Recipe: Dark Chocolate Ganache and Berry Tart
I've always had a soft spot for Tarts, especially French tarts. Because they look extra pretty, they are always photo-worthy, they teach you patience, and they can be made in so many different ways. My best guess is that the history of tarts originated from pies probably in the medieval times and from there, flourished to what it is today. In my reading, it actually started all the way back to 500BC and the credit went to the Greek physician, Aegimus.
Ganache sounds fancy. But really, it's just a mixture of warmed heavy cream and chocolate. That's it, no need to be intimidated. The heavy cream is heated and poured on to the chocolate, allowing the chocolate to melt slowly. And yes, you can use any type of chocolate (dark, milk, or white). Couverture chocolate on the other hand is a higher-quality chocolate that's higher in cocoa butter and cocoa solids. No problem using this type of chocolate for tarts but they work especially well to make great truffles and shells because of their sheen and shine. You can opt for non-couverture chocolate for tarts. Just a reminder.... Chocolate is a a fat-based product. So please... don't let ANY water touch it. It will just break apart and all joy and glory will be lost. Seriously, it will be paste-like.
When I worked in Australia, one of their dessert menu items included a chocolate ganache tart with toasted hazelnuts. I probably made these a million times (okay, clear exaggeration). But what I do remember is when I'd make these, there'd be a slight skip to my step and I'd sway while humming a song to myself. Because it was CHOCOLATE in a buttery and flaky tart crust. What else can life offer?!
And since I had a home-based pastry business before, needless to say, I offered a few tarts options. Shout out to my brother for taking these beautiful shots! And who I bribed with pizza to take these photos before... Love you, Brudder!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I did not have a tart pan before when I made this (the top photo). So I used a round cake pan and folded the edges instead. I did what I had to do! Thinking about it now, I should've crimped the edges. But oh well!
Dark Chocolate Ganache and Berry Tart
Because I was using a round cake pan, I was able to make 2 thinner crusts of the 8-inch rounds. But this recipe can also fit perfectly in an 11-inch tart pan. You can also make these with smaller tart pans, you might end up with 14-16 mini tarts.
You'll need a tart pan (or in my case a round cake pan), a food processor (I used my Ninja), plastic wrap, a saucepan, a mixing bowl, a spatula, 2 strainers (one for the ganache and the other for dusting the powdered sugar), and a pastry brush.
300g dark chocolate, broken into chunks (I usually use Godiva or Lindt dark chocolate, at least 70% dark. The bars are always about 90-100g each. So make your life easy and grab 3 bars.)
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Pastry Dough/Crust (Tart Shell) Ingredients
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla extract (I highly suggest using vanilla beans for this, but it's fine if you have the extract.)
extra flour for dusting
*rice or beans for blind baking (a method to bake the crust before hand so it doesn't go soggy by lining the crust with foil or parchment paper and filling it with dry weights such as rice, beans, lentils, or metal baking beads)
extra dark chocolate, melted
powdered sugar for dusting
1. To make the pastry crust, blitz the dry ingredients first in the food processor. Add the butter cubes and pulse until crumbed. Add the egg and vanilla and pulse only until the dough forms.
5. To prevent the tart shell from getting soggy, brush the inside with melted dark chocolate. This creates a barrier so the shell won't soak up so much moisture.
6. Once the tart shell has cooled completely, pour in the chocolate ganache. Tap it slightly to release any bubbles. Store in the chiller and let this set for 2 hours.
7. Top with berries and go nuts with your design! Dust with icing sugar and pat yourself for a job well-done!
8. ENJOY!!!! And yes.... these are great gifts too.