I baked this tart like 3 years ago during my make-photos-interesting-by-putting-flowers-in-them phase. But this tart doesn't even need to look good - the flavors are just that good. The ganache filling has no sugar in it, so it is pretty important that the dough is sweet. With powdered sugar, you can get a sweeter flavor and a lighter mixture, which compliments this dish because a super crunchy tart shell is just the worst. Then again, a complete lack of texture is never desirable, so the crust has ground coffee and Kosher salt in it for some tiny little pops to introduce some interest to your teeth. The whiskey and coffee in the crust and the ginger in the meringues all serve to both enhance the chocolaty flavor of the ganache as well as cut through its richness.
My meringues came out brown, but that was actually a mistake because I added too much sugar and cooked them for too long at too high a temperature. I have learned many things about meringues after three years of total catastrophes, so using the recipe below should yield more successful meringues that are essentially greyish-white and beautiful.
Butter Count: 8 Tbsp
55g powdered sugar
2 Tbsp ground coffee beans, very finely ground OR instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
8 Tbsp butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1 tsp coffee extract
1 Tbsp whiskey
1. Combine the flour, powdered sugar, salt, and ground coffee in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until a coarse meal is formed. Add the egg, coffee extract, and whiskey and continue pulsing until the dough comes together and starts to form big lumps. Press some dough between your fingers and make sure that it is moist enough to press into a solid piece of dough without crumbling apart.
NOTE: If it is too dry, add a very small amount of water at a time and pulse to combine until the dough is the right consistency. Like, a very small amount. Like run the water from the sink over your hand, then turn the sink off, then drip whatever water is left on your hand into the mixture.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and bring it into a ball. Cut it in half and press down on each half to form discs. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours, until completely chilled.
3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it. On a lightly floured surface, place the discs on top of each other and bang them with a rolling pin to soften them slightly, then roll them out into an 11- to 12-inch circle.
4. Place the dough into a 9-inch greased tart pan with a removable bottom. Press it into the sides and flatten the bottom using the bottom of a glass or a flat-bottomed measuring cup. Trim the edges of the dough with a knife so that it is flat with the top of the sides of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes or until thoroughly chilled.
5. While the dough is in the freezer, preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the dough from the freezer and cover it with foil so that it is fully covered, including the edges. Fill the pan with uncooked rice (this gives the rice a nice toast, so later, when you cook the rice, it will be really really tasty!), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the rice and foil and bake another 10 minutes until uniformly golden. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
340g dark chocolate, chopped
240g heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1. Place the chocolate and butter into a heat-proof bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until small bubbles begin to appear around the edges, then pour it into the bowl with the chocolate and butter. Cover the bowl with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Uncover and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and glossy.
NOTE: if there is still some unmelted chocolate in the bowl, just place it over a pot of simmering water and stir until smooth and glossy.
4. When the tart shell is completely cooled, pour in the ganache, and refrigerate at least 2 hours until set.
3 egg whites
150g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp ginger powder
1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in an electric mixer. Add the sugar and cream of tartar and turn the mixer up to the highest speed until firm peaks form and the mixture is smooth and glossy, careful not to over-mix.
2. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the ginger powder until fully combined.
3. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a round tip and pipe them onto the parchment paper, leaving at least an inch between each blob. Bake for about an hour and check on the consistency. If they are kind of gummy, then bake one more hour. If they are completely wet still, then bake two more hours. Keep checking, and remove them from the oven only when the bottoms are crispy.
4. Place the meringues on the set ganache, sprinkle chocolate shavings over the top, and you're done!
NOTE: Don't leave the tart out for more than 8 hours with the meringues on top. If you are making the tart in advance, that is fine, but leave the meringues in an air-tight container until you are ready to serve. If left out, they will absorb moisture over time and become sticky and gross.