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Chocolate-Hazelnut Tart

Author: Mad Genius Tips by Justin Chapple

Ingredients

CRUST:

  • 7 oz 12 to 14 graham crackers
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 8 tbs 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbs strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

CRUST:

  • Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  • Place the graham crackers in your food processor, along with the sugar and salt. Process until you have turned your crackers to uniform crumbs. Add the melted butter and process again until the crumbs are all coated and the mixture has the texture of wet sand.
  • Grease a 9-inch fluted tart pan, I use the kind with a removable bottom. I know most instructions don’t include a greasing step, but I have regretted not doing it in the past. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to the tart pan. Use your hands or the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumbs evenly into and up the sides of the pan. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until slightly darkened and set. Let cool completely.

FILLING:

  • Increase the oven temperature to 375℉. Scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Remove the skins. This should happen easily with your fingers; alternately you can rub them in a clean, fuzz-free dish towel. See notes for more advice if needed. Coarsely chop the skinned hazelnuts and set aside.
  • In a small or medium saucepan, bring the cream and coffee just to a simmer. Add all but ¼ cup of the chopped chocolate, plus the butter and salt. Let stand for 2 minutes, then stir continuously with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell. Scatter the hazelnuts on top, gently pressing them into the chocolate.
  • Melt the remaining ¼ cup chocolate in the microwave in 20-second bursts. To avoid it seizing on you, melt it almost all the way. Stop microwaving when it’s about three-quarters of the way melted. Pull it and stir vigorously to melt it completely.
  • Immediately use a spoon to drizzle it all over the top of the tart in pretty stripes or circles (circles are way easier!).
  • Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 ½ hours, but overnight is better. Slice into wedges and serve.

Notes

Recipe is just slightly adapted from Mad Genius Tips by Justin Chapple. I found I didn’t need all the hazelnuts he calls for, and I simplified the crust slightly. One of my so-called New Year’s Resolutions that I don’t believe in making or whatever was to learn how to make tarts with pate brisee properly. I’ve tried in the past, and the crusts always shrink on me, or they look super ugly. So naturally the first tart I made in 2018 was this one, with a graham cracker crust, and it so doesn’t count. It is delicious though, not to mention gorgeous and very easy to pull off. Tart making turned out to be misplaced ambition in 2018 anyways, but someday I will get back to that little project. Not today. It’s fine.
A word on skinning hazelnuts: Chapple recommends using a cooling rack. I tried, and my hazelnuts just fell right through the cracks. A clean, fuzz-free dish towel will work, but I just use my hands. My secret to decreasing the arduousness is to roast a small handful more hazelnuts than you’ll need, and any nuts who are reluctant to release their skins just don’t get to be in the dessert. Their loss. Enjoy this lovely treat!