Chocolate Tart with Hazelnuts
Sweet pastry tart shells cradle rich chocolate filling for this classic dessert. The tarts are elegantly served with a halo of chocolate sauce and a dusting of cocoa powder.
- Sweet Pastry
- Unsalted Butter - 1 cup, cold
- Sugar - 1-1/3 cups
- Eggs - 2 large
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Flour - 4 cups
- Chocolate Filling
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons, softened
- Orange Zest - Zest of 1/2 orange
- Grand Marnier Liqueur - 2 tablespoons (alt. orange juice)
- Eggs - 2
- Flour - 1 tablespoon
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 4 oz, chopped
- Hazelnuts - 3-1/2 oz, toasted and chopped
- Chocolate Sauce
- Water - 2 cups
- Sugar - 2-1/2 cups
- Cocoa Powder - 2 cups
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1-1/4 cups
- Cocoa Powder - For dusting
- Chocolate sticks - 20 (optional)
To make the pastry: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and blend until smooth. Add the salt and slowly add the flour, mixing on medium speed, just until combined. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut the dough in half and set one half aside. Roll out one half of the pastry very thin and cut 5 circles to fit half of the 3-1/2-inch tart molds or ring molds placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Press the pastry into the molds, fitting it at the bottom and up the sides and trimming off the tops square with the tops of the molds. Repeat with the remaining dough and five molds. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until just starting to turn golden. Remove and cool.
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or whisk until fluffy and pale in color. Add the flour, then the zest and orange juice or liqueur, and beat or whisk until blended. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Beat or whisk the eggs into the egg mixture; the mixture will thin. Slowly add the chocolate, whisking to blend. When all of the chocolate has been added, stir in the hazelnuts. Fill the tart crusts with the chocolate mixture and put on a baking sheet. Bake 7 to 8 minutes; the centers will remain soft. Remove and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and chill if not serving immediately.
To make the sauce: Combine the water, sugar, and cocoa powder in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the cream, whisking gently as you pour. Return the mixture to the heat and bring just to a boil. Remove and let cool.
To serve: Place a chocolate tart in the center of each dessert plate. Drizzle chocolate sauce around edges of the plates, circling the tarts. Dust the tarts and plates with cocoa powder. Place two chocolate sticks across the top of each tart.