Sunday, May 23, 2010

Three Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Alexandra and Christopher served Roasted Pork Loin with Gewürztraminer-Apricot Compote with Vegetable Barley and Three-Chocolate Hazelnut Tart for my birthday in 2006. All three recipes are from Wildwood Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest by Cory Schreiber, a wonderful cookbook  which Alexandra gave me for Christmas 2005.

The cake was delicious and most certainly a labor of love. The author writes in the introduction to the recipe: "I have used hazelnuts often in this book, but no selection of hazelnut recipes would be complete without some calling for chocolate. This decadent treat blends not one, but three different chocolate: milk, bittersweet and white."

To make the pastry: In a food processor combine:

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda

Pulse 4 times to blend.

Add:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add:

2 T plus 2 t ice water

Pulse until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the processor and form into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

On parchment paper or waxed paper, roll out the dough into a 14-inch round. Dust the surface of the dough with the cocoa. Spray a 12-inch false-bottom tart pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Fit the dough into the pan, paper side up. Peel off the paper and press the dough carefully into the pan up to the top of the sides. Referigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the tart pan and spray it with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the foil on the tart pan, sprayed-side down, fitting over the dough and tucked down around the pastry. Weigh the foil down with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the dough comes out clean. Remove the tart crust from the oven, leaving the oven on, and let cool for 20 minutes.

Make the filling: In a blender or food processor combine:

4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt

Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Over the crust, evenly sprinkle:

1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and skinned [*see below]
1/2 cup chopped white chocolate (3 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped milk chocolate (3 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (3 ounces)

Pour the egg mixture over the nuts and chocolates. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is slightly puffed and set. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the tart from the pan and place on a serving pate. Cut into wedges and serve.

*TOASTING HAZELNUTS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the nuts on a large cookie sheet/jellyroll pan, spreading them out so they don't touch. Toast in the oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned, occasionally shaking the pan so the nuts toast evenly.

Remove the nuts from the oven an wrap them in dishtowel to steam and cool them. Once they have cooled a bit, roll the hazelnuts around in the towel to remove the skins. Transfer the hazelnuts to a colander with medium holes and roll them around with your hands to knock off the remainder of the skins. As the hazelnuts are skinned, remove from the colander.

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