Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chocolate Ganache Tart

I'm not exactly sure what to call this dessert (except AMAZING, of course). Isn't a ganache usually a garnish? Or is it a style of preparing chocolate? And tarts usually include fruit of some kind....

Anyway, this dessert is awesome and amazing and you will love your life after one tiny little slice.

You will also be highly energized. Holy dark chocolate caffeine.

Both of my sisters in law requested this dessert for their birthdays this year, and I was more than happy to accommodate because (as is generally true of my cooking) you get a lot of bang for your buck.

And a lot of chocolate.

I originally found this recipe in a Real Simple magazine. The original calls for hazelnuts, which I have omitted largely because I am lazy, and I did not feel that they added very much to the tart. Hazelnut is lovely, so if it's really your cup of tea you can always add some (very) finely chopped hazelnuts to the crust.

Also? This isn't a cheap dessert. Especially if you use good chocolate. But it's worth every penny (except the pennies you didn't spend on the hazelnuts, because they're not important. Unless they you...).

Onto the important stuff!!

Chocolate Ganache Tart

2 cups of finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1 stick of butter
12 oz dark or semisweet chocolate (I usually buy Ghiradelli's, which is sold in the baking aisle in 4 oz bars, and I buy two bars of their dark chocolate, either 60% or 72% cocoa depending on what's in stock, and one bar of semisweet)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
coarse sea salt

Finely crush your chocolate wafer cookies. Nabisco is my favorite brand, their cookies are thin and fine and not too sweet, but I've also used chocolate graham crackers in a pinch and they work just fine. I throw the cookies in the blender and pulse until they're very fine. Throw those cookie crumbs in a bowl, and add sea salt to taste (I probably only use about 1/4 tsp).

Melt the butter and, while mixing with a fork, slowly pour the butter into the crushed cookie crumbs. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The cookie crumbs should be damp, but not soggy. Pour the cookie-butter mix into a tart pan and try to refrain from eating the whole bowl. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the pan with your hands. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until firm and dry. Cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until juuuust barely boiling. Meanwhile, break the chocolate bars into small pieces. Turn off the heat to the cream and slowly stir the chocolate into the cream until all chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate ganache into the crust and place in the refrigerator until completely cool and hard.

You'll know you're at the perfect temperature when you see lots of little bubbles around the edges of the pot. Don't heat it far beyond that! 

At first it seems like all that chocolate could never be melted and absorbed. Just keep stirring. 


That's it! I like to serve this with something like raspberries and coffee--the flavors blend really well. I've also had this with sweet dessert wine, which is a real treat. Anything either sickeningly sweet (like the dessert wine) or equally rich and somewhat bitter (like good coffee) balance nicely.

Oh, and if you know anything about what makes a tart or ganache a tart or ganache, please let me know so I don't die in ignorance!