Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts

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Make chocolate or vanilla crusts, or both, for a beautiful presentation and even more oohs and ahs.

I went to my 40th class reunion last weekend “back home in Indiana”. (Hearing that song always make me cry. Extra credit if you know what event I’m watching when I hear it.)

Not only was the idea of renewing school friendships more interesting because of Facebook and the rewired connections it makes possible, but I also couldn’t wait to visit my older brother and his wife, sleep in Grandma’s farmhouse (where he lives), and eat their garden-fresh produce and farm-raised beef.

I felt some stress about the whole occasion because I hadn’t seen these people for 20 years. So of course, I picked what I hoped would be the perfect dress for the occasion after trying on at least 10 different outfits and 83 pairs of shoes. I scheduled a hair appointment 2 days before we left home to make sure my botox bangs were freshly trimmed and no tattle-tale gray was peeking out from the edges of my hair line. Then oddly enough, when I looked in the mirror Saturday morning, I had sprouted a zit in the middle of my face. Appropriate– don’t you think?  Perfect for reliving the angst of the high school experience. Ugh!

PHS 40th reunion collage

40th class reunion, PHS

No matter. I had a great time visiting and reminiscing with old friends.  Thanks to the organizers who did a great job.

Speaking of old friends, these chocolate ganache mini-tarts are a new version of a Pinterest favorite from this blog, Fruit and Cream Mini-Tarts. The cooked custard filling has been replaced with an unbelievably rich, chocolate and truffle-like mixture. It’s so easy, it’s almost embarrassing when people give you compliments.

The tart shells themselves are a little trickier but practice helps. If you are planning these for an important occasion, I highly recommend you do a trial run with the crusts. Since your molds or containers may be a slightly different size than mine, it’s hard to be specific about how many tarts the recipe will yield for you. I get 12-13. By the way, I bought the pink silicone tart molds at World Market. They still sell them and I HIGHLY recommend buying several. I use them all the time for many different recipes. They are the perfect size and nothing, and I do mean NOTHING sticks to them.

rolling out chocolate tarts

Making Chocolate Tart Crusts

Whenever assembling a tray of party desserts, I love to make small portions and do a variety. It’s fun to make some of the crusts chocolate (recipe included below) and some vanilla (recipe here). Both have their fans.

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Top with a raspberry, strawberry, cherry or other fruit of your choice. Whipped cream isn’t bad either.

Unlike tart shells with a cooked cream filling, shells filled with ganache can be prepared 2-3 days ahead.

Garnish the top with whipped cream and chocolate curls or shavings. Or make it simple. Use fresh fruit to add color and interest. Either of these should be added at the last minute.

Chocolate Ganache Mini-Tarts
 
Author:
Serves: 13 tarts
Ingredients
Chocolate Crust
  • 1-1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter
  • 1 large egg
Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
Instructions
Chocolate Crust
  1. Add first four ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well blended.
  2. Cut butter into 8 pieces. Add to dry ingredients and pulse until mixture looks like oatmeal.
  3. Use fork to break up and mix egg, then pour it all at once into the food processor bowl. Pulse 5-6 times to begin to moisten mixture. Let machine run steadily for a few seconds. Watch carefully until mixture begins to stick together and starts to form a ball. Machine will make a different sound as this happens.
  4. Press dough into a cylinder (like a roll of refrigerated cookie dough), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30-45 minutes or up to a week.
  5. When ready to make crusts, cut cylinder into 12 equal slices. I usually end of with 13 tarts because I roll all the scraps together to make the 13th shell.
  6. Roll each slice between plastic wrap until just slightly larger around than tart shell. Dough should be just shy of ¼ inch thick and a consistent thickness throughout. This can be a little tricky at first. Practice makes perfect.
  7. Cover and freeze mini-tart shells until rock hard.
  8. Place tart shells onto a cookie sheet. Cover the inside of each tart with foil pressed to fit down inside. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 2-3 more minutes.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove crust from pan or mold. Fill when completely cool.
Chocolate Ganache Filling
  1. Chop chocolate and place into a deep bowl.
  2. Heat cream just until it starts to boil, then pour over chocolate and let sit for several minutes until chocolate has melted.
  3. Use a whisk or spoon to begin stirring in lazy circles starting from the middle until mixture is uniform. Don’t go crazy stirring or chocolate will lose its beautiful gloss. A gentle motion is good.
  4. Add butter in small pieces and continue mixing gently until ganache is once again uniform.
  5. Mixture should be thick enough to go straight into the crusts, but if runny, refrigerate for a few minutes until it thickens.
Assembly
  1. Chill tarts until ready to serve. Remove 30 minutes before serving to allow filling to soften a bit. Garnish with fruit or whipped cream.
Notes
Crust dough may be stored, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator one week. Or store in the freezer for 6 months. I prefer to freeze the raw tart shells and bake the day I want to serve them for maximum freshness with last-minute convenience. Ganache may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Warm very gently. I put it in a small bowl inside a larger bowl partially filled with hot water until it softens enough to spoon into baked crusts. Re-chill before serving.

