When I was a young, beginning cook (several decades ago!) one of my first kitchen triumphs was learning how to make a Sachertorte—a celebrated Viennese chocolate torte with an apricot filling, coated with a rich chocolate glaze. Recently the memory of this cake served as inspiration for a new recipe. If the pairing of chocolate and apricot was so successful in a cake, why not try it in a tart, I reasoned! It took several tries and quite a few hours in the kitchen to work out the details, but eventually I pulled a glorious shinny dark chocolate and apricot tart from the oven.
The crust, made with butter and cream and no water, is rich and bakes to a light golden brown. It will take a little extra time as the pastry crust gets baked first with foil and beans, and again without the beans, and once more with a thin layer of apricot preserves spread over the bottom of the tart. Once the crust is pre-baked more apricot preserves are spread in the shell and topped with a dark chocolate ganache before the tart is returned to the oven.
When I served this tart recently to some willing testers—two of my husband’s college students—I included a bowl of whipped cream as a garnish since Sachertortes are always offered “mit schlag!” I knew this dessert was a winner when they each said yes to seconds and then one of them offered to take a leftover slice to his roommate!
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Dark Chocolate Ganache and Apricot Tart with Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
7 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp heavy or whipping cream
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp apricot preserves (Bonne Maman brand works particularly well)
12 oz dark bittersweet chocolate (60 % cocoa), coarsely chopped (Ghiradelli works well.)
1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream less 1 tablespoon for the crust
2 large eggs
Cocoa powder for dusting
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream whipped until just firm
Equipment: 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
1. Place flour and salt in the bowl of food processor and add the butter. Pulse until mixture resembles oatmeal flakes. With machine running, gradually add the egg and cream through the feed tube and process until a roughly shaped ball of dough forms. Remove and knead dough several seconds. Shape into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
2. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 11-to 12-inch circle and fit it into the tart pan. Trim overhanging dough to 3/4 inch above rim and then press overhanging dough in to reinforce the sides of the tart, being sure that the sides rise 1/4-inch above the tart rim. Prick bottom of tart with a fork. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights, dried, beans, or dried rice.
3. Bake tart shell 12 minutes. Remove beans and foil and bake 6 minutes more. Brush tart shell with 4 tablespoons of the preserves and bake another 4 minutes. Remove tart, but retain oven temperature. Cool tart 5 minutes and then spread remaining preserves over the bottom of the shell.
4. For filling, place chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until it just comes to a boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk until mixture is glossy and smooth. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly to blend. Very gradually whisk in melted chocolate, a little at a time. Pour filling over apricot preserves into tart shell.
5. Bake tart on middle shelf until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Then turn oven off, but leave tart in the oven for 30 minutes more. Remove and cool completely. (Tart is best served the day it is made, but it is also good prepared a day ahead.)
6. Serve tart with a dusting of cocoa powder and a bowl whipped cream. Serves 8.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2018