Reminiscent of childhood memories, luxury, sweetness and sensuality, chocolate is more than just a food – it is therapy.
Although it sounds sophisticated for baking beginners, the chocolate ganache is an elementary filling or icing. Consisting only of chopped chocolate, heavy whipping cream, and additives of baker’s choice, this luscious chocolate concoction has its secured presence in the world’s best restaurants and cruise ships’ chef’s tables. Common flavor enhancers are extracts (vanilla, almond, mint, etc.), liquors, syrups, various kinds of nuts and fruits. For the elegant shiny appearance, a tablespoon or two of unsalted butter or corn syrup make wonders.
Wait for a second… We just hinted at using chocolate ganache as filling or icing. Yes! All that matters are the weight ratio of chocolate and cream, and your intentions. You can make the icing leaning towards liquid consistency, or make a thick easy spreadable cake icing. Cake fillings are usually lighter texture, while into the milk chocolate ganache tart and truffle fillings you could easily carve a statue – they hold their shape.
For our milk chocolate ganache filling we refer to the table below:
|Type of chocolate||Ratio to cream||Example|
|Dark Chocolate 75%||2:1||10 oz. chocolate to 5 oz. heavy cream|
|Milk Chocolate 55%||2.5:1||10 oz. chocolate to 4 oz. heavy cream|
|White Chocolate||3:1||10 oz. chocolate to 3.33 oz. heavy cream|
The ratios above are to make a more cream-solid chocolate ganache that holds its shape and doesn’t form a tip when sampled with a dessert fork. Remember, the larger the milk content in chocolate, the less heavy whipping cream you need. According to this table, we should use less cream than is in our recipe; our goal was to create a thinner chocolate ganache reminding the thickness of the caramel in the Snickers candy bar, but way less sticky. To achieve this, we used the ratio of 1:2 even though making the ganache from milk chocolate. Considering the final texture of the milk chocolate ganache, we opted out majorly for Hershey’s milk chocolate (the whole 9.3 oz. six-pack) that is soft and moldable, Lindt 4.4 oz. milk chocolate, and Cadbury Dairy Milk 3.8 oz. chocolate bar. Understandingly, more than a few chocolate squares mystically disappeared during the ganache-making process.
Tips & Tricks
We want your milk chocolate ganache tart master class to go smoothly, so we will give you some useful tips.
- Confusing as it sounds, readers often misunderstand the term XY sheets of graham crackers. One graham cracker sheet embodies four smaller rectangles. Easy!
- We all made the mistake of crumbling the chocolate by putting it into a ZipLoc bag and smashing it with a meat mallet. However the process is very therapeutic, chocolate has a certain fat content and a melting point. By hitting it with a mallet you increase the energy of molecules on the chocolate’s surface, which creates heat. The surface starts sweating and your chocolate bits start to stick to the ZipLoc bag, and eventually by further friction you create holes and tears on the bag. You will end up with pieces of plastic bag in your chocolate bits, that after adding the hot cream beautifully melt into your ganache. Yum! Please, chop the chocolate with a knife on a cutting board, no matter how long it takes.
- Finally, the steam bath! I can’t count how many times I burned the chocolate by heating it up in the microwave. The best way how to melt chocolate is to do it in a steam bath. You need a bowl and pot. Fill the pot with water, let the water boil. Hover the bowl with chocolate above the steam and work it with a spatula. Do not let the bowl touch the hot water or your chocolate will burn!
Milk Chocolate Ganache Tart Recipe
- Food processor (if you don't have one, you can crush the graham crackers in a ZipLock bag with a meat mallet)
- 8" round cake pan with removable bottom
- Silicone spatula
- Medium - size mixing bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- Small pot or saucepan
- A whisk
- A pastry mat
- 10 sheets of graham crackers, each sheet has four rectangles
- 5 tbsp melted unsalted butter
- ¼ cup muscovado sugar
Milk Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 15.6 oz milk chocolate, chopped into smaller pieces
- 7.8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
White Chocolate Decoration
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp milk chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Grease the 8'' cake pan with unsalted butter evenly, all sides and the bottom.
- In a food processor, blend 10 sheets of honey graham crackers, ¼ cup of muscovado sugar, and five tablespoons of melted unsalted butter. After blending, the mixture should be somewhat sticky.
- Dab the graham cracker blend on the bottom of the cake pan. If you want to, you can add some crust onto the removable sides of the pan as well.
- Bake in the oven for nine minutes. Let the pan cool down on the rack first, and then you can transfer it to the fridge for further cooling.
Milk Chocolate Ganache Filling
- Chop 15.6 oz. of milk chocolate into small pieces. Transfer the chocolate bits into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan or a pot, warm up 7.8 oz. of heavy whipping cream to 185°F. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, test the temperature with a spoon. The cream should be very hot but not boiling. Prevent the cream from forming a top skin with stirring.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate bits, add a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and work it with a whisk to form a smooth chocolate ganache.
- When the ganache is ready, pour it slowly into the cake pan to avoid bubbles of air. Then, with a silicone spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Cool in the fridge for two hours, then move the tart to the freezer for another two hours.
White Chocolate Decoration
- Grease about a 6-7" circle in the center of a pastry mat.
- Melt the white chocolate chips in a small bowl above a steam bath. If you don't know what the steam bath is, please read the recipe notes.
- Pour the melted white chocolate on the pastry mat, forming an even circle. While the white chocolate is cooling, melt additional milk chocolate chips.
- When the white chocolate circle is stiff enough (about 10 minutes in a cool room), you can create milk chocolate lines on top of it and sprinkle it with crushed graham crackers. Let cool.
- Warm a long knife above steam or use a hot cloth to do it. Cut the chocolate circle with the warm knife into desired pieces, and place them onto the chocolate tart.