This has been on my drawing board for a while. The husband is a big fan of malted milk anything so I’d been meaning to make him a malted milk chocolate tart. As I finally got around to making some malted milk chocolate ganache, I thought, hang on, what else goes with malted milk? What about pretzels? What about a tart crust made of pretzels?
Well, here’s the result, a deep-dark chocolate ganache poured into a crunchy-salty crust made of pretzel. Of course these are the crunchy mini pretzels we’re talking about here, not the big fluffy kind. You make it just like a graham cracker crust – lots of ground up pretzels, a sprinkling of sugar, all held together by a swirl of melted butter. Tip: you’ll want to grind the pretzels as fine as possible to get that crumbly texture similar to a graham cracker crust. If the pieces are larger, the crust will still work, but it’ll just be crunchier.
Ground-up pretzels look remarkably like any other crumb crust dough.
Pretzel crust, just baked. I like the little pretzel speckles.
The savory saltiness of the pretzels helps cut the heavy darkness of the ganache perfectly. I find that malted milk is most expressive in milk chocolate, but I had a hankering for dark chocolate so I did a half and half mix of milk and dark. While the malted milk flavor was quite pronounced initially, over the next couple of days the flavor aged so the malt was more subtle; it made the chocolate taste deeper and more robust instead, like a malty beer. If you’re looking for maximum malt flavor, you can always use all milk chocolate in this recipe. If you use all dark, the malt flavor might be overpowered depending on the intensity of your chocolate.
My preferred plating was a just-wide-enough-to-feel-indulgent slice topped with a dollop of vanilla bean creme chantilly – a little bit of ethereal sweetness to lift this dessert into the territory of blissful. Hubby’s malted milk fix: satisfied. My chocolate fix: more than satisfied!
- 4 1/2 oz (126 g) mini pretzel crumbs, finely ground
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) confectioners' sugar
- 4 oz (57 g) unsalted butter, melted
Malted Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 8 oz (228 g) milk chocolate (33-41%), finely chopped
- 4 oz (114 g) bittersweet (67-72%) chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (230 g) whipping cream
- 1/3 cup (43 g) malted milk powder
Vanilla Bean Creme Chantilly
- 1 cup (230 g) whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 4 tablespoons (56 g) confectioners' sugar
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine pretzel crumbs and confectioner's sugar in a food processor.
- Pour out pretzel crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter. Stir together until mixture is moistened. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in round tart pan or 4 inch x 13 inch rectangular tart pan.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes until crust feels firm. Let cool on wire rack while you are making the ganache.
For the ganache:
- Combine both chocolates in a medium bowl. Combine cream and malted milk powder in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Pour cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute. Stir to combine until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour mixture into tart shell. Refrigerate for about an hour until set. When you are ready to serve, take the tart out about 15-20 minutes in advance to let it warm up slightly.
For the creme chantilly:
- Place cream and vanilla bean paste into clean bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk until soft peaks just start to form.
- Add the confectioners' sugar and whisk just to combine and slightly firm up - do not overwhip.