It’s been a hot minute since I posted a chocolate tart, so I figured it was about time I fixed that. They are one of my favourite desserts to make - I’m not sure if that’s because pressing the graham cracker crust into the pan is super satisfying, or if it’s because I love how lovely and smooth they set up, or if it’s because I just love eating them so much. They are super simple to make, and can be customised any way you like to suit whatever flavour profile you are after - I love making a base tart (this but without the marshmallow is my go to) and topping it with fresh berries and cream for an easy summer twist!
I am a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to recipes - once I get a good base recipe, I tend to stick with it, and it makes its way into a whole bunch of recipes from there. Both the crust and the filling of this tart are snuck from other recipes of mine - the salted caramel dark chocolate ganache filling first made its debut in these doughnuts, then again in macarons, and I really wanted to see if it would work as a tart filling! Spoiler alert - it’s great, a little on the sweet side, but I balanced that nicely with a well salted chocolate crust, and a super creamy earl grey mascarpone whipped cream, which I was going to pipe all fancy, but went with my default french star tip instead.
I love flavouring whipped cream - you just have to warm it slightly, then add your flavour and let it steep, then strain it out, and chill the cream before whipping it up. I like to add mascarpoone to cream when I need it to be a little more stable - it gives it a lovely extra creamy texture, and holds its form much longer, so is also great if you need to make it ahead a little. The dark chocolate and the salted caramel in the filling go so beautifully with the earl grey in the cream, and it is all complimented perfectly by the slightly salty chocolate crust. This tart is great for feeding a crowd, as you really only need a teeny sliver of it - but I bet you catch yourself coming back for more. I had some for breakfast the other day and so can therefore confirm that it is great at any time of the day!
A few wee tips:
When you are making the ganache and mixing in the cream, make sure that you don’t blend on the surface. This aerates the mixture and will make loads and loads of tiny bubbles, which isn’t ideal. I like to mix the cream into the chocolate in a pyrex jug so that there is a little bit of depth so it’s easier to avoid blending on the surface!
You may have a teeny bit of ganache left - pour it into a small jar or something - it makes a lovely fridge treat! You can probably pour a bit more in if you like too - I was being careful!
If you don’t want to make the earl grey whipped cream, plain mascarpone whipped cream will do too - just skip the step where you infuse the cream, and use 320g cream.
The ganache needs time to set - I like to give it overnight if I can.
If you don’t want a chocolate crust on this, I have a great brown butter graham cracker crust here. You can use digestive biscuits too if you can’t find grahams!
Ideally, you want to add the whipped cream close ish to the time you are serving!
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Tart with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust and Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- Makes one 9" tart, serves 10-12 people -
Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
2 sleeves (290g) graham crackers or similar biscuit
¼ cup (35 grams) cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 Tbsp Sugar
½ tsp salt
135g unsalted butter, melted
Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache Filling
270g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Guittard 72% wafers)
500g heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
¾ tsp salt
30g light corn syrup or glucose
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Earl Grey Mascarpone Whipped Cream
430g heavy cream
15g loose leaf earl grey tea
225g mascarpone, cold
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
- PROCESS -
CHOCOLATE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Place all the ingredients except for the butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the graham crackers resemble crumbs and the mixture is well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the melted butter.
Evenly press the crust into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom. Use a glass or measuring cup to help you press it against the sides of the pan. Place the pan onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
DARK CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL GANACHE FILLING
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.
In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the cream, vanilla bean paste and salt, and place over low heat. You just want to warm it - not let it boil.
In a medium heavy bottomed pan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and adda third of the warmed cream mixture. Be careful as it will steam and sputter. Whisk well to combine. Add the second third, combine, then add the remaining cream, and whisk until well incorporated.
Pour a third of the the caramel cream mixture over the chopped chocolate, then cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Mix with a stick blender to emulsify the mixture. Add the remaining caramel mixture in two additions, mixing well with the stick blender to ensure even incorporation.
Cool the mixture to 95°f / 35°c (you can either leave it at room temperature, stirring occasionally, which will take some time, or you can pop it into the fridge, stirring and checking the temperature often), then add in the butter and mix with the stick blender to emulsify.
Place the prepared tart shell (still in the removable bottom pan) onto a baking sheet, and pour the ganache into the tart shell, stopping just shy of the edges (you may have a little leftover - pour this into a small container and set up in the fridge for a little snack). Transfer to a flat shelf in the fridge and leave to chill until set, preferably overnight.
EARL GREY MASCARPONE WHIPPED CREAM
Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to just shy of a simmer, then remove from the heat and add the loose leaf tea, stirring to combine. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes, then strain the tea from the cream, pressing down with the back of a spoon to get as much flavour out as possible.
Measure the strained cream and top up to 320g if needed, then transfer to a small airtight container and place in the fridge until cooled completely.
Place the cold mascarpone in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix briefly to break up and soften. Add the chilled earl grey cream, vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar, and salt, and whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip.
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip.
Remove the chilled tart from the fridge. Pipe blobs of earl grey cream over the surface of the tart.
To serve, cut using a sharp knife which has been run under hot water and then dried. Wipe between cuts.
Store leftovers in the fridge.