Sweet treats: Chocolate ganache tarts

Martha Stewart shares her recipes for delicious tartlets that will show your valentine just how much you care.

Chocolate ganache tartlets

Ingredients

  • For tart shells

    • Vegetable oil cooking spray, for pan
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For ganache filling

    • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • Meringue hearts.

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Make tart shells:Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Make the tart shells: Coat five 5-inch heart-shaped tart pans (fantes.com) with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add vanilla and flour mixture, and mix until dough just begins to hold together, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap, the wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 5 equal pieces, and press into bottom and up sides of prepared tart pans. Using a sharp paring knife, trim excess dough flush with edges of pans. Patch any tears. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bake tart shells on a rimmed baking sheet until firm, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Make the ganache fillingPlace chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream and milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling; pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk until smooth. Let stand 10 minutes more. Stir in egg. Return tart shells to baking sheet, and pour in filling. Bake until just set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pans. Decorate with meringue hearts.

Meringue hearts
Servings:

Makes 12 hearts

Ingredients

    • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • Pinch of cream of tartar
    • Gel-paste food coloring, in assorted colors (sugarcraft.com)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Place egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mixer, and beat with mixer on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes. Divide meringue into batches, and tint each with food coloring as desired. Transfer to pastry bags fitted with medium open star tips. Pipe hearts (1/2 inch to 1 inch each) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 2 hours. Turn oven off, and let meringues stand in over for 8 hours (or overnight).

Tips:

Meringues can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Pear raspberry heart pie
Servings:

Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie

Ingredients

    • Pate Brisee
    • All-purpose flour, for surface
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 pounds (about 6) ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, core removed, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
    • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) raspberries
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon water, plus more for brushing
    • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preparation

Baking Directions:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to a 13-inch circle, 1/8 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish, and trim edges, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang, and refrigerate. Reserve scraps. Roll out second disk to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out 48 2-inch hearts, using scraps from bottom crust if necessary. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm. Whisk together granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add pears, raspberries, and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Spoon mixture into pie shell, piling high in the center. Dot with butter. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim. Brush lightly with water. Arrange 22 hearts around edge of pie: Press hearts gently on edge, alternating direction and overlapping slightly. (To help hearts stick, lightly brush each with water as needed.) Repeat, overlapping 16 hearts for the second circle. Repeat, overlapping 10 hearts, points in, for the final circle. (The hearts' points will create a star-shaped vent in the center, about 1 1/2 inches wide.) Whisk yolk and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush entire piecrust with egg wash, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Alternatively, make the cut-out-heart pie: Following the directions in step one, leave the top crust whole and cut out hearts in center of dough using heart cutters in varying sizes. Transfer top crust to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm. Prepare the filling as in step 2, but do not tuck overhang under dough. Brush edge of shell lightly with water, then drape top crust over filling, centering design. Gently press dough around filling to fit, and trim excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under bottom crust so edges are flush with rim, then crimp edges. Whisk yolk and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush entire piecrust with egg wash, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. Transfer pie to freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack on the lowest third. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until crust turns light gold, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake, rotating halfway through, until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Recipes reprinted from Martha Stewart Living, February 2010. for more, go to www.marthastewart.com.

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