I love Twitter, you will often hear me say that! A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from Abby Dodge (@Abbydodge) inviting people to join her in a bake together. This is an event where Abby generously shares one of her recipes and invited the rest of us to bake it with her but using our own twist ” switching it up” as Abby says.
Well my first switch up was that I don’t have a tart dish (I know!) so I baked my base in a pie dish. The second change was that I didn’t use Graham crackers, hard to get in the UK, for once I actually do have some but decided to keep them for another time when I must have them! I substituted oat biscuits and ground, roasted hazelnuts for the Graham crackers.
The next change I made was only slight, I just used Frangelico hazelnut liqueur instead of the original rum and used a little bit more as I couldn’t seem to taste it.
I kept the vanilla cream topping the same. I’m not sure if single cream is exactly the same or a near as we get to half and half in the UK but that’s what I used. My final switch up was to decorate with some caramelized hazelnuts.
I served this Chocolate Hazelnut tart for dessert at a dinner party. My husband, who is not big on deserts really enjoyed it so that was praise indeed! It turned out well although the only taste of hazelnut was from the nuts in the base and the caramelized nuts on top,the Frangelico couldn’t seem to compete with the strong chocolate.
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart (adapted from Abby Dodge)
For the crust
- 4oz sweet oat biscuits (cookies) crushed into fine crumbs
- chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 1 oz butter
For the filling
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1.5 tablespoon Frangelico liqueur
- 1 cup single cream (half and half)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch table salt
For the topping
- 1 pack (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
- 6 fl oz double (heavy) cream
- 2 oz sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Caramelized hazelnuts
- 2 oz whole hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
To make the crust
- Heat the oven to 375°F 190 °C.
- Grease a 9 inch pie dish or if you have one, a loose bottom tart dish.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and mix in the biscuit crumbs and the chopped hazelnuts. Mix well to incorporate butter.
- Press biscuit mix into bottom of dish and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides .
- Bake until slightly darker brown about 10-12 minutes.
To make the filling:
- In a heatproof medium bowl, melt the chocolate, single cream (half and half) and butter in a microwave or over simmering water. Remove from the heat and add the Frangelico, vanilla and salt. Whisk the mixture until well blended. Set aside, whisking occasionally, until room temperature and slightly thickened, about 1 hour. (For faster cooling, refrigerate the filling until thickened to a pudding consistency, about 30 minutes, whisking and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every 5 minutes.)
- With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until the filling is set, about 4 hours and up to 1 day before proceeding with the recipe.
To make the topping:
- In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, double/heavy cream, sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat on low-speed until smooth. Increase speed to medium high and beat until cream is thick and holds firm peaks.
- Using a small metal spatula, spread the whipped cream over the chocolate filling leaving lots of swirls and peaks. Cover loosely and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
To make the Caramelized hazelnuts
- Pre heat the oven to 350°F, 180 °C
- Toast the hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until a shade darker, about 10 minutes.
- Slightly cool, then tip the hazelnuts into a tea towel and rub to remove the skins.
- Put the water, sugar and honey into a small saucepan and bring to the boil until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the nuts, stir until all nuts are coated in the syrup.
- Line the baking tray with foil and lightly oil, transfer the syrup coated hazelnuts to the baking tray with a slotted spoon leaving behind excess syrup.
- Roast the nuts until golden brown, moving nuts around once or twice during cooking, about 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil another piece of foil, remove nuts from oven and spread onto the foil so they aren’t touching.
- When hazelnuts are cool and just before serving arrange on top of the cream.