite.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


These petite pies (PI DAY, WOOOP!), are all about texture, texture, texture.


I also love the way they look. I think they have a smouldering, erratic elegance, which I really dig. These are certainly no perfect pâtisserie window specimens. They look different and I guess that’s what I like about them.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


Portugal is calling my name lately. I can definitely see myself indulging in a little paper box full of these, as I’m perched on a crumbling wall in Lisbon, staring out at the see and drinking a dark black coffee.


…in my dreams.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


Tell me something, what’s your dream destination at the moment? I can go through about three in one day, but is there any that have REALLY been calling your name? And is there a particular food, or experience that you can’t wait to experience?


I’m dying to know, you guys always have the best ideas. Happy Pi Day!


xx Sarah.


Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


Chocolate Cinnamon & Orange Pasteis De Nata
A chocolate, cinnamon and orange take on Portuguese pasteis de nata.
Serves: 6
For the pastry:
  • One 9inch (22cm) square piece of puff pastry
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp demerera sugar (or regular sugar)
  • zest of half an orange
For the filling:
  • 2½ oz (50g) dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • ½ cup (125ml) cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • zest of half an orange
  • 1 egg
For the toffee:
  • ½ cup (110g) sugar
  • juice of half an orange
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
  2. Lay the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle over the sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Roll up tightly, trim the uneven ends, and cut into six pieces. Turn the pieces so that they are swirly side up, and then flatten them and roll them out to about ⅛ inch (2mm). Fit the pieces into a non-stick muffin tray (if you're using a 12 hole tray, spread them out so they bake evenly).
  3. Place the pastry cases into the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl, and melt in the microwave in 20 second bursts. Leave to cool briefly, and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. When the tart shells are ready, remove them from the oven and turn the oven down to 375F/180C. If they have shrunk at all, use a teaspoon to press them back up the sides of the pan. Divide the filling between the pastry cases.
  6. Bake the filled tarts for a further 8 minutes, they will be puffed up, but still jiggly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  7. When the tarts are nearly cool, place the sugar and orange juice into a small pan. Heat, without stirring, over a medium heat until the sugar melts and caramelises to a dark amber. Carefully spoon the toffee evenly over the tarts, and leave it to set.
  8. Once the toffee is set (about 15 minutes), they are ready to eat! Perfect with a dark black coffee.

Chocolate, Cinnamon and Orange Pasteis De Nata | The Sugar Hit


  • I know so little about portugal and Portuguese sweets and I”m so intrigued by these. I just love your posts Sarah. I learn something new every time.. These sound so, so good. Dream Destinations: Basque, Argentina, Quebec..

  • I’m Portuguese, from Lisbon, and this is my first time on this blog. And what do i see? Don’t tell any of my friends or family, but I’m totally making these this weekend, I will not call them pastéis de nata, of course, because they really are not, but they look sooooo delicious!! And I’ll let you in on a little secret: that thing about sprinkling the puff pastry with cinnamon and sugar? We just don’t do it. It’s a foreigners myth (I blame Jamie Oliver). Having said that… it’s delicious to do it :-D

    • Hahah, I’m not surprised you guys don’t do the cinnamon sprinkling! But it’s a great trick if you’re working with store-bought pastry! And you’re right, it is delicious! Thanks Xana. :)

  • Right now, I’d love to go anywhere I could take naps, not have to walk my dogs a million times a day, and have someone else cook all my meals. that’s what I’m feeling, today…oh, and I’d like a tray of these with a cup of caffeinated coffee (something I haven’t had in months)!

  • Soooo I just lived your dream about a month ago. I was indeed in Portugal, sitting atop a crumbling wall and eating my way through a pile of pasteis de nata….and I hate to rub it in….but it was just as amazing as what is probably in your head!

    I’ll def be making these bad boys!

  • Sarah, these sound amazing! And I love that crust trick–I am so trying that next time! Anytime I can stuff more sugar and cinnamon into something, i’m game.

    I am never taking a vacation ever, because my life sucks (I kid! …but seriously, where’s my vacation?) but for the last few years I’ve been dreaming about visiting the Corn Islands off the coast of Nicaragua. Check them out–super beautiful, remote and not too touristy, with gorgeous beaches. Totally want to go, veg out, and learn to SCUBA dive!

    • I WAS JUST LOOKING AT THOSE ISLANDS! Sorry about the all-caps, but coincidence much!? They look absolutely gorgeous. I’ll meet you there.

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