This is an easy summer dessert that has a limited baking time — only the crust is baked for about 15-18 minutes and the rest of the tart can be assembled later or even the next day.
A dark chocolate ganache is used for the filling, which is so simple to make. It’s rich and intense, almost like a dark chocolate truffle! This tart can easily feed 6 chocolate fiends, or more like 10-12 people who just want a little something sweet at the end of a summer meal.
You can make all the components of this tart ahead of time and assemble it the day you want to serve it. It’s perfect for summer cookouts and potlucks. The whipped cream is a nice touch, and I’m sure ice cream would go over well too!
One of the tricks to making a tart shell, is to form the dough into the tart pan and then refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This will keep the crust from sagging and falling in on itself when you bake it. Another trick is to line it with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans (I keep a bag full of them and reuse them only for pie baking) and bake the crust like this — which is called “blind baking”. The weights keep the crust from getting air bubbles in it and keep it nice and thin and perfect for filling. If the crust looks a little pale after the baking time, it’s okay to remove the parchment and the weights and bake a little long, maybe 3-4 more minutes, until the crust looks golden brown.
This crust and method could be used for any number of tarts and a variety of fillings. The chocolate ganache filling is really simple and makes for a rich pairing with the strawberries. You just heat up some cream and pour it over a bowl with chopped chocolate (or even chocolate chips) and let it gently melt. Whisk in a little butter and viola!
This is a summer dessert that is rich and satisfies any chocoholic without spending a lot of time over the stove or with the oven on.
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold organic non hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum Naturals
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons ice water
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped or chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in half
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- First, make the tart dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Pulse several times.
- Sprinkle the shortening and the butter over the flour mixture and pulse 8-10 more times. The fat clumps should be the size of peas.
- With the processor running, pour the water through the feed tube. Stop the processor and see if the dough sticks together when pressed with your thumb and forefinger. If it does, dump the dough out onto a counter and form into two discs. If it doesn’t, pulse a few more times or add a little bit more water (1 teaspoon or 2). Do not allow the dough to come together in the food processor bowl.
- Place the wrapped disks in the fridge and chill for an hour before using.
- To bake, roll out to fit a 9-10 inch fluted tart pan. Press into the pan and line with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill.
- Bake off the pie crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the tart crust from the refrigerator and place in the oven, leaving the parchment and pie weights (or beans). Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the parchment paper and beans. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the chocolate ganache: Add the chocolate pieces to a medium bowl. In a small sauce pan, gently heat the cream until it barely simmers. Pour half of the hot cream into the bowl with the chocolate, and let it sit for a minute. With a whisk, start to gently wish the chocolate and the cream together, starting in the center and working your way out the outside.
- Slowly add the remaining cream and whisk carefully until smooth and glossy. Add the butter chunks and use a spatula to stir in the butter until melted. The mixture will be dark and glossy.
- Set aside until the tart crust is cool.
- To make the whipped cream: in a mixer fitted with the whisk attatchment, whip the cream until peaks begin to form. With the mixer running, slowly add the powdered sugar and then the vanilla. Continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks.
- To assemble the tart: fill the cooled tart shell with the chocolate ganache, spooning in the the ganache and smoothing the top. Top the ganache with the sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When serving, top with the freshly whipped cream.