Before I started making this tart I thought I’d play around with the flavours you find in Nutella: milk chocolate and hazelnuts. The idea was to make a crust with toasted and ground hazelnuts and a filling with milk chocolate. I didn’t want to use just milk chocolate because I was afraid the end result would be too sweet. Not that I wouldn’t like that 🙂 but I was taking this tart to a lunch date with 3 of my favorite girls: C, J and H. And not everybody is into intense sweet like I am. So instead I made a ganache with a ratio of 1:2 bittersweet (65 % cocoa) and milk chocolate.
I miscalculated the amount of ganache I needed to fill the crust. Somehow I thought a ganache made with 175 ml (Â¾ cup) cream and 300 g (10 Â½ oz) of chocolate would be enough to fill a 23 cm (9 in) crust but it didn’t. I used up all the milk chocolate so I had to use bittersweet chocolate (with less cocoa than the other) instead to fill the tart up. Instead of a ganache I made a chocolate glaze with butter and water. And in went another 200 g (7 oz) of chocolate and 115 g (4 oz) of butter. For those who are counting, this tart has a filling of 500 g (1 lb) of chocolate, 175 ml (Â¾ cup) whipped cream and 115 g (4 oz) of butter. This is not a tart for those who count their calories 🙂 I warned my friends not to eat too much lunch and leave room enough for the tart.
While the chocolate glaze was setting I made caramel covered hazelnuts (for the first time). Making caramel makes me a bit nervous but it went well if you don’t consider the droplet of hot caramel that fell on my thumb. I used my old silpat to pour the caramel on, not realizing that this would leave an imprint on the caramel. Not a big problem but next time I wouldn’t use it for that reason.
I was afraid to stick the caramel covered hazelnuts in the still warm chocolate glaze because I wanted them to be at an angle and not flat on the surface. I waited till it had set before sticking them in, unfortunately this caused the glaze to go up 😦 Not sure how to solve this one…anyone tips?
I had some fears that maybe the ganache layer and the chocolate glaze layer wouldn’t have (more or less) the same degrees of firmness but luckily this turned out ok. You didn’t feel nor taste the difference.
What I thought might be a Nutella-y experience wasn’t. The chocolate filling was way too overpowering for the crust. You could barely taste the hazelnuts. So much for that. Next time I’ll have to incorporate hazelnuts into the filling.
But did the tart taste good despite it not tasting Nutella-y? Yes, very much so! I think I maybe even have to agree with my girlfriends that it was the best chocolate tart I ever tasted. But I’m not sure about it yet, have to make more to see 😉 The next one will have more or less the same ratio of milk chocolate and dark chocolate as this one only I’ll make one layer because that’s less work 😉 Also I’ll try a different crust, maybe with pÃ¢te sucrÃ©e. See if that makes for an even better tart.
Sweet shortcrust pastry (from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay)
270 g (2 cups) flour
3 tbs caster sugar
150 g (5 oz) cold butter, diced
55 g hazelnuts, toasted and finely ground
2-3 tbs ice water
Process the flour, sugar, butter and ground hazelnuts in a foodprocessor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running add enough water for the dough to cling together. Knead lightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (350Â°F).
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2-3 mm (â…› in) thick. Line a 23 cm (9 in) tart tin. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.
175 ml (Â¾ cup / 6 fl oz) whipping cream
200 g (7 oz) milk chocolate, chopped
100 g (3 Â½ oz) bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa), chopped
Bring the whipping cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate. Tap the bowl a few times. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Stir until combined. Pour into the baked and cooled crust.
Chocolate glaze (from I Want Chocolate by Trish Deseine)
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (56% cocoa)
115 g (4 oz / Â½ cup) butter
60 ml (Â¼ cup) water
Melt all of the ingredients in a bowl over hot water. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over the ganache.
Caramel covered hazelnuts
150 g (5 oz / â…” cup) caster sugar
Place the hazelnuts well spaced on a heat proof surface like marble, silpat or a slightly greased baking sheet.
Heat the sugar on low to medium heat. Shake it around every now. Let the sugar turn a deep amber brown. Remove from heat. Using a spoon pour enough caramel over each hazelnut to cover it.
Allow to cool down and set.
Stick the caramel hazelnuts in the tart.