Decadent ganache pairs beautifully with a crunchy sweet cookie crust and fresh berries in this Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart.
Commonly called the season of love, is February really the season of chocolate? After the self-imposed diet deprivation of January, Valentine’s Day gives us a reason to indulge again.
And we are here for it!
Technique for Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart
This Valentine’s Day, whip up this easy tart as the sweet gift of love your people are craving. Really, it is so easy and could not be less intimidating.
Vanilla Wafer Crumb Crust
The easiest of crusts is the crumb crust. It consists of crushed cookies or crackers mixed with butter then pressed into a pan and baked until firm. Crusts made with crushed graham crackers are perhaps the most common, but you can use all sorts of cookies and crackers for this type of crust.
For our Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart, simply crush vanilla wafer cookies to a fine powder, add a touch of salt and some melted butter, then press into your tart pan and bake!
The cookies are already sweet, so we won’t add sugar. But we will add a touch of salt to balance out the flavor. Butter adds richness and helps with that balance. But we want the sweet nature of these cookies to shine against the bitter notes of the dark chocolate in the filling of this tart.
Using a food processor like this one makes crushing your cookies a breeze, but you could also put your cookies in a plastic bag and get some free therapy by pounding them until they are crushed. You can then stir in the salt and melted butter by hand.
Ganache is simply an emulsion of chocolate and heavy cream. It is by far the easiest of chocolate techniques and one you should have in your arsenal. It’s delicious, versatile, and impressive. No one needs to know how simple it really is.
Here are the steps:
- Measure your chocolate, cut into small pieces, and place it in a bowl.
- Warm your cream until steaming. It shouldn’t boil or even simmer.
- Pour the cream over your chocolate and cover. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk until it comes together.
Finish Your Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart
Now you’ve made ganache! Yay!
For this tart, we are going to take our one step further by whipping some air into it. Let it cool slightly at room temperature by setting it aside for 5 minutes. With a hand mixer, whip your ganache at high speed until the color begins to lighten and the texture softens. It will remind you of whipped cream, though it won’t hold a peak.
To reach the right consistency, you will need to whip the ganache for a little more than 5 minutes. You can do this in a stand mixer instead, but the hand mixer will give you a little bit more control and will keep you from overdoing it. When it’s fluffy, spread it out into your baked – and cooled! – crust. Chill it in the frig until firm, at least an hour.
Once it is set, you can add your berries and serve. Or cover it and keep it in the frig for up to two days before serving.
Be sure to add the berries just before serving for the best appearance.
For Those Who Love the Details
Once you know how something like ganache works, or what’s behind any technique, you can be creative with it and really make it your own. Learning more about the science of the process also helps if you are nervous about working with an ingredient like chocolate, which has a rep for being temperamental.
We hope this background info will inspire you to be more creative and that, in turn, will bring you more joy in the kitchen. Want more? Ask away in the comments!
What Matters Most For Great Ganache:
RATIOS: For a dark chocolate ganache that will set firmly, you need to use 1 part chocolate to 1 part cream, all by weight. For milk and white chocolates, which are softer by nature, the ratio is 2:1. For a sauce, make ganache with a 1:2 ratio of chocolate to cream.
CHOCOLATE: The dominant flavor here is the chocolate, so choose one you like to eat. It is often worth it to splurge on chocolate in a recipe like this – nicer chocolate really does taste better! But it’s not always necessary to spend more. We used inexpensive Choceur dark chocolate bars from Aldi for this tart, with delicious results.
Other Ganache Ingredients
Many recipes call for additions like vanilla, espresso powder, sugar, or corn syrup. These aren’t really necessary for ganache but can compliment or enhance the flavor.
In this recipe, we use vanilla and espresso powder, but not sugar or corn syrup. Here’s why:
Adding a little vanilla to this ganache rounds out the chocolate and enhances its flavor. Espresso powder does the same thing. You won’t taste coffee but adding the powder brings out the flavor of the chocolate in the best way.
Extra sugar isn’t really necessary and by using dark chocolate in our tart, we want to capitalize on that slightly bitter flavor, balancing it with a sweet cookie crust and a topping of fresh berries. Adding extra sugar would only hide the bitter notes we want and make the finished tart seem too sweet.
Corn syrup is often added to ganache to create a shinier finish. Because it’s a form of sugar and we want to highlight the dark chocolate, we aren’t adding any corn syrup to our ganache.
Ganache is really simple, but working with chocolate can bring unexpected complications. Most troubles are easily solved. If something doesn’t look right, reach out and we’ll help you solve the issue. Ask away in the comments below!
Serving Your Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart
This tart is the perfect end to any number of meals. Try it with one of these dinner options:
- Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Red Spinach Salad
- Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Creamy Broccoli Soup
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
More Valentine’s Desserts
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Mug Cake
- Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies
- Nutty Caramel Milk Chocolate Bark
- Strawberry Almond Dark Chocolate Bark
- Roasted White Chocolate Bark with Cherries and Pistachios
Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart
For the Crust:
- 6 ounces vanilla wafers about 45 cookies
- 2-1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 pinch salt
For the Filling:
- 8 ounces dark chocolate roughly chopped into pieces
- 8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Topping:
- Fresh raspberries or other berries washed and dried
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make Your Cookie Crust: Grind the vanilla wafers in a food processor with a pinch of salt until very fine. Drizzle in melted butter until the crumbs come together. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. Do not go up the sides.
- Bake and Cool the Crust: Bake until golden brown and somewhat firm, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make Your Ganache Filling: While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling by placing the chocolate and the espresso powder in a large bowl. In a saucepan over low heat, heat the cream until it is steaming. Do not let it boil! Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate, then cover and let it sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Uncover the bowl and whisk slowly until the chocolate and cream come together. Continue whisking until you have a smooth sauce with no streaks of cream. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Whip Your Ganache Filling: Let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then beat with a hand mixer on high speed until it lightens slightly in color and texture, becoming fluffy like soft whipped cream. This will take 5-7 minutes.
- Assemble and Chill Your Tart: Pour your whipped ganache into your cooled crust and smooth it with a spatula. Place your tart in the refrigerator, uncovered, until firm. This will take about 1 hour.
- Finish and Serve: Top with fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Slicing the tart is easiest if you use a warm, dry knife.
- This tart is very rich, so small slices are usually enough.
- The espresso powder serves to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, but isn’t enough to add coffee flavor.