Whenever I make ganache and there happens to be a bit left over, it is inevitably heavily sampled by the spoonful…or fingertip-ful…or in small shots via a pastry bag.  It’s an illness, really.  So often ganache is used to add that perfect finishing touch to a dessert but I think we need to celebrate it in its pure form.  Truffles are a great start since they are essentially a ball of ganache dipped in more chocolate.  This tart is the simpler cousin of truffles.  A simple tart dough is made in minutes in the food processor or mixer (or by hand, for those with less equipped kitchens).  After the shell is baked, pour in the ganache, chill until set and voila – you have the answer to that wicked chocolate craving, pick-me-up after a bad day, celebratory treat after a good one, or if you’re me, maybe just a Tuesday.

I’ve made this tart before but it didn’t survive long enough for pictures.  My bad.  Last weekend I made it with my friend Tara as the end to a ridiculously fun girls’ weekend together (more on that later).  Now she’s part of the truffle tart club, and you can be too!  Beginning bakers, do not fear.  If you have never made ganache and think it looks too hard or sounds too fancy for you, I know how you feel.  I was once in your shoes.  But then I made ganache and realized that it’s one of the easiest recipes ever and takes minutes to make.  Remember the ratio and you’re good to go!  Which is probably why I make it so often…and why I have that little ganache illness.  Anyway, cheers to Friday with lots of chocolate!

  • Yield about 10-12 servings


For the tart shell:
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. heavy cream
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
¼ cup (¾ oz.) Dutch-process cocoa powder
2/3 cup (2 2/3 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the filling:
12 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. liqueur, such as Kahlua, brandy, or dark rum (optional)


  • 01

    To make the tart shell, whisk together the egg yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside.  Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a food processor.  Process briefly to combine.  Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses.  With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch dish.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

  • 02

    Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  (If refrigerated for more than an hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)  Unwrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round.  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan.  Mold the dough to the sides of the tart pan and remove the excess off the top.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • 03

    Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to middle position.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen shell and over the edge, and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights.  Continue to bake until just set, 5-8 minutes longer.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 04

    To make the tart filling, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan (or in the microwave).  Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes to melt.  Whisk together until smooth, then whisk in the liqueur.  Pour the filling into the tart shell and chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, until the filling is firm.  To serve, transfer the tart to a serving plate or platter.  Slice with a clean, sharp knife, wiping the blade between slices.