Recipe: Dark Chocolate Ganache and Berry Tart

Go ahead. Enter the room, flip your hair, hold this out, and impress your guests.
There's something to be said about berries and chocolate. It tickles every sense, flirts with your soul, and satisfies your mood and palate.

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.

Ganache Ingredients
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
fresh blackberries
fresh raspberries
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.
2. Transfer the dough on the counter lined with saran wrap and ball it up to make a dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for 30-45 mins.
3. Preheat your oven to 350℉. Dust some flour on your counter or a surface and roll the dough into a circle. Don't worry if it breaks up, you can always use some dough to patch up some holes. Use a fork to puncture the bottom of the dough and bake this for 15 mins. Place the foil and rice and blind bake for another 25 mins or until golden brown. Let this cool completely.
4. Prepare your mixing bowl with the dark chocolate chunks. Heat the heavy cream in the sauce pan and bring it up to a boil. Take away from the heat and add the vanilla. Pour the heated heavy cream on the chocolate and stir with your spatula until cream is fully melted. Pass through a sieve to remove any clumps.
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.


*If you're allergic to berries, go ahead and use other ingredients like roasted nuts, some candied orange peels, or something toasted coconut. You can even use some edible flowers to make it extra wow-worthy. 

**I cannot stress enough that chocolate is a fat. You have cocoa butter so any water-based liquid added will definitely ruin it. Since ganache has cream and there is some water content in cream (not much, just around 5%, then you can use the liquid extracts to flavour it. This won't break your chocolate. But if you deliberately add a water-based substance to any melted chocolate... well... goodbye.

***Save the couverture for something else. Yeah, okay, you want to sound fancy. Legit even. But it's the type of ingredient you want to respect and it presented as it is with not much added. Use these as your truffle shells or if you're making mendiants. You want it to present itself as the ingredient should be. It's almost like you look a 10-grade marbled piece of steak only to ground it up and make Salisbury steak (.... I need a moment. My heart bled a little as I typed that sentence.) Let's respect the ingredients. 

****Just a head's up on white chocolate. White chocolate is basically a lot of cocoa butter, lots of sugar, and milk solids. It can technically be classified as a non-chocolate because it doesn't contain any cocoa solids. So really, it's just a sweet cocoa butter. So just go easy on this when you're snacking on them mindlessly on the couch. "Netflix and Chill" could easily waver off and turn to "Netflix and white chocolate"... just saying. 

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