A dark chocolate ganache tart makes for a decadent and elegant dessert. Learn how to make this classic French pastry recipe from scratch and be the talk at the dinner table! No one will be able to resist this rich, silky chocolate ganache filling and the crumbly cookie-like crust.
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DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART VIDEO TUTORIAL
Is a recipe post really complete without a demonstration? Watch the video to see how it’s done and learn what “silent film mode” is all about. If you like what you see, I hope you’ll subscribe to my YouTube channel!
THIS TART IS A BITE OF HEAVEN
If you’ve never had a dark chocolate ganache tart before, you’re in for a treat. It’s not a recipe that’s for the lactose-intolerant, though, that’s for sure! While I believe it’s important to steer clear from refined sugar as much as possible, I also don’t believe it’s healthy to deprive ourselves from the occasional treat. That’s why when I do indulge, I make sure it’s something good. This tart is made with the purest ingredients (no vegetable shortening here) and it will have your dinner guests raving. So, what on earth makes this classic French dessert taste so darn good?
The crust is the foundation of a tart or pie. A bad crust can be redeemed by an excellent filling, but it still leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. That’s why I always insist on making my pie dough from scratch. This takes a little bit of extra planning, but flavour and ingredient wise, it’s well worth the extra effort. For this tart, I like using a sweet shortcrust pastry dough (pâte sucrée, in French). This is the dough to use for tarts. The difference between a pie and a tart, by the way, is the crust. The dough is usually a bit sweeter and a fluted tart mould is used, either round or rectangular.
To make a dark chocolate ganache tart, you need dark chocolate. It’s also entirely possible to make a white chocolate ganache tart, but you’ll need a 3:1 white chocolate to cream ratio as opposed to the 1:1 we’ll be using in this recipe. If you can get your hands on dark chocolate that’s between 60-70%, you’ll have a beautiful tart on your hands. Too much sugar can ruin a ganache, which is why milk chocolate isn’t a good candidate unless you’re blending it with dark chocolate.
My favourite chocolate to work with is Valrhona and Callebaut. Both are highly respected brands in the baking and pastry world and you definitely get what you pay for. I wasn’t able to get my hands on this chocolate in time for my video, so I used generic dark Belgian couverture that I bought in bulk. Couverture, by the way, is high quality chocolate that still has a lot of cocoa solids and cocoa butter intact. It’s used in chocolate work and has a beautiful texture. You can either chop up your chocolate from a solid bar, or you can use callets (chocolate discs). This format will make melting down the chocolate so much easier!
While you can use hot water (honestly, I don’t know why you would after spending all that money on good chocolate), heavy cream is the way to go when making a classic ganache. All you have to do is heat the cream, then add the chocolate to the cream and stir. I like using a double boiler (a bain marie) to heat the cream, because I don’t have to keep a constant watch on it. The last thing you want to do is burn the cream!
To MacGyver a bain marie, all you need is a medium size bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. For a thicker ganache, you can use a 2:1 chocolate-to-cream ratio. This consistency is gorgeous for fillings (like macarons and cakes) and can be whipped into a frosting once it cools down a bit. Again, we’ll be using a 1:1 ratio. This consistency is perfect for coating bonbons, but it also does the trick for tarts.
I told you this is a decadent dessert! Adding unsalted butter to a ganache not only adds shine, but also richness. It can be added to the hot cream before adding the chocolate, or after. When I’m making ganache with butter, my rule of thumb is to weigh out 1/8 of the chocolate weight. This recipe, for example, calls for 16oz of chocolate, which means we’ll be using 2oz of butter. Simple, right?
BLIND BAKING THE CRUST FOR THIS DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART
The very first step in making this tart is mixing up the pie dough. This should be done in advance as it needs two hours to chill before rolling it out. Once it’s rolled out and sitting happily in the tart shell (make sure to grease the mould!), prick it with a fork and pop it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. This freezing time is key. I lost count of how many pies shrunk on me during a blind bake before I learned this nifty trick.
From there, preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Line the shell with either parchment paper or tinfoil and fill it with pie weights. I have a dedicated jar of dried beans that I use for this purpose. Bake the shell for 20 minutes; when the timer goes off, turn down the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Remove the pie weights and the liner, then return it to the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
By the way, I often find that I have dough to spare after trimming the tart. I hate wasting, so I usually bake a couple of tartlet shells at the same time. If there’s extra ganache (you never know), you can fill them and delight a neighbour or coworker the following day. Otherwise, I’ll pop them in a freezer bag for later use. When you have tartlet shells on hand, it’s easy to whip up a batch of pastry cream to turn them into fruit and custard tarts. Yum!
HOW DO I MAKE THE GANACHE?
If you’ve never made ganache before, it really couldn’t be simpler. Heat the cream over a doubler boiler until it’s hot enough to melt butter. If you aren’t sure if the cream is hot enough, add the butter. You can also heat the cream directly on the stove over medium low heat, but keep stirring to avoid scorching and do not bring it to a boil. From there, add the couverture to the cream and gently stir until all the chocolate is melted, scraping down the sides of the bowl. That’s it. All that’s left is to ladle it into the shell and allow it to cool and set. Since this is a cream based dessert, make sure to keep this refrigerated!
