Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mini-tarts Made Easy

During my Saturday morning ritual of Food Network and coffee, I watched an episode of a program where the chefs created a delicious dessert bar with one main ingredient: chocolate ganache. Really? Really! Really.

If you've never made it, chocolate ganache is one of the easiest, most decadent things you can make in the dessert world. Two simple ingredients: good chocolate and heavy cream. Need I say more?

So, when I had a small dinner party for some coworkers coming up that week, instead of making a complicated, heavy, rich dessert, I decided to "fancify" some chocolate ganache by creating a dessert tray starring none other than Chocolate Ganache herself.

How? It's super easy:
  1. Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Heat the chocolate in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water.
  3. Add in an equal amount of cream into the chocolate.
  4. Stir until chocolate is smooth and shiny.
(You will want to bathe in this stuff, I'm telling you, it's so gorgeous.)

Once you've melted the chocolate, you're only limitations are your creativity. Going for a bit of a delicate, classic feel to be the perfect capstone to the Italian Sausage Lasagna I was serving as the main course. I filled phyllo dough mini-tart shells with the ganache and topped them with crushed up English toffee and sliced strawberries.

A big fan of "fancify-ing" pre-made delictables, I also bought some yummy almond biscotti bars and dipped them in the ganache for a special treat with coffee.

And the result was pure bliss.