Wednesday, 2 March 2016

My kind of (Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse) Tart

This is my kind of tart. Hazelnuts, chocolate, cream cheese, praline. Could there be a better combination?

Hazelnut and chocolate are one of my favourite food matches. In this tart it's combined richly but not excessively sweetly with a creamy cheesecake-type filling and topped with a chocolate Frangelico ganache. It is absolutely delicious and not at all tricky or time consuming (I know! Hard to believe, huh?).

This recipe calls for shop-bought hazelnut praline paste. I have never heard of or seen such a thing (that I can remember) so I made some praline and added in a bit of oil to make it into a paste, as Rose suggested. (Yes I made toffee and it went fine.)

I had a moment of panic in my local small supermarket when I thought they were out of blanched hazelnuts. Lucky I found the last lonely packet on the shelf. Let's hope they stock up again. Otherwise future projects will be made with hazelnuts with skins because there is no way I'm standing over a pot of boiling hazelnuts. I have my limits.

Actually I needed more than one packet but I manage to eek it out to make enough praline for the tart base and the mousse filling. 

I was surprised that the base worked so well since the mixture turned out so wet. It seemed pretty unlikely that I'd be able to press it into the tart tin smoothly but, lo and behold, it worked! I was just congratulating myself (well the cat doesn't provide much positive reinforcement) when I noticed that some of the sugar in the small processor bowl had whizzed itself out into the big bowl during the base whizzing procedure. It was quite a lot. Damn. I gingerly peeled off the gladwrap, sprinkled the recalcitrant sugar over the base and sort of massaged it in with a fork. I could have taken out the mixture, mixed it in properly and put it back but somehow that didn't seem like an attractive option... 

Amazingly it seemed to be okay. The gods of cooking were feeling kind that day.

After last week's mediocre efforts I tested the oven and found the heat was fluctuating. I monitored the heat while I baked the base and it may have overcooked a little on the sides but it was mostly fine. It's quite an unusual base - a wet mixture, a cakey texture when baked, and then you press it down to compact the puffiness. 

The mousse filling was so ridiculously easy to mix I even had the energy to put the beater blades in the fridge to cool before whipping the cream.

Mmmm, looks delicious. I wonder how it'll taste? And, more to the point, I wonder why the Frangelico bottle is wearing that rather snazzy rope belt? Does everyone's Frangelico bottle sport the same natty (knotty) nautical style?

I didn't make the chocolate ganache by Rose's exacting and probably superior method. Instead I blasted the chocolate and cream at intervals in the microwave and stirred. It looked pretty good. And anyway there was Frangelico.

Next week the Alpha Bakers are making Coconut Cupcakes with milk chocolate ganache.


  1. Very pretty tart! Honestly, boiling the hazelnuts is the easiest part and popping them into cold water with ice cubes makes the skins slide right off. Tedious slipping them out of their skins but not difficult.
    I really wish I could taste your tart because mine is sorely lacking in flavor. Well done making the praline powder.

  2. beautiful! you are lucky to be able to get peeled hazelnuts. but Vicki is right--they are really easy to peel and those skins can be bitter!

  3. Gorgeous tart! We get our hazelnuts blanched as fact I have not seen hazelnuts with skin on them. Beautiful tart and i bet it taste even more delicious than it looks here.