Polka Dotted Chocolate Pecan Brownie Tart with Chocolate Ganache

Do you know what is the hardest part of photographing your favourite food? Protecting your lenses and camera from getting food stained. Because every other minute you are picking up the food and eating it. What a ridiculous thing to do but can I I tell you, its easier said than done!

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I am so in love with this brownie tart.  Let me explain why! Unlike a tart, there is no shortcrust pastry or any other pastry involved in this. It’s a brownie recipe that bakes beautifully inside a tart pan. The secret ingredient that makes it so luscious and fudgy is cream cheese. And the little polka dots you notice on the top are nothing but chocolate ganache. So basically after the brownie bakes, you make little pockets inside it with the back of a wooden spoon and fill it up with ganache. If that was not all, the brownie is studded with crunchy toasted pecans giving every mouthful a nutty sensation.

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Chocolate lovers, I highly recommend this recipe for you. Even though it looks fancy, the recipe is pretty much like any other brownie with the exception of the ganache. You can always leave that step and just make the brownie tart though I really wish you don’t. It makes the whole thing so much more delicious and a treat for the eyes…totally worth the effort!
The theme of our Chocolate Party this month is Pecans so my Chocolate Pecan Dessert is dedicated to this favourite party of mine. Do check out the other creations at the bottom of the post.

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I read this recently “Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment.” ~ Catherine Aitken.
Well, in that case this is the Father of all therapies.
I already feel rejuvenated! But I’m still going for one more little bite..

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Polka Dotted Chocolate Pecan Brownie Tart with Chocolate Ganache (adapted with variation from Joy of Baking)
Serves 8-10

Chocolate Pecan Brownie Tart
1 cup Pecans toasted, (1/2 cup chopped and 1/2 cup whole)
200 g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
85 g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
45 g (about 1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
250 g (about 11/4 cup Castor Sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
85 g regular cream cheese (do not use low fat varieties)
65 g (about 1/2 cup) plain flour
1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache
60 g semisweet/dark chocolate, roughly chopped
80 ml (1/3 cup) heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 9 inch (23 cm fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and then line the bottom of the pan with baking paper.
In a large heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chopped chocolate. Remove from heat when the chocolate has melted. Beat in the cocoa and sugar into the chocolate mixture until incorporated. I used a hand mixer. If you are doing it by hand, use a whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and then the cream cheese until small pieces remain. Add the flour, salt and chopped pecans.

Place the tart pan onto a large baking sheet to catch drips (if any). Pour the batter into the tart pan and spread it evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Decorate with whole toasted pecans leaving space in between for the ganache filled holes that will be added later. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the batter has set and a tooth pick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the tart from the oven and let cool inside the tart pan for 15 minutes. While the tart is cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, over medium heat bring the cream to just a boil. Remove from heat and add to the chopped chocolate. Alernately, you can heat the cream in the microwave in a microwave safe cup and add the chopped chocolate to it. Allow to stand undisturbed for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Keep aside.

With the end of a lighly greased wooden spoon make holes onto the top of the brownie. Then with a small spoon fill the holes with the ganache (take little quantities at a time as the holes fill up quickly and might overflow onto the brownie tart). Let the tart cool completely and then cover and refrigerate. Refrigeration helps to set the ganache and blend the flavours so it is best to make the tart a day in advance.
The tart will keep in the refrigerator for about two to three weeks.


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  1. says

    Be still my heart! Pockets for ganache, you said? I want some, please! : ) And chocolate is definitely way better than therapy. I eat it everyday and it makes me a happier person. Needless to say, I love brownies and I’ve made brownie “pie” before, also crustless, so I know it’s magical. Yum!

  2. says

    YES! I hear you about the food smudges! I do it all the time, so I’m either eating or just moving the food about to reposition it… I try and keep a rag nearby. This brownie tart looks DIVINE. I would definitely find it hard to resist if I had it right in front of me. Gorgeous post Sonali xx

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