My thought on biting into this tart was, “it could totally be something I paid ridiculous amounts for at a bakery.” It not only tasted that good, it felt that luxurious. The unctuous give of the ganache, the light, rich, nutty filling, and the soft, sweet and nutty crust contrasted with and complemented one another, each providing something the other lacked, while bringing out their best qualities all around. The bakery fantasy worked best when my eyes were closed, though. Visually, my rendition of this tart was resolutely homey.
It began with an evenly browned crust that sat well in my new tart pan. I was worried that the dough would slump and pull away from the sides, but it kept its shape nicely.
The first hint of trouble arose when I began whipping the cream. I refrigerated the bowl and whisk attachment for my mixer, and since I needed two, I also refrigerated a smaller mixing bowl and the whisk attachment for my immersion blender. The problem, I realized, was the low and wide bowls I love. I can reach in and get to all the corners with my spatula, which is great when I’m making pancake batter or quick bread dough, but they’re decidedly ineffective at containing cream that’s being beaten by an electric whisk rotating multiple times a second. Even the larger bowl was defeated by the motor.
Undaunted, I switched to my trusty hand whisk, and beat the cream to something at least approaching soft peaks. Then I mixed the rest of the filling ingredients with the KitchenAid.
It looks pretty good here, too. You’d never know a quarter of the whipped cream was decorating my cabinets half an hour earlier.
The ganache was heated cream and chocolate, strained with a teensy bit of Frangelico added. The liquor store didn’t have any miniature bottles, so I had to buy a half-size one for two teaspoons of liquor. No matter, I’m sure I’ll find a use for it!
Here’s the tart right after ganache application, and a couple of hours later, when my daughter applied a starburst. A frustrating process for her because the paper she was using as a stencil curled, and she left a couple of water spots on the ganache where she attempted to eliminate a ridge. A noble effort nonetheless.
Here is the final product, which looks entirely acceptable I think, but tastes far better than it looks!