I've been dreaming about the Caramel Ganache Tart almost since I started my blog, but I never seemed to have time to make as I built the blog, learned all the things I didn't know, tried to keep up with all the seasonal fruit and goodies. But at the back of mind was always this idea of chocolate tart with caramel, chocolate, and peanuts. This delicious tart is the culmination of all the ideas that were continuously swirling in my brain. I am so happy with the way it came out and that I get to share this recipe with you.
How to Make the Caramel Ganache
First, let's talk about ganache. It is just two ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate and there are three kinds of ganache: soft, medium and hard. Adding flavors to ganache is another discussion. Pastry chef Sherry Yard in her book, Secrets of Baking, explains how to make the perfect ganache depending on what you're making.
- Medium Ganache contains equal weights of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and heavy cream - 8 ounces (227 grams) chocolate to 8 ounces (227 grams) heavy cream.
- Soft Ganache contains two parts by weight of heavy cream to one part by weight of chocolate - 16 ounces (454 grams) heavy cream to 8 ounces (227 grams) chocolate.
- Firm Ganache contains two parts by weight of chocolate to one part by weight of heavy cream - 16 ounces (454 grams) chocolate to 8 ounces (227 grams) heavy cream.
For this tart I went for a soft ganache. The recipe for the caramel produces almost 2 cups after adding the heavy cream. The final ganache is smooth, creamy and chocolatey. Just thinking about it as I write this makes my mouth water.
Caramel Ganache Filling
The final filling is a delicious combination of the creamy caramel ganache and roasted salted peanuts. After filling the prepared chocolate crust let the filling set until you can cut through. The version in this post is topped with whipped ganache and peanut brittle, but the filling is the star of the show. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of a giant Snickers.
The ganache can easily be made a day ahead and chilled in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Caramel Ganache Chocolate Tart
- 1 1/4 cups (177 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (12 grams) natural cocoa
- 5 tablespoons (63 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11 tablespoons (156 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Caramel Ganache Filling
- 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (150 grams) roasted and salted peanuts
For the Crust
- Adjust 1 oven rack to the middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk flour, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a soft dough forms and all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Using your hands, press two-thirds of dough into the bottom of 9- inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press remaining dough into fluted sides of the pan. Press and smooth the dough with your hands to an even thickness across the bottom and around the sides.
- Place pan on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the middle rack, until crust is deep golden brown and firm to touch, 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Set it aside and let it cool before filling with caramel chocolate filling.
For the Caramel Ganache Filling
- Chop the chocolate and place it in a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the sugar and the water in a 2-quart saucepan and place the pan over medium heat. Stir the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Heat the sugar, without stirring, until it is 340 degrees F.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add half of the cream and whisk until the cream is no longer bubbling. Add the remaining cream and stir until the caramel is smooth. Add the butter and whisk until the butter is melted. Add the salt and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Pour the caramel over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir slowly with a whisk until all the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Measure one cup of the ganache into another small bowl. Pour the peanuts into the larger bowl with the ganache and stir with a spatula to combine.
- Pour the filling in the prepared chocolate crust and level the top with an offset spatula. Let it set for 2-3 hours.
For the Whipped Ganache
- Cool the reserved caramel ganache to 75 degrees and use a handheld mixer to whip the ganache until it is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume. Decorate the top of the tart with the whipped ganache.
- The chocolate filling can set up at room temperature if it is being served the same day. If making this tart 1 or 2 days in advance refrigerate it and them remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving and allow to come to room temperature.