So this is how it happened: I was out shopping for some boxes to organize all the stuff I have in my apartment. It started raining – I can’t buy cardboard boxes in the rain, that would just be silly. Across the street is Sur La Table. It is raining, did I mention that already? So I had to go in for some cover. They happened to have a sale. Two giant bags of baking toys later, I had to rush home to start making my tarts!
This dish has been on my mind for a while. Dark chocolate ganache tart with toasted pistachios and a pinch of sea salt on top. I’ve been on a pistachio kick lately and I think it goes really well with a dark bitter chocolate. I played around with several different crusts… yes I now have several different tart trays to work with… and the best tasting with this filling is “the great unshrinkable sweet tart shell” from Smitten Kitchen. Although mine definitely shrank. Graham cracker just did not taste right with this and neither did my chocolate biscuit crust, maybe too much chocolate with the dark chocolate filling.
Now this dish sounds pretty easy but it does take a lot of time. Please allow for time to chill the dough for the crust, bake it and let it cool (all in all about 4 hours). Then the ganache part will need another 2 hours to set so you’re talking some serious time commitment when making this. But it is totally worth it.
Super rich dark chocolate with the crunch of the pistachios and a lovely surprise kick of the sea salt all over a crumbly crust. YUM. Here’s the recipe…. enjoy!
You will need a 9 1/2 -inch tart pan. I like the ones with the removable bottom so it’s easy to serve.
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (powered sugar)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick and 1 tablespoon) of chilled butter cut into small cubes
1 large egg
12 oz extra bittersweet dark chocolate (I like Ghirardelli’s 70% Cacoa – 3 bars)
2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of pistachio nuts
sea salt flakes
Step 1: Making the Crust
First, cut up your butter into small cubes, about 1/2 in sizes. Throw those in a bowl and stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. While that is freezing, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups of flour, the 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Then scoop that into a food processor and toss in the frozen butter chunks. Pulse quickly until the butter breaks down and the whole mixture looks like a coarse meal with some chunks of butter around pea sized. Now add in the egg and pulse until combined. Your food processor will change noises as the dough forms and it’s working harder. Hold down the pulse for about 10 seconds and you should have a lump of dough in there. Remove and form into a round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Step 2: Rolling the Crust
After your dough has been chilled for 2 hours, you’re ready to roll! First make sure to butter your tart pan. Sprinkle flour to a clean flat surface, you can also roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Roll in all directions until you have an even flat round disk about 12 inches wide. Be careful you don’t touch the dough too much, you don’t want to melt the butter. Using the parchment paper or rolling pin, transfer your dough over your tart pan. Gently push down from the middle to the edges to get the dough flattened onto the pan. Fold over the excess dough so you have a double crust on the sides. Be sure to cut off any extra dough from the top. Now cover the whole top with foil, pressing it up against the dough. Pop that guy in the freezer for about an hour.
Step 3: Baking the Crust
About 10 minutes before your hour is up, preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C. When the dough is ready, take it out of the freezer, place on a baking sheet and pop that in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes. Keep the foil on there as close to the dough as possible! After 20 minutes, take the tart out. Slowly remove the foil and if the crust has puffed up, push it down with the back of the spoon. Put the crust back in the oven for another 12 minutes to finish cooking. Rotate halfway to make sure it’s cooked evenly. You want it to be a nice golden brown. Once it’s ready, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
Step 4: Nuts!
In a medium pan, heat up the pistachios over a medium heat. Roll them around the pan for about 10 minutes. You should be able to smell them. Remove and let them cool for another 10 minutes. Chop them up coarsely and set aside.
Step 5: The Ganache
As your crust cools, you can start on the ganache! Chop up the chocolate into small chucks and put in a glass mixing bowl. If you’re using a bar, I just cut them with my hands in the package so they crumble out pretty easily into nice small pieces. In a small sauce pan bring your heavy cream to boil. Watch and stir regularly so that it doesn’t over boil. Once you see bubbles form, it’s ready. Pour the heavy cream through a sieve to make sure none of that milk skin gets in the smooth ganache! Whisk the cream and chocolate together until completely combined and melted. Add in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar and whisk some more. It should be smooth and creamy but the chocolate might have a bit of oil to it… it’s okay! Pour chocolate mixture into your cooled tart crust and giggle the pan a little to get it smooth. Now sprinkle on top your chopped pistachios and a couple pinches of sea salt.
Dark chocolate with sea salt… I can’t deny that I just absolutely love the flavor combo. It’s not for everyone so if you’re not a fan, just skip the salt. Serve with some crème fraîche or just eat it plain on it’s own. On that note, it’s just about afternoon tea time! Enjoy!