Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Hello internet!

I’ve never written a blog before, so here goes nothing:

I am 30 years old, a wife and mom with a full-time job and an insatiable passion for sweets.  I was thinking a few weeks ago, while having a rare moment to myself, that through all the highs and lows in my life, I’ve never stopped baking.  I’m sure most of us have our own version of the childhood memory of eating a delectable brownie or chewy chocolate chip cookie.  My husband and I affectionately refer to each other as “fat kids”: getting gleefully excited over cakes and pies (me, much so more than him).  I remember being nine months pregnant in the hot and sweaty summer, hovering over the stove making sure my caramel flans were just perfect.  But enough about me…

Sunday was Father’s Day and my dear husband asked for this pie, which has become one of his favorites.  Rich, dark chocolate that’s as light as a feather with a salty, nutty crust.

The recipe is courtesy of the fabulous Martha Stewart and can be found here

Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts

Crust:

  • 6 graham cracker sheets
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Topping:

  • 1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Filling:

  • 1  3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
  1. For the crust: Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a food processor, combine graham crackers, hazelnuts, salt and sugar until fine crumbs form.  With the machine running, pour the butter through the feed tube until combined.  I don’t have a food processor, so I used a large freezer bag to crush the graham crackers with a rolling-pin and then added the crumbs to a bowl, where I then mixed in the other ingredients and the butter.  Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch tart pan.  I used a glass to make the bottom nice and even.  Bake until golden brown and fragrant, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely.                                                 
  2. For the topping: In a small saucepan, combine hazelnuts, sugar, salt and water.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute.  Drain hazelnuts and spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (apparently this is pretty important: I used wax paper instead and it started to smolder and burn in the oven!!).  Bake until nuts are toasted and shiny, about 15 minutes.  Let cool completely.
  3. For filling:  In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup cream to a simmer; remove from heat and add chocolate.  Let stand 5 minutes; whisk to combine, then let cool to room temperature.  In a large chilled bowl (which I throw in the freezer and then have a glass of wine), whip remaining 1 cup cream with the confectioner’s sugar until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in chocolate mixture until combined – what is folding?? Use a rubber spatula and make a line right down the middle of your bowl; gently scoop and fold the chocolate into the whipped cream, rotate the bowl and do this over and over until both ingredients are combined.  It can take a minute or two to get it fully incorporated.  The idea is to keep your whipped cream fluffy and light, while coaxing in the chocolate.  Pour the filling into the baked tart shell and refrigerate for two hours.  Top with candied hazelnuts just before serving.

Luckily my husband liked it.  What do you think?

Happy Father’s Day honey I love you!!

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