| Nik Darlington

Recipe: English Cheddar tartlets & Black Chalk sparkling wine

English Cheddar Tartlets


For the gourmets among us, these English Cheddar tartlets are the perfect aperitif pairing for Black Chalk's award-winning sparkling wine this Christmas, a bottle or case of which you can buy in the shop from tomorrow, or have delivered.

The natural acidity and crisp autumnal flavour profile in the wines are the ideal counterpoint to the rich, creamy cheese custard. Depending on the rules at the time, if you can have guests around they'll be suitably impressed by the grub and the wine; if we can't all have guests, well, more tartlets for you!

You can easily find all the ingredients at your local supermarket but if you can't find tart cases, you can oven bake the cheese mix and put it under the grill to crisp up, making it like a little fondue to dip breadsticks or crudités into.

The mixture can also be made beforehand to save time, then add to the tart cases just before baking.


English Cheddar & Onion Tartlets

Makes 24


  • 160g English Cheddar, half diced into 1cm cubes, the rest grated to add to the sauce
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pack fo Rahms Croustades (or vol au vents)
  • ½ tsp diced truffles, or a dash of truffle oil (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Add onion, garlic & butter to a small pan and sweat till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add flour and cook for about 3 minutes till the flour smells toasted and is blonde in colour. Now add the grated Cheddar and stir to melt through.
  4. Gradually add milk while stirring till fully incorporated and velvety in texture. Now set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the egg (and truffle if using).
  6. Places Croustades on a baking tray and add a cube of Cheddar to the centre of each.
  7. Pour the cheese custard mixture into each Croustade until three-quarters full.
  8. Place them in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, keeping a careful eye as they cook because they can caramelise very quickly!
  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly on sheets of kitchen towel before serving with a cold glass of Black Chalk Classic 2016.


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