Whenever I long to be in Italy, I grow nostalgic for chocolate and hazelnut treats. I fell for the rich and nutty combination in my travels and whether it be savoring a few nougatine with my afternoon espresso, or indulging in a cup of gianduja gelato for dessert, I simply can’t get enough of the duo.
With Italy in mind, I dreamed up this chocolate-hazelnut tart. The brown butter-hazelnut crust is crisp and buttery, a perfect counterpoint to the silky chocolate filling. There’s not a slip of cream in the entire recipe, so you can eat two slices relatively guilt-free, or if you must have your cream, whip it into a topping just before serving. I dusted my tart with unsweetened cocoa powder and added a sprinkle of chopped chocolate-covered hazelnuts; the choice is yours!
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Filling & Topping
1/4 cup Nutella
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups reduced fat (2%) milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Unsweetened cocoa, for dusting
2 Tbsp chocolate-covered hazelnuts, chopped
For the crust, preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 14-inch rectangular removable-bottom tart pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Add brown butter to flour mixture and stir until incorporated; press mixture in the bottom and up the sides of prepared tart pan. Bake for 24 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Place Nutella in a small bowl and microwave until melted, about 30 seconds; set aside to cool slightly. Whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Once mixture comes to a boil, continue whisking for about 2 minutes, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in Nutella and vanilla.
Pour filling into cooled shell and place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Before serving, dust tart with cocoa and top with chopped hazelnuts. Use a sharp knife to cut into wedges. Store leftovers in the refrigerator loosely covered.
Yield – 12 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
Calories – 225
Carbs – 24