Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
I love making tarts, I love looking at tarts and I love eating tarts. If I could, I would bake and devour tarts on a constantly rotating cycle, eating one while baking another. Completely normal. Unfortunately, I still haven’t figured out how to get the tart in my belly without it taking a detour, rather rudely I might add, to my ass. So, when the opportunity arises to bake a tart for someone else, I’m grabbing for that sugar before my brain has the chance to inform my thighs what’s coming.
Recently, a group of us clay gals got together to celebrate our dear friend Anna’s 50th birthday. Hello excuse! I couldn’t think of a better way to enter your 50th year than chocolate. Lots and lots of delicious chocolate. This exquisite dessert is by the lovely Paola Bacchia (click here to read my interview with Paola). Paola’s dolce recipes are always so beautifully simple without losing any of their wow factor.
The decadent chocolate mixed with crunchy roasted hazelnuts and just the right amount of orange zest and marsala make this tart one of my absolute favourites.
200g (7 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
140g (5 oz) chilled butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 orange, zest only
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Marsala
280g (10 oz) roasted hazelnuts, ground
65g (2.3 oz) each dark chocolate and milk chocolate, roughly chopped then ground to the same size as the hazelnuts
90 g (3 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
125g sugar (4.5 oz)
1/2 orange, zest only
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Marsala
Grease a 25 cm (10 inch) tart tin (I actually used a rectangular tart tin for my tart this time. This may leave you with extra dough, in which case I make a little free form rustic tart too) with a removable base with butter and set aside. Place the flour, butter, baking powder, sugar and orange zest in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, so that it is a fine crumb. Drop in the egg and Marsala and beat until it just comes together. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead quickly until smooth. Roll out pastry until roughly three milimeters thick. Line the prepared tart tin and press well into the sides. Prick the base multiple times with a fork and place in the fridge to chill.
I prefer to bundle all of the roasted hazelnuts into a teatowel and smash them with a hammer. I find this method is particularly enjoyable on high stress days!
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). To make the filling, beat the butter, sugar, Marsala and orange zest for several minutes until light and creamy. Drop in the eggs and the flour and beat for a few more minutes. Now fold in the ground hazelnuts and chocolate. Pour the filling into the chilled based and flatten with a wooden spoon.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling feels firm to touch. Allow to cool then dust with cocoa powder and decorate with chopped roasted hazelnuts before serving.