Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe Round-Up: Chocolate Ganache Tart

This could be, hands down, the easiest dessert ever.

Essentially, it is a crust and chocolate, which in my book, equals perfection.

I have made this so many times I have lost count! This is my go-to recipe when I need something decadent and beautiful. And it is perfect for dinner parties, birthday parties, bridal parties or pity parties.

Believe me, I know this.

So, are you ready to whip this up? Of course you are.

For the crust, you can always use store-bought. That would make this recipe even easier! But, if you prefer the homemade kind like I do, here is how I do it:

Grab your favorite pie crust recipe (I'll give you mine), a large bowl, a tart pan, a rolling pin and flour.

First add flour and a pinch of salt...

...and some shortening.

SIDE NOTE: I realize that there is a world-wide debate going on about shortening vs. butter in pie crusts. And here is what I have to say about that: do whatever floats your boat! I grew up making shortening-based pie crusts but if you have one that includes butter, that will work beautifully as well!

Mix together using a pastry cutter.

Add 1 tablespoon of COLD water at a time until you get the consistency you desire (usually about 4-6 if you are making a 10" pie crust)

And mix until just combined. Do not over mix or the dough will become tough.

Cover dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Once dough is s chilled, sprinkle flour on a flat surface.

And shape dough into a disk, like so.

Sprinkle the dough and the rolling pin with flour and roll out until it is large enough to fit your tart pan.

SIDE NOTE: If your crust tears, don't stress out! Just patch it together and roll again. I am all about low-stress cooking and pie crusts should not cause ulcers.

Once your crust is the desired size, slowly roll it up on the rolling pin, loosely.

And then slowly unroll it on your tart pan.


Mold the crust into the tart pan, trim the edges and using a fork, poke holes into the bottom of the crust. This will help it to not puff up while it is baking.

SIDE NOTE: If you have left-over pie crust pieces, lay them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top and pop them in the oven until golden around the edges. This makes for the most amazing mid-baking snack!

After you have poked a few holes, line the crust with foil...

...and fill with pie weights or beans. I use beans. They are cheaper. And I reuse mine over and over again until they are no longer look like beans...more like burnt pebbles. These also help to keep the crust from puffing up in the oven.

Place the pie crust on a cookie sheet and bake.

Now, to make the chocolate ganache or as I like to call it, "liquid heaven of all that is right in the world":

Heat heavy cream and pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan on medium-low until the cream begins to simmer around the edges.

Next, add your chocolate. As always, I prefer Ghiradelli's 60% dark chocolate but you can use any good-quality chocolate you can find.

Remove from heat and slowly stir, allowing the chocolate to melt.

The end result will look like this: smooth and shiny. And very, very delicious.

This, my friends, is how you make ganache.

Pour the ganache into the baked crust...

...and spread out.

Try not to stick your face in it.

Now, set the tart in the refrigerator until the ganache is set, about 2 hours.

When ready, cut into wedges and serve with fresh fruit, whipped cream or a dusting of cocoa powder.

You will be the most popular person ever.

Well done, my friends, well done.

Basic 10" Pie Crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4-6 tablespoons cold water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Blend flour and salt in medium mixing bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture, using a pastry blender, in an up and down chopping motion, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining. Sprinkle one tablespoon of the cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together.

TIP: Test dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.

Cover and rrefrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Once chilled, sprinkle flour on a flat working surface and form into a disk. Sprinkle disk and rolling pin with flour and roll out until desired size. Transfer dough to pie plate by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center the rolling pin over the tart pan, and then unroll, easing dough into the tart pan. Line tart pan with dough and trim edges. Using a fork, poke holes in crust. Line with foil and fill with pie weights or beans. Place on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Chocolate Ganache
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
10 oz. good-quality dark chocolate, chopped or chips (I love Ghiradelli's 60%)
pinch of salt

Heat cream and salt over medium-low heat in a heavy sauce pan until cream begins to simmer around the edges. Pour in chocolate. Remove from heat. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Slowly stir until combined, melting the chocolate as you stir. Continue stirring until thoroughly combined and glossy.

Pour ganache into baked crust. Refigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve with fresh fruit, fresh whipped cream or a dusting of cocoa powder.



  1. Why do you put beans on top of the foil? I've never heard of this before.

    1. Great question! They serve as pie weights so the crust does not puff up while it is baking. Beans are the cheaper version because pie weights can be expensive.

  2. When can I come over to try some?? Angie O