Easy Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache | Pinky's Pantry
Chocolate Ganache is used as a filling, a frosting, or a glaze for cakes and pastries. It’s very easy to prepare. This recipe is wonderful made with a good quality chocolate like Scharffenberger chocolate, but it’s just as good made with chocolate chips.

Make sure the chopping board, bowl, and utensils you use are completely dry because water will cause the chocolate to seize when it’s melted. Also when working with ganache, bear in mind that while it’s warm, it’s liquid and pourable, but it thickens and firms as it cools. If you need to soften it, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.

EASY CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 8 ozs. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter (optional)
  1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, heat cream and butter until it just comes to a simmer.
  3. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Slowly stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Don’t whisk vigorously. You don’t want to whip air into it.

NOTE:

  • This recipe makes enough ganache to cover one 9-inch cake.
  • The ganache may be made up to 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container and bring to room temperature before using.

Basic Tart Crust / Pastry Dough

Basic Tart Crust | Pinky's Pantry
My sister, Helen, and I once took a tart making class at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. It was a while back but it was where I learned to make this basic pastry dough. I’m probably biased, but I think this is one of the best pastry doughs ever! The recipe is so easy and very versatile. It makes a great crust for tarts — crisp, tasty, and one that doesn’t turn soggy an hour after being filled. If you’re making a dessert tart and want a sweeter crust, you could add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dough recipe.

BASIC PASTRY DOUGH

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5-8 tbsp. ice cold water
  1. Combine flour, salt and butter until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  2. Add cold water and toss with a fork until dough comes together when squeezed in your hand.
  3. Sandwich dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With a rolling pin, roll out dough to size you need.
  5. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

NOTE:  Dough can be shaped into a disk, wrapped in saran wrap and frozen for up to two weeks.

TO PRE-BAKE TART CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Place rolled dough into tart pan with removable bottom, taking care not to stretch dough out.
  3. Trim off excess dough by running a rolling pin across the top of the tart pan.
    Basic Tart Crust | Pinky's Pantry
  4. Line dough with waxed paper or tin foil.
  5. Fill with pie weights, bean or rice.Basic Tart Crust | Pinky's Pantry
  6. Bake about 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.Basic Tart Crust | Pinky's Pantry