This chocolate tart with cranberries, my fifth day of christmas show stopping dessert is truly stunning and equally as delicious.
It couldn't be simpler to put together either. The chocolate tart has a cookie crust and a rich chocolate ganache filling. The cranberries are roasted in the oven in sugar, which creates a lovely sugared cranberry that is soft and sweet. And don't they look like red jewels on top? So pretty!
This is a simple chocolate tart recipe that has minimal ingredients that really make for a standout dessert.
- Chocolate cookies. I use oreos or chocolate wafer cookies.
- Butter. Melted and combined with the cookies for the crust.
- Bittersweet chocolate. Since that stand out ingredient in the entire filling is chocolate, I recommend buying a quality chocolate.
- Heavy cream. For the ganache.
- Salt. I say it every time, all desserts needs a bit of salt.
- Cranberries. Since I primarily make this when fresh cranberries are in season, I use fresh ones, but frozen is totally fine.
- Sugar. This will help caramelize and sweeten the cranberries when you roast them
What is chocolate ganache?
Chocolate ganache is like the simplest thing ever. But when you take a bite, and it melts in your mouth you feel super luxurious. Who doesn't love that sh-t?
It is chocolate, heavy cream and salt. That is literally it. It is super adaptable (as in you can add liquor to it), and you can use it to fill all sorts of things or to top other pies, tarts and cakes. It is also what a chocolate truffle is made of - in case you were wondering.
How to make chocolate ganache
This is so simple, you won't even believe it. To make ganache for the chocolate cranberry tart you start by finely (and I mean finely) chopping your chocolate. Place the chopped chocolate in a glass or ceramic bowl (sometimes metal bowls have residual oil on them which can cause separation). The finer you chop it the quicker and more evenly it will melt. Warm your heavy cream on the stove to just a simmer. Pour over your finely chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute.
Slowly begin stirring together with a wooden spoon or a spatula (resist the urge to use a whisk, it can separate and you will be grossed out). Sprinkle in your pinch of salt and pour into the prepared tart shell before it cools and firms up.
How to make roasted cranberries
Again with the simplicity. Cranberries cooked on the stove top with sugar makes for a delicious relish. But roasting them in the oven covered in sugar is what we are all about for this chocolate tart with cranberries. No stirring, or keeping an eye on them. Throw a bag of cranberries on a lightly buttered baking sheet and toss with A LOT of sugar. Put them in the oven and watch them work their magic. The sugar melts, the cranberries burst and release their natural juices and sugars. And they come out shiny and glorious. Cool them to room temp and you have a gorgeous addition to your chocolate ganache tart.
If you are reading this thinking I would never think cranberries with chocolate, then think again, my friend. They are a match made in heaven. The rich and decadence of the chocolate pairs absolutely perfectly with the acidic cranberry.
Tips for success
- Chocolate chips do not work when making ganache. They have extra sugar and things like lechithin added to them. When you try to emulsify with the heavy cream, it doesn't work so well. Sometimes the chocolate will separate, sometimes it seizes. What you want to use is this (what I use) or something like it (this is another kind I use). You can use bittersweet or semisweet, depending on what you like and what you have.
- Do not heat the cream and then throw the chocolate into the pan. I would say roughly 9 out of 10 times I threw the chopped chocolate into the sauce pan after simmering the cream, I ended up with separated chocolate.
- Don't whisk the chocolate and cream together - use a spoon or spatula and stir together. It will come together.
- About halfway through roasting the cranberries, toss them around to get the sugar distributed and prevent from burning.
- Make sure the tart is chilled before adding the cranberries. Also make sure the cranberries or cooled off before putting atop the tart
This tart looks awesome when you pile the cranberries in the center in a big tall heap, but when you go serve it, spread them out a bit before cutting. This will make your life easier, I promise 🙂
- 1 Food processor
- 1 tart pan with removable bottom
For the crust
- 1 ½ cups oreo cookies or crushed chocolate wafer cookies crushed
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
For the chocolate ganache
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- pinch of salt
For the roasted cranberries
- cooking spray
- 12 oz bag of cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 cup sugar
To make the crust
- Heat the oven to 350. Mix the crushed cookies and melted butter in a bowl. Dump this into an 8- or 9- inch tart pan and press into the bottom and up the sides. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Cool it on the counter while you make the tart.
To make the roasted cranberries
- Keep the oven at 350. Line a baking sheet with foil and butter or lightly spray the bottom. Put the bag of cranberries on the baking sheet and cover with the cup of sugar. Toss a bit to coat. Roast in the oven about 10 minutes, then toss again. Continue roasting another 10 minutes or so, until the cranberries have given off some of their liquid and the sugar is melted. It will look syrupy - that's what you're after. Cool them on the counter to room temp, while you make the ganache.
To make the ganache
- Bring the cream to a simmer (not a full boil) in a saucepan over medium heat. Chop your chocolate and place in a glass bowl. You want a fine chop so it all melts quickly. Pour the simmered cream over the chocolate and let it sit a few minutes to melt. Stir together with a spoon or spatula until it all comes together and looks like a shiny, silky super thick fudge sauce. Pour the ganache into the cooled crust and put in fridge until it is firm.
- Pile your cooled roasted cranberries on top and get ready to impress the hell out of your guests.