My god, the decadence.
After making a tart for dinner one night, Kendall and I found ourselves with leftover pastry and egg whites. Now, my go-to for leftover egg whites is to make meringues, so obviously we jumped to meringue tarts. Embarrassingly, my first idea was literally just meringue in a tart shell, like a fancy version of those cream pies that get thrown at clowns’ faces.
Instead, I went with a chocolate ganache base, largely because that’s what I had the materials on hand for. I topped it with a Swiss meringue–a first time, for me–and browned it with my broiler, since we still haven’t bought more fuel for our culinary torch. And even though I basically cobbled this together out of three different recipes, it ended up being great! The meringue was fluffy with some nice color, the ganache was rich, and the pastry–a savory pastry, since that’s what I’d originally intended it for–helped balance out some of the sweetness. It was a fantastic success, and something that I’m looking forward to making again.
Since I just had leftover pastry, I only made two mini tarts, but next time I’ll make a 9″, so that’s how I’ve written up the recipe. If you want to make mini tarts–and who doesn’t love individual desserts–the recipe should work just as well for four mini tarts. Either way, you’re in for a real treat. Enjoy!
Chocolate Ganache Meringue Tarts – (Makes 1 9″ tart, or 4 mini tarts; active time 1 hour, plus 3 hours chilling time)
- For the pastry:
- 250g (2 cups) flour
- Pinch of salt
- 125g (a little under 9 tablespoons) chilled butter, cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- About 50ml (about 3 1/2 tablespoons) ice water
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 14 ounces chocolate chips (or other chocolate, chopped finely)
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- At least 3 hours ahead of time, prepare your pastry: Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cubed butter and, with your fingertips, rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and start mixing it with your hands, then slowly add the water and mix until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Tip it onto a lightly floured counter, shape into a ball, then flatten into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. You want the rolled pastry to be even, quite thin (about 1/8 inch), and wide enough to fully cover your tart pan with some overhang. Once rolled, transfer the pastry to the tart pan, making sure to press it into the bottom edge. Leave some overhang, but trim off anything excessive. (Pro tip: a ball of pastry dough is a great tool for gently pushing pastry to the bottom edge of a tart pan.) Prick the base of the pastry several times with a fork.
- Blind bake: cover the pastry with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then fill the lined tart shell with pie weights (we use dry rice, dry beans are another good option). Bake until the edge is a light golden brown, then remove the pie weights and paper/foil and return to the oven until the base is lightly golden. Remove from the oven and trim the overhanging pastry with a sharp knife. Let cool on a wire rack.
- As the pastry is cooling, make the chocolate ganache: Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium low heat, stirring constantly, just until slightly steaming. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit two minutes, then stir until smooth. Let cool until thick but pourable, then pour into the tart shells and refrigerate until set.
- Make the meringue: Set up a double boiler (or glass/metal bowl set over a pot with some water in it). Bring the water in the bottom pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine 3 egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar in the top, then whisk constantly until the sugar has fully dissolved and the mixture is hot. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip at medium-high for about 2 minutes, then increase speed to high and whip another 4-6 minutes, until the mixture is stiff.
- Dollop the meringue over the ganache, and shape it to your liking. Move the oven rack to the top third of the oven and set the oven to high broil. Put the tarts on the rack and watch carefully; you want them to brown, not blacken. (I overdid it a little in the included pictures.) Alternatively, you could (and should) torch the meringue with a culinary torch–I just haven’t bought new fuel for the torch since we moved, and I saw them do it this way on GBBO.
- Let cool slightly, pop it out of the tin, and serve!