Last Thanksgiving I made this over-the-top, make-your-knees-weak salted caramel chocolate tart. And did you see it here? I had no such luck with getting photos as I brought it to a family member’s house for dessert and the poor thing never saw the light of day again. This chocolate truffle tart, however, was made and eaten here when Annie stayed an extra day after our girls weekend last month. It’s elegant enough to bring for any holiday dinner, rustic enough for a casual dinner at home, and is probably one of the most basic tarts you could ever make. You’ll make a chocolate tart dough, bake it off, and pour in a silky and decadent ganache which is simply a mixture of melted chocolate, heavy cream, and butter…and a little booze if you so desire. 😉 That’s it! When chilled, the warm ganache turns into a truly decadent truffle filling and even though Annie couldn’t take any on the plane home with her, we savored this rich tart for nearly a whole week after she left. If you still stuck on what you’re going to bring to Aunt Ethel’s house on Thursday, this chocolate truffle tart may just be your answer!
Chocolate Truffle Tart
source: adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
For the tart dough:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tbsp cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the truffle ganache filling:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 12 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tbsp liqueur such as Cognac, Brandy, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, or Baileys (optional)
- To make the tart dough: Whisk the egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla together in a bowl. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter to the processor bowl and pulse for 15 seconds, until the mixture is slightly crumbly and resembles coarse cornmeal. With the processor running, add the egg mixture through the feed tube and continue to process until the mixture just comes together, about 10 to 12 seconds.
- Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and flatten it into an 6-inch disk. Wrap it tightly and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Let the dough rest at room temperature until it has softened a bit so that you can roll it out without it cracking.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, laying it along the bottom and gently pressing the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers until the dough has molded to the pan; remove any excess dough from the rim of the pan and work it back into any areas that may seem on the thin side. The finished edge should be 1/4-inch thick. Wrap the pan loosely with plastic wrap and freeze it for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet. Grease one side of a piece of aluminum foil with butter or baking spray and lay the greased side into the pan. Pour pie weights or dry beans into the pan to fully cover the bottom of the pan. Bake the shell for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove the foil and weights/beans then continue to bake the shell for an extra 5 to 8 minutes. Let the shell cool completely on a wire rack for 1 hour.
- To make the filling: Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is uniform. Gently stir in the liqueur, if using.
- To assemble: Pour the filling into the tart shell and refrigerate it (uncovered) until the filling is firm, at least 2 hours. Remove the tart from the pan before slicing with a hot dry knife and serving.
Serves: 8 – 10