Recipe

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

By Tim Chin

For this holiday tart I took inspiration from one of the best desserts out there: a spoonful of Nutella. This tart features a hazelnut crust, hazelnut whipped cream, and hazelnut sugar on top. But the really special layer is the chocolate ganache. I employ a technique that French chemist Hervé This developed in the 1990s. He created a dairy-free chocolate Chantilly, or whipped chocolate, by melting chocolate with an abundant amount of water (equaling as much as 90 percent of the weight of the chocolate in some cases) and then whipping it to achieve a mousse-like texture. Without the cream found in a normal ganache to mask the flavor, the result is something intensely chocolaty and decadent. After melting the chocolate in the water with a little sugar, I rapidly cool the mixture over an ice bath to partially crystallize the cocoa butter, form a stable emulsion, and trap a small amount of air. The result is an intense hit of creamy dark chocolate to balance all that hazelnut. Grab your spoons.  

Yield
Serves 6 to 8
HazelnutChocolateTart-50.jpg
Ingredients

Tart Dough

110 g confectioners' sugar
58 g blanched hazelnuts, toasted
2 g kosher salt
20 g egg yolk (1 large yolk)
10 g heavy cream
56 g unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
120 g all-purpose flour

Chocolate Filling

475 g plus 130 g water, divided
475 g ice cubes
150 g bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher), chopped
40 g granulated sugar
1 g kosher salt

Hazelnut Whipped Cream

235 g heavy cream
1 g plus 1 g kosher salt, divided
32 g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Tart Dough

1 cup confectioners' sugar
½ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1  large egg yolk
2 teaspoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

Chocolate Filling

2 cups plus ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
4 cups ice cubes
5⅓ ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher), chopped
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Hazelnut Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Instructions
    • 110 g confectioners’ sugar
    • 58 g blanched hazelnuts, toasted
    • 2 g kosher salt
    • 20 g egg yolk (1 large yolk)
    • 10 g heavy cream
    • 56 g unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
    • 120 g all-purpose flour

    For the Tart Dough: Process sugar, hazelnuts, and salt in food processor until fine and powdery, about 1 minute. Measure out 95 grams sugar mixture and set aside. Whisk egg yolk and cream together in small bowl and set aside. Add butter to remaining sugar mixture in food processor and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Gradually add egg mixture and process until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add flour and process until mixture forms cohesive dough, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to counter and briefly knead until smooth. Roll dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper into 12-inch round. Transfer dough, still between parchment, to baking sheet and freeze until cold and stiff, about 15 minutes. 
  1. Transfer dough to counter, discard top sheet of parchment, and lightly dust dough with flour. When dough is slightly pliable, 1 to 3 minutes, ease dough over rolling pin and roll it up loosely, peeling away bottom sheet of parchment. Unroll dough on top of tart pan and ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners with your other hand. Gently press dough into fluted sides of pan, forming distinct seam along pan circumference. Run rolling pin over top of pan to remove excess dough. Place dough-lined pan on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. (Dough-lined pan can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month.)
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C. Remove dough-lined pan from refrigerator and, using skewer, poke 30 small holes, evenly spaced, in dough on bottom. Bake tart shell on baking sheet until edges just begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove tart shell from oven and let cool while preparing filling.
    • 475 plus 130 g water, divided
    • 475 g ice cubes
    • 150 g bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher), chopped
    • 40 g granulated sugar
    • 1 g kosher salt

    For the Chocolate Filling: Combine 475 grams water and ice cubes in large bowl to make ice bath. Place chocolate, 130 grams water, sugar, and salt in metal or glass bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer bowl to ice bath and chill, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and registers between 75 and 80 degrees F/24 and 27 degrees C, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove bowl from ice bath and continue to stir 30 seconds longer. Transfer filling to cooled tart shell and tap baking sheet lightly on counter to release air bubbles; refrigerate tart until set, about 1 hour. (Tart can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
    • 235 g heavy cream
    • 1 g plus 1 g kosher salt, divided
    • 32 g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

    For the Hazelnut Whipped Cream: In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream and 1 gram salt on high speed until frothy and slightly thickened. Add 80 grams reserved sugar mixture and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove tart from refrigerator. Remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter. Spread whipped cream evenly over chocolate layer. Using fine-mesh strainer, dust tart with remaining 15 grams reserved sugar mixture. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and 1 gram salt, cut into wedges, and serve.
Instructions
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • ½ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
    • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

    For the Tart Dough: Process sugar, hazelnuts, and salt in food processor until fine and powdery, about 1 minute. Measure out ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar mixture and set aside. Whisk egg yolk and cream together in small bowl and set aside. Add butter to remaining sugar mixture in food processor and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Gradually add egg mixture and process until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add flour and process until mixture forms cohesive dough, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to counter and briefly knead until smooth. Roll dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper into 12-inch round. Transfer dough, still between parchment, to baking sheet and freeze until cold and stiff, about 15 minutes.
  1. Transfer dough to counter, discard top sheet of parchment, and lightly dust dough with flour. When dough is slightly pliable, 1 to 3 minutes, ease dough over rolling pin and roll it up loosely, peeling away bottom sheet of parchment. Unroll dough on top of tart pan and ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into corners with your other hand. Gently press dough into fluted sides of pan, forming distinct seam along pan circumference. Run rolling pin over top of pan to remove excess dough. Place dough-lined pan on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. (Dough-lined pan can be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 month.)
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F/160 degrees C. Remove dough-lined pan from refrigerator and, using skewer, poke 30 small holes, evenly spaced, in dough on bottom. Bake tart shell on baking sheet until edges just begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove tart shell from oven and let cool while preparing filling.
    • 2 cups plus ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
    • 4 cups ice cubes
    • 5⅓ ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher), chopped
    • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

    For the Chocolate Filling: Combine 2 cups water and ice cubes in large bowl to make ice bath. Place chocolate, ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, sugar, and salt in metal or glass bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, until chocolate is fully melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer bowl to ice bath and chill, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and registers between 75 and 80 degrees F/24 and 27 degrees C, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove bowl from ice bath and continue to stir 30 seconds longer. Transfer filling to cooled tart shell and tap baking sheet lightly on counter to release air bubbles; refrigerate tart until set, about 1 hour. (Tart can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • ¼ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

    For the Hazelnut Whipped Cream: In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream and ¼ teaspoon salt on high speed until frothy and slightly thickened. Add ⅔ cup reserved sugar mixture and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Remove tart from refrigerator. Remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter. Spread whipped cream evenly over chocolate layer. Using fine-mesh strainer, dust tart with remaining 2 tablespoons reserved sugar mixture. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and ¼ teaspoon salt, cut into wedges, and serve.
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