Smooth chocolate ganache fills a golden crust of pâte sablée in this Chocolate Truffle Tart. It’s the ultimate special occasion dessert!
Chocolate Truffle Tart (a.k.a. ganache tart) is a classic dessert that every good baker should have in their repertoire. It’s one of the first assembled desserts taught in pastry class. Why? Perhaps because it’s so easy for a beginner to get right. Not to mention the end reward – rich and silky with deep chocolate flavor. Served on a golden crust of French pâte sablée, it rivals any restaurant dessert.
I’m revisiting this classic just in time to plan my Valentine’s Day menu and some special February birthdays. Although, it’s one of those evergreen desserts that you can serve anytime, year-round, for a fancy ending to a dinner party or a simple weeknight supper.
Make the Pâte Sablée Crust.
Let’s talk about pâte sablée for a sec. It’s a building block in French pastry; a dough primarily used for making tart shells with a delicate, crumbly, shortbread texture. Although, I have been known to roll out a batch just for cut-out cookies (see the Sprinkle Bakes cookbook, page 87).
Make this recipe in your food processor, for the quickest, most efficient batch of pâte sablée dough. The dry ingredients are flour, baking powder, and salt. The wet ingredients are egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla which are beaten together until the yolks lighten. Pulse the two together. When the dough starts to form to one side of the bowl, you know you’re on the right track.
Roll the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness and and fit it into a 10.5 or 11- inch tart pan (see more rolling action in the video at the end of this blog post). Blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
What is Blind Baking?
For those unfamiliar, blind baking just means you’re baking the pie crust before the filling is added. For this recipe you’ll need a sheet of parchment paper to cover the unbaked crust, and pie weights to hold the crust down while it bakes. Otherwise, air pockets will form and create an uneven surface. Invest in fancy pie weights if you must, but it is my preference is to use dry rice from my pantry. It creates and even surface and you can still eat the rice after using it for pie weights (now with toasty flavor!).
Make the Chocolate Truffle Tart Filling.
Get the good stuff, because you’ll taste the quality of the chocolate in the end result. Buy 12 oz. (4 bars) of high quality chocolate (responsibly sourced if possible) and chop them up. Put the pieces in a big mixing bowl.
Pour over 2 cups of hot cream. Heat the cream only until it steams; it shouldn’t boil. Allow the mixture to stand 5 minutes, then combine with a whisk.
You could use a large spatula for this, but the tines of a whisk do an efficient job of incorporating the hot cream and chocolate together. You’re not trying to incorporate air, so when the mixture begins to come together, stir slowly until the mixture is consistent.
Add a whole stick of room temperature unsalted butter to the ganache. Stir until melted and smooth. This addition is key to the silky texture of this tart.
Pour the finished truffle ganache into the baked tart shell.
Chill the tart until set, at least one hour. Now. You could stop right here and just eat a delicious chocolate tart. But it’s super easy to dress it up for company or a special occasion. A white chocolate drizzle, along with a few purchased truffles make this tart look like it came from a bakery. The truffles I used are an assortment from Harry and David.
I molded a few mini chocolate tablets using this mold. I find them so charming for dessert décors! Just melt the chocolate, pipe into the molds, and chill until firm. They pop out so shiny and perfect every time.
While this tart is good on its own, I feel it’s best served with an accompaniment.
Choose your adventure: red berries, whipped cream, or ice cream. All of these provide a nice foil for all that rich chocolate flavor.
Serve slices at room temperature for the best, most pronounced chocolate flavor and smoothest texture. Enjoy!
Related recipe: Ube White Chocolate Ganache Tart
Chocolate Truffle Tart
10.5 inch tart pan
pie weights or 3 cups rice
Piping bag or zip-top bag
mini chocolate tablet mold optional
Pâte sablée crust
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Ice water if needed
Chocolate truffle filling
- 12 oz. semisweet chocolate finely chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 oz. white chocolate or white candy melting wafers
- 2-4 fresh strawberries halved
- 10 purchased chocolate truffles I used Harry & David
- Mini white and dark chocolate tablets see blog post for mold link
Pâte sablée crust
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes on top of the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse, pea-size crumbs.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract until lightened in color (about 3-5 minutes of whisking).
Pour the egg mixture in the food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the dough just comes together. If you find the mixture is too crumbly or lacking moisture to form a cohesive dough, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time while pulsing repeatedly. The dough should form a rough, shaggy mass to one side of the processor bowl.
Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a disc; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Lightly spritz a 10.5 or 11-inch tart pan with cooking spray. (Skip this step if you are using a non-stick tart pan.) Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Roll the dough into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. Pick up the dough on the paper and turn it over onto the tart pan; remove the paper. Tamp the crust down into the pan, gently lifting the dough when needed to fit it into the corners of the fluted pan. Use a knife to trim away the excess overhanging dough.
Cover the dough in the pan with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights (I use 3 cups of brown rice as pie weights). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the tart crust are golden. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment; cool crust completely.
Chocolate truffle filling
Place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer; do not boil. Immediately pour over chocolate.
Allow the chocolate and cream to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes. Whisk to combine. Add the butter and mix again until melted and the ganache is consistent and glossy.
Pour the ganache into crust and smooth out any bubbles. Chill uncovered until set, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 100% power in 30 second intervals until the chocolate can be stirred smooth. Transfer to a piping bag or zip-top bag with a tiny hole snipped in one corner. Pipe chocolate while moving your hand in a quick back-and-forth motion so that the chocolate lands in overlapping lines to one side of the tart.
Top the white lines with the strawberries, truffles, and chocolate pieces. Serve the tart at room temperature. Store the tart in the refrigerator.
Serve this tart with any of these accompaniments: extra strawberries, red berry coulis, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream to cut the richness.
Pâte sablée by hand: Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers, as you would a biscuit or scone dough. Mix the egg, sugar and vanilla as directed. Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and gently knead together until a consistent dough forms. Do not over-knead. Let rest as directed and continue with rolling and baking instructions.