CAN I FLAVOUR GANACHE?
If you want to deviate from the recipe a bit, you can flavour the ganache. For a mocha ganache, add instant coffee granules to the cream while it’s heating up. Are you a fan of earl gray tea? Try steeping some in the cream. You can also add extracts and liqueurs if that’s your preference. My husband, Big Papa, once made a dark beer ganache using a stout that was quite tasty. For this, omit the cream and proceed with a 2:1 chocolate-to-beer ratio. You might also want to play with the chocolate here, adding a bit of milk chocolate to the mix to offset the bitterness imparted by the beer. You can do something similar with wine as well, though this isn’t something I’ve tried.
HOW DO I DECORATE A DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART?
My favourite way to decorate a dark chocolate ganache tart is to cover it in raspberries. The contrast of the red fruit against the dark chocolate colour is striking. Throw on some chopped pistachios for added texture and additional contrast and you have yourself a winning combination. Strawberries can add volume, but if you cut them up, the juices will discolour the ganache, which you’ll notice when you slice into the tart. Still, strawberries and chocolate make a delicious pair, and don’t be afraid to play with a mix of different berries. If you want to stay away from fruit, don’t underestimate a good sprinkle of fleur de sel or a bit of gold leaf. If you have access to a local chocolatier, you might even be able to purchase some chocolate embellishments for your tart.
CAN I FREEZE GANACHE?
Absolutely! This is a good dessert to make in advance. Just make sure to seal it good and tight to avoid freezer burn and funky freezer smells.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY GANACHE BREAKS?
This can sometimes happen. You see, ganache is an emulsion of chocolate and cream. If your ganache breaks, try putting the bowl back on the double boiler so it can heat back up while you stir. If this doesn’t work, adding a wee bit of hot water or liqueur to the mix should do the trick. It may be tempting to add additional hot cream to save the day, but it won’t work!
WANT TO GET AHEAD?
Thank you for dropping by the Kitchen today! If you have any questions about making this dark chocolate ganache tart, please ask away in the comment section below! Do you think you’ll be flavouring your ganache? Do you have decorating ideas in mind? If you do end up making this, I hope you’ll show me how it turns out by giving me a holler on Instagram! By the way, if you want to get ahead of the game and save yourself some time, why not do yourself a favour and make a batch of that sweet shortcrust pastry dough? It makes a lovely cookie-like crust and tastes approximately 100% better than anything you’ll find at the grocery store!
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART INGREDIENTS
Makes one 12″ tart
16oz dark chocolate callets (60-70% and up)
16oz heavy cream (35%)
2oz unsalted butter
fleur de sel for garnish (optional)
raspberries for decorating (optional)
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART INSTRUCTIONS
Grease the tart mould with butter or coconut oil and roll out the sweet shortcrust pastry dough.
Line the tart mould with the dough and pinch off the excess dough by running a rolling pin over the top. Prick the shell with a fork and freeze for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Once heated, line the shell with parchment paper or tinfoil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes.
Turn down the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Remove the weights and lining, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Once the tart shell is cool, heat the cream over a double boiler.
When the cream is hot, add the butter.
Once the butter is completely melted, remove the cream from the double boiler and pour the chocolate into the cream. Stir until combined (this takes a couple of minutes).
When the ganache is shiny and smooth, ladle it into the tart shell and allow it to cool and set.
Once set, decorate the tart by sprinkling it with a bit of fleur de sel or arranging raspberries on top (I usually do both!).
Chill for a minimum of two hours before serving to ensure the ganache has properly set. Bon appetit!
PRINTABLE DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART RECIPE CARD
Classic Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart
- 12" tart mould
- Sweet shortcrust pastry dough
- 16 oz dark chocolate callets 60-70%
- 16 oz heavy cream 35%
- 2 oz unsalted butter
- fleur de sel for garnish optional
- raspberries for decorating optional
- Grease the tart mould with butter or coconut oil and roll out the sweet shortcrust pastry dough.
- Line the tart mould with the dough and pinch off the excess dough by running a rolling pin over the top. Prick the shell with a fork and freeze for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC. Once heated, line the shell with parchment paper or tinfoil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn down the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Remove the weights and lining, and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Once the tart shell is cool, heat the cream over a double boiler.
- When the cream is hot, add the butter.
- Once the butter is completely melted, remove the cream from the double boiler and pour the chocolate into the cream. Gently stir until combined (this takes a couple of minutes).
- When the ganache is shiny and smooth, ladle it into the tart shell and allow it to cool and set for about an hour.
- Once set, decorate the tart by sprinkling it with a bit of fleur de sel or arranging raspberries on top (I usually do both!).
- Chill for a minimum of two hours before serving to ensure the ganache has properly set. Bon appetit!
- The recipe for the sweet shortcrust pastry dough can be found right here
- Use good quality chocolate (couverture) when making ganache as it has high cocoa solids and cocoa butter content.
- The cream should be hot enough to melt butter, but not hot enough to reach a boil.
- If the ganache breaks, try putting the mixing bowl back on the double boiler, or add a wee bit of hot water or liqueur (not cream!)
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Sweet shortcrust pastry dough (pâte sucrée)
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