I’m kind of annoyed with dessert menus at restaurants.
First of all, they often just change seasonally, if at all. And when they do change, there are a couple of standbys that never shift. At any given time of year, you can be pretty sure that there will be crème brulee and molten chocolate cake on the menu, along with a fruit-based dessert (tart or crisp, usually) and an assortment of ice creams and sorbets.
Don’t get me wrong. I love all those things. But why can’t pastry chefs be allowed to really get creative? To have more fun? And, dare I suggest it, change the menu at least (gasp!) monthly? Would that be so terrible? It’s more expensive for restaurant owners, of course. But let the pastry chefs do what they do best!
You see, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that dessert at restaurants is no longer worth it, both in that it’s overpriced and mundane. I order it on special occasions, or at special restaurants, and then leave the rest of my indulgences to my own baking. At home, I take risks. I try new things. That guarantee doesn’t exist in fine dining anymore.
Take this strawberry ganache tart. I can make this whole tart for a fraction of what one slice would cost at a restaurant, and it tastes amazing. It’s pretty, too, and a great option for an at-home date this Valentine’s Day.
Listen, I’m not trying to pretend that running a restaurant is easy, nor do I think that I could do an amazing job in that setting. But here at home, this tart is making me plenty happy. In fact, after I added the last touch of drizzle and stepped back to examine the finished product, my heart sang a little. Nothing is prettier than a finished tart!
It was hard to destroy the prettiness and cut it up into slices, but the good news is, I gave half away and froze the other half for this coming weekend. Saturday night after the kids are in bed and the angels are singing, Kenny and I will have some tart and wine. It’s the perfect date.
And maybe I’ll stop being so, well, emphatic about dessert menus at restaurants. This is the season of love, after all. But if you are a creative soul, you might want to think about making your desserts mainly at home and saving the restaurant splurges for the occasional creative departure from the norm on the dessert menu. That makes it all the more special.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
14 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a tart pan (it should have a removable bottom) with cooking spray.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa, sugar and graham cracker crumbs, mixing until moistened and well combined.
- Press the crust ingredients into the tart pan, pressing the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake for 15 minutes until set. Cool.
- While the crust cools, make the ganache. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream together for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Pour the ganache into the crust. Carefully set the whole tart in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm up.
- When the ganache is more set, press the sliced strawberries gently into the top in whatever pattern you desire.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Drizzle over the tart.
- Chill until you're ready to serve. Cut into wedges.
This Post Has 22 Comments
This tart looks perfect, Mir! I’ve never made one before, but I’m amazed at how easy this is to make! Love the strawberries on top, too. So pretty!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Cranberry Orange Sweet Roll Breakfast Shake
Thanks, Gayle! Tarts are often much easier than they appear!
Mir – How beautiful! I love the creativity. I agree with you about ordering dessert at restaurants. Usually, we’re just too full to think about dessert, but on the occasion that we do order dessert, it’s usually nothing that special. My boyfriend and I do go to speciality bakeries a few times a year such as NORA Cupcake in Middletown, CT. Their cupcakes are amazing. There’s usually dessert in my fridge, so there’s no need to spend extra money on dessert out.
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Guactastic Egg Salad
I love trolling through bakeries, too. It’s fun to see what other people are doing! Thanks, Erin!
This homemade tart looks gorgeous Mir! With I could try a slice right now! I guess I need to make it! Thanks for sharing!!! Pinned
Mira recently posted…For The Perfect “Me Moment” : Raspberry Yogurt Tiramisu Parfaits
Thanks much, Mira! It’s pretty chocolatey!
This looks really good Mir, I can never have enough of chocolate so this tart will be perfect for my Valentines day for sure!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Chocolate Cups with Whipped Cream & Fruits
Mine too, Manali!
Yum! I so need to make this sometime.
Melissa A recently posted…It takes two…
Hope it works out, Melissa!
We rarely order dessert at restaurants, unless it’s Cheesecake Factory.. that’s a different story. This tart looks much better than any dessert you’d find at a restaurant anyways, so beautiful! Perfect for Valentine’s Day too 🙂
Danielle recently posted…Valentine’s Day Brownies
The Cheesecake Factory is definitely a different story, Danielle. Thanks!
This looks so decadent and beautiful! I could totally go for a slice right now!! 🙂
Renee@Two in the Kitchen recently posted…Cheesy Taco Pasta Skillet
Thanks, Renee! I have a slice waiting for me when I get home!
Wow, girl! That tart looks amazing! I now have a reason to break out my once-used tart pan with removable bottom.
Rachelle recently posted…Mashed Red Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic
Ha! It’s true, they never get used when you think they will. But they’re great!
Whoa. This tart looks amazing. I love strawberries and chocolate together. They are definitely meant to be. 🙂
Shannon @ Bake. Frost. Repeat. recently posted…Valentine Peanut Butter Blossoms
A happy combo for sure, Shannon!
If restaurants changed their dessert menus that often I would eat so much desserts haha.
This sounds like my perfect dessert though. Love the photos too.
I would too, Dannii. But it would be a lot more fun!
All that chocolate and all those delicious red strawberries is making my mouth water. This tart looks divine and SO perfect for a decadent Valentine’s Day celebration!
Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted…Persian Meringue Nests with Rhubarb Curd
Thanks, Thalia! You make a pretty awesome tart, so that means a lot!