Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet and Salty Pretzel Tart with Chocolate Ganache and Peanut Butter Swirl

We all know by now that peanut butter and chocolate is one of the best flavor combos known to man. 

Confession: I have been known to throw chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave from time to time when I have an insatiable craving.

This tart - made with a sweet and salty pretzel crust, chocolate ganache filling, and a creamy peanut butter swirl - is absolutely sinful (and slightly more refined than the microwave method).

I didn't think it was possible to improve on a time-tested classic, but throw some salty pretzel pieces in the mix and you've got a real showstopper.

See those crunchy pretzel bits in the crust there? They provide a great texture contrast to the silky filling of this decadent tart.

And, because it is super simple and uses ingredients that you most likely have in the pantry already, there is absolutely no excuse not to indulge a little and treat yourself to a bite of this fantastic dessert.

Really, you must try this recipe as soon as possible. 

Like, now.

Or 5 minutes ago.

Do you have the oven pre-heating yet?

Pretzel Tart Crust with Chocolate Ganache Filling and Peanut Butter Swirl via Hot Polka Dot



1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1 1/2 cup flour
1 egg
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I cheated and used chocolate chips)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar and half the crushed pretzels until creamy. Mix in the flour, egg and remaining pretzels making sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact for added crunch. Form the dough into a flattened ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it for 1 hour or overnight. My dough was pretty dry, and I had to really mix with my hands to get it to hold together.

When you're ready to roll out the tart shell take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes to make the dough more workable. Butter a 12 inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Sandwich the dough between 2 large sheets of wax paper and roll it out into a 15 inch circle. Once the sheet of dough is centered in the prepared tart pan press it into the corners of the pan and fold the excess dough back over the sides to create a nice strong double edge crust, making sure to keep the dough level with the edge of the pan. Pierce the dough a few times with a fork and freeze it for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit it buttered side down tightly against the inside of the tart shell. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake it for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake it for another 10 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

To make the ganache put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it aside. In a small sauce pan combine the cream and butter and heat it on medium heat. When it comes to just a boil pour it over the chocolate, cover it and let it sit for 3 – 5 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate until it all melts and you're left with a smooth pudding like consistency. Pour it into the cooled tart shell and smooth it out with a spatula.

Melt the peanut butter slightly in the microwave until it's runny. Pour it over the chocolate ganache and drag a knife through it to create swirls. Chill it for 10 – 15 minutes to set the filling.