Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte: Guest Blogger Regina, Queen of the Chennaults!

Please welcome guest blogger Regina Chennault of Queen of the Chennaults who brings us a little taste of her amazing baking skills!  ~Luisa

I got my inspiration from Martha Stewart's chocolate macadamia nut tart. I love hazelnut with chocolate, so I thought why not use hazelnut instead? Chocolate and hazelnut can never go wrong! The first time I made this tart it wasn't pretty, because I had a very hard time removing hazelnut skin, finally I just gave up. Also, I followed the filling recipe from Martha Stewart (except skipping bourbon and changing macadamia nut to hazelnut), and the tart turned out too greasy because of too much butter used.

This time, I searched online first before getting my hands on the skinning hazelnut-- and... ta da! The trick worked like a charm! If you are trying this recipe, be sure to check out my notes at the bottom on removing hazelnut skin. For the filling, I also cut down sugar and butter.

If you like Nutella, you'll love this tart. My whole family is loving it; we have to control ourselves not to eat too much at one serving. The crust is flaky, and the filling is not oily at all. In my opinion, the tart tastes best when it's chilled, but don't let me stop you! After all, who can resist the temptation of chocolate and hazelnut?

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart (makes one 9 inch tart)

for tart shell:
1 cup cake flour
5 tbsp ground hazelnut (with skin)– toasted
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
2 tbsp beaten egg-- see note below

for filling:
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp golden rum
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs-- beaten-- see note below
6 oz (about 1 cup) bittersweet chocolate chip
1/2 cup flour
2 cups toasted whole hazelnuts (skin off)-- see note below

To make tart shell:
  1. Combine cake flour and ground hazelnut then set aside. Using a whisk, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg, whisk to combine.
  2. Sift in 1/3 of flour mixture. Using a spatula gently mix the flour on the top, then press down the flour to the bottom of the bowl to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 batches. When all mixture starts to form a dough, take it out and shape it to a ball with both hands (avoid kneading the dough!).
  3. Put the round dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, roll it out large enough to fit tart pan. Remove plastic wrap and transfer the dough to tart pan and fold inwards any extra dough so all sides have same thickness. Prick the bottom of tart, then chill the tart for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Blind bake tart for 15 minutes. Cool the tart in the tart pan slightly before pouring in filling.
To make Chocolate Hazelnut Tart:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter over a double boiler. Whisk in sugar, rum, salt and beaten eggs. Add in chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate almost melts. Remove from heat. Whisk in flour until smooth.
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into tart shell, then layer hazelnut evenly on the top, pressing hazelnuts half way down. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn down heat to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes, until the crust and hazelnuts are golden brown. Cover the top with foil if it browns too fast. Cool the tart on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Regina's Note:
  • Beaten eggs: I beat 2 eggs in a bowl, scooped out 2 tbsp for tart shell and used the remaining for filling.
  • How to skin hazelnut: boil hazelnuts and 1 tsp of baking soda in a deep pot, covered with enough water, for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to use a deep pot as the water will spill after adding baking soda. Drain hazelnuts. Rub the skin and it should come off easily.  Pat skin-off hazelnuts dry, then toast them in the 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes.