I LOVE this recipe. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Layers of rich chocolate ganache and tart cranberry curd, topped with fluffy whipped cream; all a-top a light and flakey pastry.
Mother of pearl!
One bite will make you *oh so* happy. The kind of happy that only chocolate, cranberries and whipped cream can make you.
It’s the kind of tart that not only tastes perfectly delicious; it looks gorgeous as well. This should be on your holiday baking list.
It’s not even an overly complicated recipe.
Pastry dough. Easy.
Chocolate ganache. Easy.
Cranberry curd. Easy.
Whipped cream. Ridiculously easy.
All you need is a little time. Time to blind bake your pastry dough. Time to allow your ganache to set. Time to top the ganache with the curd and allow that to set. Once all those things are done … whip the heavy cream and top the tart.
Seriously … with the curd and pastry dough made in advance, this tart took me only 2 hours to complete from start to finish (and the prep work of curd and dough the night before was a total of 30 minutes).
You see?! So little effort for such a spectacularly beautiful tart!
Imagine … presenting this to your friends and family. The oohs and aahs …. and that’s before you give them a slice.
That’s when the real praise will begin.
I started by making the cranberry curd (thank you Kitchen Confidante for the original recipe)… that way it cooled in the fridge overnight and was ready for use when I was baking and assembling the tart.
chocolate – cranberry tart
Combine the cranberries and water in a small saucepan, and cook, covered over medium heat ( juice and zest of an orange added to this step would be brilliant). The cranberries will start to pop as they cook. That’s when you know it’s ready to be taken off the heat.
Pass the cranberries through a strainer – you want to keep the liquid. Use a spoon to push the cranberries through, remembering to scrape the underside of the strainer and keeping all those little bits for the curd. Allow to cool slightly.
bakers note: toss out the cranberry skin that stayed in the top of your strainer.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the yolks and egg until combined. Add the sugar, and continue to whisk. Add the cranberry purée to the saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to thicken, you don’t want it to start to boil, but you do want the curd to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat.
Whisk in the cubes of butter, ensuring that everything is well incorporated.
Pass the curd through a strainer, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool in the fridge.
While it cools you can make your pastry dough, allowing it to rest for at least one hour before rolling it out.
Once that’s all done … the really fun part begins.
Heat your oven to 350 F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pastry dough. Line your tart pan (you’ll notice that I rolled the dough out larger than the circumference of my tart pan); line it with parchment paper, and fill with dried beans.
Blind back on the lower rack of your oven for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and dried beans from the tart pan, return to the oven for a further 10 minutes of baking on the middle rack.
Once done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
bakers note: I used the entire batch of chocolate ganache … to have a bit more of a balanced tart (aka to taste the cranberry curd more) use less.
1 c. heavy cream
splash of vegetable oil
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
In a small saucepan, gently heat the cream and splash of oil. You don’t want it to boil … just simmer. Pour the heavy cream over the dark chocolate, using a spatula to stir the chocolate and cream together. The ganache will thicken and smooth as you stir.
Pour it directly into the pre-baked tart shell. Allow to cool and set (I usually put it in the fridge for this stage).
Once the chocolate ganache has set … top it with the cranberry curd.
I ended up returning the tart to the oven and baked it for a further 10 minutes at this stage. Middle rack at 350 F. Once that was done, I cooled the tart on a wire rack.
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
In the bowl of the stand-mixer, using your whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream at a fast speed, adding the powdered sugar. You want the whipped cream to be stir enough that it holds its shape when piped on top of the tart … but you don’t want to over-whip it.
Once you get to that stage, fill a piping bag with a large star tip, and pipe the entire tart. Working from the outside in … until the entire chocolate – cranberry tart is covered.
A thing of beauty to look at … and to eat. The *perfect* kind of dessert.
Store this tart in the fridge. Most of it disappeared within a few hours of slicing into it … but I did manage to keep a couple of slices for a few days. It tasted just as good as the day I made it.