02 July 2010

Recipe - Chocolate And Nutella Tart

Recipe - Chocolate And Nutella Tart

England's football team were abject last Sunday, but the Chocolate And Nutella Tart recipe from the French patisserie chef, Pierre Hermé, was the perfect compensation - sweet, rich and complex in taste that left you just wanting more.  In one of my personal quests, to get better at making pastry, I treated myself to Pierre Hermé's "Chocolate Desserts".  I appreciate I am so behind the times as this was published in 2001, but us country folk take a little longer to catch up with you fast and quick city folk; anyway, I got there in the end. 

Nutella Tart By Pierre Herme

We had some friends around for sunday lunch yesterday, and, with England playing Germany and it being forecast to be the hottest day of the year, I decided to make roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and green beans then top it off with a chocolate tart, raspberries and cream.  The roast was spot on, while the Chocolate And Nutella Tart was a revelation - the sweet pastry is a soft, delicate, marzipan affair while the filling is a glorious melding of the sweet, nutty familiarity of Nutella and the rich, dense velvety texture of pure chocolate.  We served the tart with rasperries and cream, which were a perfect combination, as you got the slight tartness of the rasperries to offset the pure sweet richness of the chocolate ganache.

For me, it was the sweet pastry that was the real excitement, even if the chocolate was pure joy.  It's lucky I made enough for three sweet tarts, so I can next try his other chocolate masterpieces.

For those without Pierre Hermé's book, here's the recipe which has been slightly tweaked, for better or worse:

The crust

1 fully baked 22cm / 8¾ inch tart shell made from Sweet Pastry Dough, cooled to room temperature (see separate blog)

The filling

200g / 7 oz Nutella or other chocolate & hazelnut spread

140g / 4¾ oz  dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces

200g / 7 oz unsalted butter

1 large egg, lightly whisked (at room temperature)

3 large egg yolks, lightly whisked (at room temperature)

2 TBSP caster sugar (or other type such as granulated)

50g / 1½ oz toasted hazelnuts, skinned and chopped 

1.  Preheat the oven to 190oC / 375oF.

2.  Spread the Nutella evenly over the base of the baked tart crust and set aside while you make the ganache.

Nutella Spread Into Baked Crust

3.  Melt the chocolate and the butter in sperate bowls either over simmering water or in the microwave.  Leave to cool until they feel just still warm - he suggests 40oC / 104oF, but the touch test worked fine for me.

4.  Using a hand whisk, stir the egg gently into the cooled melted chocolate, taking care not to add air as this is not meant to be airy and fluffy.  Next, stir in the egg yolks slowly but surely, then the sugar.  Finally, stir in the melted butter - this takes a little bit of patience at first, as the butter really didn't feel as though it would be miscible, but it got there, eventually.  Pour the chocolate ganache over the Nutella in the tart shell.  Sprinkle over the roasted hazelnuts.

5.  Bake for 11 minutes, then remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool.  Allow the tart to cool for at least 20 minutes or until it reaches room temperature. 

6.  Eat on its own or with cream or with raspberries and cream, but whatever, enjoy a moment of pure, divine decadence.

Baked Hazelnut And Chocolate Tart

Herme's Chocolate & Nutella Tart