RELATED POSTS:

Fruit and Cream Mini-Tarts
Chocolate Cream Tart (Made in the Microwave)
French Silk Chocolate Pie

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina September 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Those little tarts look deliciously beautiful, Paula! Love the raspberry and mint on top.

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Gary September 29, 2012 at 7:48 am

I’ll take a dozen right now this second!

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Vicki V September 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

I have these exact silicone molds and will be trying these gorgeous tarts. Speaking of gorgeous (but NOT a tart! ha!), you look so beautiful and young! All of the other women there were probably wishing they knew your secrets. I sure wish I knew how you stay so thin when you love dessert as much as me. And yes, I do eat a salad every day for lunch!

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Teresa September 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Why has it taken me until today to find you? I googled broccoli-rice casserole and voilà, your no canned soup recipe popped up. I am trying it tonight. All the ingredients are waiting for me to throw them together!
I love your website, recipes, and the way you write.
Teresa

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Paula September 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

You could wear a potato sack and look like you just stepped out of a magazine! Having said that, you did you wonderful in your outfit and I’m glad that you enjoyed your 20-year reunion.
I’m loving the look of these tarts too.

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Paula September 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Oh Paula, you are so kind. Wish you lived next door so you could help me eat the leftovers because they are beginning to catch up with me. :-)

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Jenn October 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

Looks like you had a great time at your reunion – great photos!
And, yum on the tarts – they look great and a great photo to boot.

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The Café Sucré Farine October 2, 2012 at 7:02 am

Paula, these are gorgeous! I think I’d need one of each! Love those molds, I’m going to check them out at world market!

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Natasha McEachron October 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm

The tarts are too cute and I’m sure they taste delicious. The little sprig of mint is a really nice touch.

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Betty October 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

These little tarts are so classy- I wouldn’t be able to resist either variation, I’m afraid! Your reunion sounds like fun. My graduating class has not had a reunion since our tenth, which was a looooong time ago. Jealous! :)

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John October 9, 2012 at 2:30 am

Your blog is hilarious. And these tarts look great! I might actually try making dessert sometime.

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Paula October 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Thanks John!

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sis October 9, 2012 at 7:46 am

That picture reminds me of Aunt Julia. I expect some of those tarts next time we visit Texas. :+)

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Maria October 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

Those tarts look so good! xo Maria

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Nikita December 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

I made this filling to go into some premade shortbread shells, and I added a little powdered sugar to cut the bitterness of the chocolate, and it turned out great!

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Paula December 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Sounds good, Nikita!

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Alvin January 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I had tried the tart but why my dough was sticky ??

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Paula January 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Since I didn’t watch you make it, I’m not sure. Did you chill the dough before you rolled it out? Did you use a “large” egg or was it extra large? Did you measure the flour precisely? Did you use unbleached flour or something else?

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Alvin January 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

Owh now i get it . I used the large egg thanks ^^

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alefia February 21, 2013 at 1:39 am

hi, if i put chocolate dipped strwberries over this, how do i store the strawbeerries till i add them on in the night
thanks

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Paula February 21, 2013 at 6:43 am

Alefia,
As you may know, chocolate-dipped strawberries don’t last very long. I would use them the same day I made them, stored in a separate container, and added right before serving. However, I am not an expert on these strawberries. Maybe another reader will offer a suggestion.

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Linda November 16, 2013 at 9:40 am

Love your recipes, thanks!

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