Tuesday, November 30
chocolate hazelnut tart
Sometimes, life just gets in the way. I'm into my second week of a new job in a new city. I've reminded myself of how to utilise public transport again after I broke up with buses over ten years ago. I'm also doing surprisingly well navigating the roads without GPS! November certainly was a month of new experiences. And now a mere three hours away from December, I am left with no more excuses. So over the weekend, I finally test drove my 'new' oven. I think it's the beginning of a good relationship.
In my absence in both baking and blogging, I've still been hoarding recipes - magazines and cookbooks aplenty have been covered in post-it notes and ideas squirreled away for a moment when I finally had time to myself. One book full of many recipes such as these has been delicious' "More Please". Broken into seasons - much like another of my favourite cookbooks from the past year or so - it's overflowing with must-try recipes, both sweet and savoury... And takes a lot of wow factor for me to lust over a savoury recipe. First cab off the rank is this modest hazelnut tart.
My grandmother used to make a delicious peanut & caramel slice which I still often crave - and this tart is like a modern day version of that very slice, with the very welcome addition of dark chocolate. It's simple to make, especially if you are willing to pay a little more and buy the Careme pastry (which is truly delicious). Be aware it does take a while to set post-oven. I ended up chilling mine a little out of impatience.
Recipe from "delicious. More Please"
300 gm packet Careme dark chocolate shortcrust pastry (or see delicious for a basic chocolate pastry recipe)
1 cup thickened cream
60 gms unsalted butter
1/4 cup glucose syrup
1 cup caster sugar
2 1/3 cups hazelnuts, roasted and skins removed
50 gms dark chocolate
Allow pastry to thaw (approximately 1 - 2 hours at room temperature) and then roll out to 5mm thick. Line a 28cm loose-bottomed tart pan with your rolled pastry and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180C.
Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice and blind bake for ten minutes. Remove baking paper and bake for a further five minutes until pastry has dried. Leave to cool while you make the filling.
Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan pan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the glucose syrup and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan, then sprinkle with the sugar. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear.
Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until a golden honey colour. Remove from the heat, then carefully whisk the cream mixture into the toffee - it will foam up a little. Return the pan to a low heat and stir to dissolve any hard toffee bits. Add the nuts and cook for a minute. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake for about 20 minutes until the tart filling is firm. Remove from the oven and cool before removing from tin.
Just before serving, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the tart.
Recommended baking soundtrack: Andrew Bird - Useless Creatures.