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Chocolate Ganache Tart with Pecan Crust

April 27, 2012

We went down to Pennsylvania over Easter weekend to visit some family and friends, and my husband volunteered me to provide dessert for our dinner Saturday night. Our friends’ preferences were pie and/or chocolate, and when I came across this recipe in my Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook, I figured tart was close enough to pie! This recipe had the advantage over many other chocolate recipes I perused because it could be made up to three days ahead of time – anything else that looked appealing involved whipped cream or some other component that would not keep well in the fridge for any period of time, not to mention a 4 hour car ride in spring weather.

The tart was rated as a moderately difficult recipe in the cookbook, but I actually found it to be easier than it looks – a par-baked crumb crust, ganache filling made on the stove, and melted white chocolate piped with a pastry bag. The lines drawn in the top didn’t create as much of a “marbled” effect as I’d hoped for; instead it looks more like the tart has been pre-cut into slices. But it’s still a neat effect! Although the recipe says it serves 8 to 12, I’d definitely estimate closer to 12 because the ganache filling is very rich and dense. A small piece will go a long way!

Chocolate ganache tart

You will need a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom to make this recipe.

The tart can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept chilled and covered in foil.

Makes one 9-inch tart; serves 8 to 12

Ingredients

Crust:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 9  whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 1/2  cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/4  cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 5  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 1  cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 2  tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 6  ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cocoa), chopped
  • 1  tablespoon brandy
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3  ounces white chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray tart pan with nonstick spray. Combine graham crackers, pecans, sugar, and salt in food processor and blend until nuts and crackers are finely ground. Mix in melted butter and vanilla. Press crumbs evenly on bottom and up sides of prepared pan (crust will be thick). Bake until set and just beginning to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set on rack to cool.
  2. For the filling: Bring cream, sugar, and salt to simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add bittersweet chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in brandy and vanilla. Pout filling into crust.
  3. For the decoration: Melt white chocolate in a heavy small skillet, stirring constantly over very low heat. Transfer melted chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip (about 1/16-inch). Starting in center of tart, pipe white chocolate in a continuous spiral, spacing line 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Draw a sharp knife tip through white chocolate lines, alternating drawing from center to outer edge and from outer edge to center. Chill until set, about 2 hours.

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