Chocolate Nut Tart

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Chocolate Nut Tart
Recipe from Tartine (Chocolate Hazelnut Tart; page 51)

This recipe yields a rich chocolate filling topped with crunchy nuts enveloped in a satisfyingly crisp and buttery crust. It’s worth the time and effort.

Makes about: 1 9-inch tart, or 3 ~4-inch tartlets
Prep time: Tart shell making~30 minutes; Filling~20 minutes
Bake time: Tart shells, ~15 minutes; Filling, ~9 minutes

Total time: ~1.5+ hours

tart dough (makes 4 9-inch tart shells; this dough freezes well, so it’s easier to make more for future use. Otherwise, adjust accordingly to your use)
1 cup + 2tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 ½ cup all-purpose flour.

filling
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp orange zest (optional)
¼ cup brandy (optional)

topping
Nuts, ~1 cup.
The original recipe calls for 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts with skins rubbed off. You could substitute with toasted almonds. In this picture, I toasted slivered almonds and topped the tart.

Special equipment
Tart or tartlet pans
Rolling pin
Parchment paper
Hand mixer

Directions
[Preheat oven to 325F]
Tart dough (directions for full recipe):

  1. Beat butter until smooth. (Use a hand mixer or do it by hand, with a fork.)
  2. Add sugar, and salt. Mix until smooth.
  3. Add 1 egg and combine. Mix in remaining egg until smooth.
  4. Add in flour and mix until combined.
  5. Divide dough into 4 equal balls and shape each ball into a ½ inch thick disk. Wrap in parchment paper (or plastic wrap) and chill until it hardens (~2h, or a bit faster in the freezer). You cannot roll the dough thinly unless it is chilled.
  6. When the dough is ready, you can line the tart pan. Place dough on piece of parchment paper (or lightly floured surface). Cover with another piece of parchment paper (or just flour the top), and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, starting from the center. Dough is rolled out sufficiently when dough extends ~1 inch around all sides of the tart pan.
  7. Transfer dough to tart pan. A few options
    1. Remove parchment paper and carefully lower dough into pan.
    2. Remove parchment paper from top of dough. Place tart pan upside down on top of dough, then carefully flip pan over. Press dough inside pan and remove parchment paper
    3. Using a fork, make small holes about 2inches apart in the bottom of the tart shell. This prevents allows air trapped below to escape, and ensures that the dough stays flat against the pan.
    4. For partially baked shells, bake 5-7 minutes for tartlets and 7-10 minutes for a full tart. For a fully baked shell, bake about 5 minutes longer, until golden brown. For the chocolate tart, you will want a fully baked shell.

Chocolate Filling

  1. Melt butter, 1/3 cup of sugar, and brandy (if using) over low-medium heat.
  2. Remove pot from heat and add chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, salt, and zest (if using). Using a hand mixer on high speed, beat the mixture until it is very pale yellow, and flows off the whisk in a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl. Takes 3+ minutes; be patient—it will eventually come together!
  4. Pour 1/3 of egg mixture into the melted chocolate and mix.
  5. Fold in remaining egg mixture with a rubber spatula. Your goal is to combine ingredients without eliminating too many bubbles. Here’s a useful video that shows how to do it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP4vbktd-PM

 

Assembly

  1. Pour filling into prepare pastry shell. Smooth surface with a spatula or knife.
  2. Arrange nuts evenly on top (or in a pattern, if desired).
  3. Bake at 325F for about 7-9 minutes, until the surface of the filling loses some of its shine, but has not puffed up.
  4. Let cool, and enjoy!
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