My favorite combination is chocolate and hazelnuts. When we visit my husband’s family in England, I am able to find all sorts of candy with this combination. Not so in the United States, where it is fairly rare to find anything using hazelnuts. I think this is strange since hazelnuts are commonly grown here in the Pacific Northwest. I can get hazelnuts (filberts) at the local farmer’s market.
I’m always on the lookout for recipes that combine the two. This recipe has been kicking around my email for over two years. I have made the tart before; it’s simple and doesn’t require any exotic ingredients. It’s basically a chocolate pecan pie with hazelnuts. I’ve got some other chocolate hazelnut creations in mind to make, plus I found a cookbook that contains many recipes. I’m hoping that Santa will bring that cookbook soon!
The original recipe calls for store made pie crust, but I made my own. I use the basic pie crust recipe from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts, which comes together quickly in the food processor. The first time I tried it I thought that it was strange, but making it in the food processor makes you handle it a lot less. Pie crust can be finicky; if you’re having a bad day, it never seems to work! Feel free to use store made pie crust or use your own favorite recipe.
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups peeled, chopped, and toasted hazelnuts
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
1 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
½ cup butter, cut in small pieces
1/8-1/4 cup ice water
First, make the pastry. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process for a couple of seconds to combine. Add the pieces of butter. Process in 10 2-second pulses until the mixture comes together and looks like course meal. Add the ice water, ½ teaspoon at a time, while the food processor is running. Don’t process too much or the dough will be tough. Gather dough in a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Roll out the dough to fit your pan. I used a 10-inch tart pan, but a regular 9-inch pie pan would also work.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and the flour. Add the eggs, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir well. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake for 1 hour.
Cool the tart completely before serving.
Pie crust recipe from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts. Tart recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, courtesy of the Food Network site, www.foodnetwork.com