13 March 2010

Chocolate Ganache Bars with Pretzel Crust

I have this thing for sweet and salty. Pecan turtles. Salted caramels. And, yes, the pièce de résistance, chocolate-covered pretzels. So when I heard about a chocolate ganache tart in a crust made from crushed pretzels, it didn't stay on my radar for too long before I had a go at it.

I decided I wanted to cut it into squares, for ease of serving, so I used a square baking pan instead of a proper tart pan. The result was a much thicker crust (which needed to be baked for longer) and a thicker layer of ganache as well. I wouldn't recommend it for bars again, since the crust ended up being a pain to cut through, and when served in bar-form, the ganache was a bit too soft to get a nice bite out of it. To remedy this, I would suggest scoring the crust with a knife before baking it off (and/or making the crust thinner), and using less cream in the ganache. But if you're looking for a killer tart, without any changes, you've just meet your dream-come-true. I've posted the original recipe below with some additional notes.

Now, despite my issues with the too-thick crust and too-creamy ganache, I have to say that these were awesome.  Crave-them-all-the-time awesome.  People-will-ask-if-you-have-any-more awesome.  So yes, they will be made again.

Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed thin pretzels (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 ounces (~55g) bittersweet chocolate, melted


1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 1/4 cup [300ml], and the ganache was still quite soft)
12 ounces (340g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet)

In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the confectioners’ sugar at low speed until creamy. Beat in the flour and egg. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact. Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Roll out the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap to a 12-inch round. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough over a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the corners and patch any tears. Trim the overhanging dough and refrigerate the shell for 30 minutes or until firm.

Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until nearly set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the tart shell is firm; cover the edge with foil if it darkens too much. Let the shell cool completely. Brush the melted chocolate over the bottom and up the side and refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Remove from head and pour over the chocolate and let stand for about a minute. Slowly whisk until smooth. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Pour the filling into the shell and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and crushed pretzels.

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