This recipe has been on my radar for some time–a coworker occasionally makes it and brings it in to the office, and it’s just the greatest thing ever. The last time he made it, I finally asked for the recipe. My friend Jen came over for a little dinner party on Saturday, so I thought it would be the perfect time to try a particularly challenging-but-impressive new recipe. Plus, I was making a blue cheese and red potato tart for dinner, so it just went with the theme.
The thing is, I don’t own a tart pan. But I thought, well, a tart pan can’t be all that different from a pie plate, and I have two of those, so I’ll adapt. It worked okay. The crust was just too thick for the pie pan, and since it’s made of pretzels it’s already pretty crunchy. The only real problem was too much crust that was tough to break with a fork. Next time I’ll cut the crust by about a third (or just invest in a real tart pan).
So, I guess that’s a long way of saying that this recipe works perfectly as-is. It’s not particularly challenging to make, but it is very time consuming. There are multiple points throughout the recipe that you need to let things cool or rest, and you definitely should not skimp on giving the tart a full 4 hours to set in the refrigerator once it’s all together.
The chocolate isn’t supposed to be all melty like in this photo. We just couldn’t wait to try it! It still tasted wonderful. If you’re going to make it for a dinner party, start working on the morning–or even the day–before. Either way, I promise it’ll be a hit. You really can’t go wrong with all of that chocolatey goodness, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a crunchy pretzel crust that’s to die for.
Chocolate pretzel tart
Barely adapted from the original by Colleen Grapes
(All I really changed are the directions to help with the workflow a little.)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and 1/4 c coarsely crushed pretzels, plus more for sprinkling on the top (measure after crushing, not before)
- 3/4 c confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 and 1/2 c heavy cream
- 3/4 lb milk chocolate, chopped
- Sea salt for sprinkling on the top
- Use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment (or a regular hand mixer) to combine butter, 3/4 c of pretzels, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until creamy.
- Beat in flour and egg, then add remaining pretzels. Beat until just combined (some pretzel pieces should remain intact).
- Place dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover with a second sheet (it’s important to use the two sheets and not just wrap it in one). Press into a flat disc and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Once dough is chilled, roll out between the two sheets of plastic. You may need to adjust plastic to give the dough room to expand as you roll. Once you have a 12″ round, remove the top sheet of plastic and invert dough into a 10″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom (or a 9.5″ pie pan, but if you’re going this route I’d reduce the dough amount by about 1/3).
- Press dough into edges of pan and patch any tears. Trim excess dough. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.
- While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the inside of the shell with parchment and hold in place with pie weights. Lacking pie weights, I used an inverted oven-safe serving bowl to hold the parchment down.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove parchment and bake for an additional 10-15. If edges are burning, protect with foil. Let shell cool completely.
- While shell is baking, make the filling. Bring cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and allow it to melt untouched for about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Allow filling to cool completely to room temperature (not in the refrigerator) for about 1 hour.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and place a bowl over it to melt the 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate. When shell is cool, brush a layer of chocolate all over the inside. Allow chocolate to set in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
- Pour filling into shell (at long last!) and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle with sea salt and pretzel pieces. Cut into wedges and enjoy.