Monday, January 14, 2008

Chocolate Ganache Tarts

This little dessert was somewhat of a creation of my own. However, I did base it on a few recipes I had on hand. I used a crust recipe that had been used previously for a pie, and I used a ganache recipe from Donna Hay's New Food Fast. Then I added my own spin by whipping the ganache and piping it into the mini tart shells.

For the crust:

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 in. pieces

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup ice water

Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Turn out chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough to a thickness of around 1/8 inch. Using a narrow drinking glass, cut the dough out into small circles (make sure to flour the rim of the glass). Press the circles into a mini-muffin pan (I did make sure the bottoms were well floured so the shells wouldn't stick). Refrigerate the shells for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake shells until edges are golden brown. Allow shells to cool completely.

For the ganache:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

10 oz. dark chocolate (I used a dark milk chocolate)

Break chocolate into pieces in a medium, heat proof bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until just before it begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour cream over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute or so, then whisk to combine the cream and chocolate.

Allow the ganache to cool completely and set. (I used the freezer to speed up the process)

Pour cooled ganache into a mixing bowl and whip the ganache at high speed with an electric mixer.

Pipe mixture into the cooled tart shells.

This actually turned out quite good as well. I do think I whipped the ganache one stage too far. I think the next time I make it I won't whip the ganache quite as much. It sort of came out as a rich chocolate whipped cream. I also chose to use the dark milk chocolate because one of my guests was not a fan of dark chocolate. So if you happen to love dark chocolate then definitely go with that, but the dark milk chocolate turned out really well. I am planning on making this again for an event, but I may just spoon the ganache into the cup and top with a dollop of meringue next time.

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