Friday, February 21, 2014


I actually meant to post this recipe for Valentines, but I guess I’m a day late and a dollar short of that!  

Thanks to the Olympics Billy had a little time off in the middle of a busy hockey season so we took a little trip to the Florida Keys for a little fun in the sun!  Although we have the same climate here, it just feels different in the Keys!

We fished.

We kayaked on Spanish Harbor at Big Pine Key.  (That speck in the sky is the moon, it looks cooler when the pics enlarged.)

We watched romantic sunsets in Key West.

And of course we ate Key Lime pie every night!

What would have been great; would have been to have a Key Lime pie recipe to share with y’all…Ya that would have been great, but I haven’t made a Key Lime pie in a long time; I do however, have a most delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Tart recipe!

Chocolate and hazelnuts are one of my very favorite flavor combinations; my cupboard is never without a jar or two of Nutella tucked away somewhere inside!

For this tart I didn’t feel like rolling out pastry for the tart shell so I came up with a pastry that is between a typical pie dough, and short bread that you just press into the tart pan, no fuss no muss. 
The filling is basically Frangipani but made with mostly hazelnuts instead of almonds. 

And it’s all topped off with a thin layer of dark chocolate.  The result is a tasty tart that, in spite of all that chocolate, is not too rich or too sweet.  It’s perfect ending to a romantic dinner, or just to snack on with a cup of tea or an espresso.

Here's what you do.

Start by making the tart shell, which is like a cross between pie dough and shortbread.

Into a large bowl sift together the flour, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

Cut in some cold, cubed butter.

Until the butter is the size of peas.

Stir in a beaten egg.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time up to 5 tablespoons; the dough will appear crumbly, but will hold together when you squeeze it together in your hand

Now dump the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan that's been sprayed with cooking spray and press it firmly using your hands or the flat bottom of a measuring cup.

Cover the bottom of the pan and up the sides, making it an even layer; now refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Lay a sheet of parchment paper in the tart shell and fill it with pie weights; I actually have dried beans that I use over and over again just for blind baking pastries (note that once the beans have been baked, they cannot be eaten).  Blind bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

For the Hazelnut filling.

Pulse the hazelnuts with a little of the sugar in a food processor, just until it resembles sand.
If you can't find peeled hazelnuts in the store, go here for instructions on how to peel hazelnuts.

Because the hazelnuts and almonds are different sizes and textures, I process them separately; these are the almonds which have been pulsed with some sugar.

Add the ground nuts to a bowl with flour and give it a stir to mix.

In a large bowl beat some softened butter with the remaining sugar until fluffy.

Add the whole eggs and egg yolks.

Beat that until it's pale yellow and fluffy.

Beat in a little Frangelico hazelnut liquor.

Add the nut and flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir it with a spatula.

Pour that into the prepared tart shell and smooth the mixture out.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden in color. 

Toast some chopped hazelnuts in a skillet, and put those to the side, they will be used to garnish the tart.

To make the ganache.

Pour some heated heavy cream into some finely chopped bittersweet chocolate; whisk together until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

Whisk in a pat of butter and a little Frangelico.

Pour the ganache over the cooled tart and spread the ganache to the edges, finally garnish with the hazelnuts that were toasted earlier.

The perfect ending to a romantic dinner, or enjoyed with a cappucino!


Makes a 10 inch tart


1 ½         cups        Flour
2 ½         Tbsp.       Confectioner’s sugar
2             Tbsp.       Cocoa powder
½            tsp.        Salt
½ cup + 2 Tbsp.       Cold butter, cut into small cubes
1                          Egg, slightly beaten
1-5          Tbsp.       Ice water

   1.       Sift the flour, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and salt together into a large bowl.
   2.       Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by using two knives, until the butter is about the size of peas.  Stir in the egg, and add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, though the dough will appear crumbly it will hold together when you squeeze a little in your hand
   3.       Spray a 10 inch tart pan with some cooking spray and then pour the dough into the pan and press it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 
   4.       Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
   5.       To blind bake the pastry; lay a sheet of parchment paper over the dough and pour some pour some baking weights (or dried beans, which can be used over and over for this purpose).  Bake the tart shell for 10 to 15 minutes, just until the dough is not raw in the center.  Now it’s ready to fill.

Note:  This easy method makes for a rustic pastry tart, if you prefer smooth dough, skip step 3.  Instead form press the dough into a disk shape, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes it can be rolled out like traditional pastry.


1              cup         Hazelnuts, skins removed
1/3           cup         Almonds, slivered blanched
¾             cup         Sugar
5              Tbsp.        Flour
½             cup         Butter, softened to room temperature
2                            Whole eggs
2                            Egg yolks
1 ½          Tbsp.        Frangelico liqueur

   1.       Pulse the hazelnuts and ¼ cup of the sugar in food processor until it resembles sand; put that into a medium bowl and set to the side.  Pulse the almonds with 2 tablespoons of sugar in the food processor until it resembles sand; add that to the hazelnuts.  Mix the flour into the ground nuts.
   2.       In a large bowl whisk together the butter with the remaining sugar.  Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, and Frangelico until smooth.


1/3           cup         Heavy cream
4              oz.          Bittersweet chocolate, chopped small
1              Tbsp.       Butter, room temperature
1              Tbsp.       Frangelico Liqueur
1.       Heat the heavy cream until it’s hot, either in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. 
2.       Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl, pour the heated cream over the chocolate and whisk it together until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Whisk the butter and Frangelico into the melted mixture.  Use immediately or it will firm up before it can be poured.


2              Tbsp.       Hazelnuts, chopped finely

   1.       Place the chopped hazelnuts into a small skillet and toast over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the hazelnuts are golden brown.


1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Pour the hazelnut filling into the partially baked tart shell and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is an even gold color.  Allow the tart to cool completely.
3.  Pour the warm ganache over the tart and spread in an even layer over the entire tart (an off-set spatula is helpful).  Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts around the perimeter in an attractive manner.  Allow the ganache to set for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

You may also like:

Peanut Butter & Banana Cake with Peanut Butter & Honey Frosting
Fresh Fig and Raspberry Tart

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a fantastic holiday Kari.
    The chocolate hazelnut combination is gorgeous, both are among my favorite ingredients for dessert.