CHOCOLATE TART WITH HAZELNUT CRUST
We need to talk. It’s serious.
First off, isn’t this the cutest dessert you ever saw? Eekkkk! I’m a proud mama. Can you tell?
It’s almost too perfect to eat.
That is if I wasn’t a chocoholic. Too bad I am!
This tart isn’t going to last long around here. Between the hubby and myself, it’ll be gone before you know it.
I’ve had my third half of this tart and I can feel the pure, bittersweet chocolate running through my veins! I just wanna scream and shout. And maybe do a little happy dance! Chocolate always deserves a happy dance!
So needless to say, the need for a happy dance doubles when hazelnut has an affair with chocolate!
Don’t be intimidated, this is much easier than it looks! I wouldn’t do that to you. Especially not when chocolate is involved.
Start by tossing the flour, salt, hazelnut meal, a lightly beaten egg, powdered sugar, and butt-ahh (that’s butter to the normal folks) into a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a pastry cutter break the butter down. Stop when the butter is the size of small peas or flaked like oatmeal.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface. Add a little more flour if your dough is sticky. Roll the dough out and divide equally if using mini tart pans, or leave whole for one large tart. If you use mini tart pans, you will yield 5 -6 tarts. Press them into the pan and prick the surface with a fork so they do not rise in the oven. I used these mini tart pans to make the tarts, but you could also use one large tart pan.
CHOCOLATE TART WITH HAZELNUT CRUST
For the Crust:
- 1/2 cup Hazelnut meal or almond meal (see note)
- 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 powdered sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the Filling:
- 8 oz semisweet/bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 4oz of Ghirardelli semisweet and 4oz bittersweet)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Strawberries for topping
To make the crust:
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, hazelnut meal, powdered sugar, salt, lightly beaten egg and butter. Using a pastry cutter, a large fork or a potato masher, cut the chilled butter into the flour until it resembles oatmeal flakes with a few pea-sized pieces of butter still visible. When a ball forms, turn out onto a well floured surface. Roll the dough out, if making individual tarts divide the dough into 5. If making one large tart, roll out to fit a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Fit the circle in the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the tines of a fork to pierce the dough several times and place tart in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the tart shell from the freezer, bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the crust just barely starts to turn golden. Remove from the oven and allow tart shell to cool completely before filling.
To make the filling:
- In a small saucepan set over low-medium heat, bring the cream to just simmering. Remove it from the heat and stir in the chocolate, vanilla and if using, the chili powder. Mix until smooth and the chocolate is completely incorporated. Whisk a small amount of the hot chocolate cream (about 1-2 tablespoons) into the lightly beaten eggs until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate filling into the prepared pastry and bake it for 12- 15 minutes (for mini tarts) and 18 - 22 minutes for large tart. If the center jiggles slightly, the tart is done. If the filling starts to crack, remove from the oven immediately so as to not over cook it.
- Allow the tart to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the tart ring and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to serving.
To make your own hazelnut meal: Roast whole hazelnuts in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Run them through the food processor until nuts break down into a coarse meal.
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