Rustic Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart

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Due to the technical difficulties, I was unable to share a recipe to this past Sunday dinner.  But I was still thinking about my little space in the internet world and managed to capture a picture of the sweet ending to our meal.  If you are a reader, you know that I love my tarts. This one would certainly qualify as a new love.  In fact, I have made it twice in the last couple of weeks.

Normally most of my tarts are baked in a tart pan, but this one is rolled out into an odd oval shape, giving it more of a rustic look (hence the name).  The filling is made with beaten egg whites into which melted chocolate has been folded.  This technique lends a slightly fudgy, almost meringue-like texture.  The original recipe called for walnuts or pecans (and those would be good options), but I adore the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, so I use chopped hazelnuts and a little bit of Frangelico.  A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream and a garnish of chocolate covered hazelnuts provides the finishing touch.
Printable Recipe

Rustic Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart
serves 8-10

For the Butter Pastry
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons cold water, divided

For the Filling
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Dark chocolate covered hazelnuts, chopped

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

For the Butter Pastry

Position oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400º F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor (or a medium bowl with a hand held pastry blender) combine the flour and salt.  Add the butter and process or blend until the butter is the size of coarse bread crumbs.  Sprinkle in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the water and process or toss just until moist enough to hold together when pressed.  If necessary, add 1 1/2 teaspoons more water to get the dough to hold together.  Gather the dough into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 13 1/2- x 8- inch oval.  Transfer pastry to parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake until light golden, about 10-12 minutes (center will still be slightly raw).

For the Filling
Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave until chocolate is almost melted, stirring frequently.  Remove from microwave.  Stir until melted; set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form.  With motor running, gradually add sugar and salt.  Increase speed to medium high and beat until whites are stiff but not dry.  Fold in hazelnuts, liqueur, and melted chocolate just until combined.

Remove pastry from the oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.  Using a rubber spatula, spread chocolate filling over partially baked pastry leaving a 1/4-inch edge.  Bake until surface is dry and slightly cracked, but filling is still fudgy inside, about 10 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes.  Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Garden: Chocolate 

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