Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

During these cold winter weekends, there's nothing more enjoyable than having friends round for a dinner gathering. The fire crackling, candles lighting, wine flowing with welcoming canapés set alongside a backdrop of laughter and entertaining. Dinner gatherings don't have to mean long hours in the kitchen, they should be about spending most of your time enjoying the evening with your guests.

When it comes to baking a really memorable chocolate tart, you need to choose good quality dark chocolate. There are so many chocolatiers to choose from including; Valrhona, Lindt, or Callebaut alongside many more artisan chocolate shops stocking luxury dark chocolate at a really great price. I've a few chocolate tart recipes, this one I call cheat's chocolate tart because instead of baking the chocolate tart in the oven you just leave it sit to set. For the chocolate to set, I use equal quantities of cream and chocolate known as a ganache which gives the tart an incredibly rich taste.


Shortcrust Pastry:

- 175g Plain Flour
- 75g Chilled Butter (cubed, plus extra for greasing)
- 2 Tbsp Icing Sugar (or Caster Sugar)
- 2  Egg Yolks  (Beaten to bind)
- Egg Wash

Chocolate Ganache Filling:

- 350g Chocolate (70% coca)
- 50g Unsalted Butter
- 350g Organic Cream
- 1 Vanilla Pod (Split)
- 75g Caster Sugar
- Pinch Sea Salt


- Green & Black's Cocoa Powder
- Fresh Raspberries (or toasted hazelnuts / pistachio nuts)
- Glenisk Crème Fraîche


1. To make the pastry; sieve the flour and the icing sugar into a large wide bowl. Cut the butter into cubes, add in the flour, rub in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg yolks with a teaspoon of cold water to bind the mixture (ensure the pastry is not too wet as it should come away cleanly from the bowl without sticking). Flatten into a round and wrap in cling film. Allow the pastry to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured chilled marble work surface and line a 9 inch / (23cm) pastry tin. Place a greaseproof paper over the pastry and fill to the top with dried beans. Allow to rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / gas mark 4. Bake the pastry tart base blind for 15 minutes, or more if needed, until pale and golden. Remove the beans before brushing the tart shell evenly with a little beaten egg and bake for another 5 minutes. Allow the tart shell to cool while you are making the chocolate ganache.

4. Break the chocolate into equal sized pieces, place into a Pyrex bowl along with the butter and bring a saucepan of water to a fast boil (creating what is known as a bain marie which will ensure the chocolate will not split while melting). Turn the heat down to simmering point and sit the Pyrex bowl over the boiling water ensuring it is not touching the water allowing it to melt gently while stirring occasionally. In a separate pan gently heat the cream, caster sugar and vanilla pods to the shivery stage. Pour the warm cream over the melted chocolate mixture and fold through adding a pinch of sea salt to the mix.

5. Pour the ganache into the cooled pastry case and allow it to set overnight at room temperature in the pastry case. The following day remove the tart from the case and dust with coca-power, decorate with berries and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.

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Food Styling: Dermot O' Sullivan