Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hazelnut Tartlets Filled with Dark Chocolate

These little devils are really easy to make and are the perfect end to a big holiday meal.  Or great on their own with a cup of coffee, or as a late night snack, or for a picnic, or with a glass of cognac or, well you get the idea.

Chocolate Tarts with Hazelnut Crust

In the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment mix 12 Tablespoons of room temperature unsalted butter.  Once it is creamed add 1/2 cup of cane sugar and 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar and mix on medium speed for several minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Scrapping down the mixture when needed.

One at a time add 2 large egg yolks.  Mix for another minute.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 cup ground toasted and skinned hazelnuts, 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until incorporated.  This will be a moist dough, you may need to add a little more flour to gather it together.

In between two piece of parchment paper press the dough into 1 or 2 disks, half of the dough will make 24 tartlets or 1 9" tart or all of it will make one thick crusted 11" tart.   

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Take out the disk of dough you are going to use, in this instance I suggest splitting it and making 24 tartlets. Roll the dough out in between the two pieces of parchment. It should be about 1/4" thick, using a cookie cutter cut the dough into rounds and place in your tartlet tin (I use a mini muffin tin).  The dough may crack or crumble when you try to fit the disks into the tin, not to worry it is very buttery so just pinch it back together.  When all the tins are done freeze for 15 minutes (30 minutes if you are making a large tart).

Preheat the oven to 350 F

When the tart shells are finished chilling bake them for about 12-17 minutes until they are golden brown and completely cooked.  They will puff up a bit but not to worry. Remove from the oven and cool.  When they have completely cooled remove from the tin.

If you are making a large tart bake blind for 20 minutes with weights or you can be lazy like I am and simply lightly fork the dough, the big tart will take about 30-40 minutes to cook.  This can also be used for other recipes where you may only want a partially cooked shell.  Follow the recipe's instructions, but keep this dough in mind, it's very versatile and adds a rich nutty shortbread quality to tarts that can't be beat. Know also that you can replace the Hazelnuts with Pecans or Almonds and get equally good results.

While the tart shells are baking make the ganache. Bring to a boil in a saucepan 1 cup heavy cream, the minute it has come to the boil remove from heat and pour over 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate  (70 percent or higher) stir with a spatula until the chocolate has melted and the cream is all mixed in.  Add a pinch of sea salt and an optional 2 teaspoons of Cognac, Amber Rum, Scotch or Vanilla.

Fill the tartlets with ganache and chill.  If you make a large tart serve it with some unsweetened whip cream that you may, or may not, want to flavor with some of the same booze you used in the chocolate.

Try these, you'll be glad you did! 


Kurt Brown said...

These things are probably sufficient to make me believe in God.

Anonymous said...


I will try them. Thanks for the share.


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