Monday, April 5, 2010

Hazelnut and Chocolate Ganache Tart

I am posting the recipe up now, before I have made it ... so I don't lose my train of thought (I am amalgamating a few recipes here)

Hazelnut and Chocolate Ganache Tart


Tart Shell (See recipe below)
100g Hazelnuts (whole)
230 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream/thickened cream
1 tablespoon alcohol (brandy, Grand Marnier, rum or bourbon) or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Roasting Hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the hazelnuts for 10 - 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister and the nuts are fragrant. Remove from oven and wrap the nuts in a clean towel and steam for 5 minutes. Rub the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool. Remove 1/2 to use as garnish.

Coarsely chopped the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl (preferrably pyrex). In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil. Immediately, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Gently stir the mixture until smooth and then add the alcohol (or vanilla extract).

Line base of tart shell with hazelnuts - sporadic, not packed in.
Pour ganache filling into the base of the tart shell and allow to set for one hour (or until firm) in the fridge.
After it has 'set', remove from the fridge and decorate with remainder hazelnuts.

nb: best served at room temperature.

Basic Tart Shell Recipe
Makes two - 23 cm tart shells.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (skip for savory tarts)
225 grams unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of ice water
1.In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour water in a slow, steady stream until the dough just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
2.Turn the dough out onto your work surface on parchment paper (you will need this later on) and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a disk, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. At this point you can also freeze the second dough for later use.
3.Place the pastry back on the parchment paper and flatten with your hands. Cover with cling film and roll out the pastry to fit into your tart pan. With the parchment paper it is easy to turn the pastry round as you are rolling, it never sticks on the counter, no flour is required to be added and it is easy to flip into the tart pan.
4.When you have inverted the dough in the tart pan, cut off any dough, which is in excess, prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover with the same cling film you used and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter.

For baking the tart shell
1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place rack in centre of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with the parchment paper you have already used and cover with beans or any other similar weight, making sure the beans are evenly distributed over the entire surface.
2.Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove beans and cool crust on wire rack.
Proceed with desired recipe that calls for a pre-baked shell.

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