Can you be cute and a tart at the same time? Nutella-Hazelnut Mini Tarts
Could these little tarts be any cuter?
I have worked for Crate and Barrel for almost 20 years, half of which I’ve spent on our internet merchandising team, so new product passes before me daily. I thought it would be fun to try out our new Mini Pie Dishes and Mini Burger Press for an article in our corporate newsletter and to tie into our Facebook aka “Crate Works” cooking group called Crate Cooks. I was going to do an Americana Theme with a flight of mini burgers and mini apple pies until I saw how really mini these dishes are. Enter the amazing looking Nutella-Hazelnut Tart that Elise, The Cowgirl Chef, had posted a while back. That’s when it hit me…it’s a match made in heaven. Since I had only 3 mini pie dishes to work with, I didn’t need to make a whole recipe so was able to try out a new measuring cup with built-in scale that I had purchased a few weeks ago but had not yet used. (Yes, another product available at C&B). To say that it was the best purchase I’ve made in years (next to my professional Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and Cuisinart Professional Food Processor) would be an understatement. It’s the coolest, fairly inexpensive machine I’ve used in a long time. You set it to zero, gradually add what you are measuring and watch as the digital display climbs. If you are heavy handed and over pour, just remove some and it recalculates the weight. The recipe I was following was in both cups and grams and as any good baker knows, measuring ingredients by weight gives the best results.
I’m all about giving credit where credit is due so thanks to Elise, The Cowgirl Chef,who lives in Paris and David Lebovitz whom she credits in her blog for this great recipe.
Nutella-Hazelnut Tart from The Cowgirl Chef with some slight adaptions by moi
1 ½ cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (70 grams) stone-ground cornmeal or polenta (I used semolina)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons ( 4 1/2 oz or 130 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg, whole
1 large egg, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ to 2 cups Nutella
2 tablespoons coarse sugar or granulated sugar
2.20 oz or 62.5 grams hazelnuts
WHAT YOU DO
Preheat the oven to 375 (200 C).
1. Roast the hazelnuts by putting them in a cast-iron skillet on medium-low heat until the skins begin to split and pull away from the nut. Be patient; this may take 10 or 15 minutes or so. When you begin to smell the nuts and when the skins begin to lift, pour them into a bowl, and with a clean kitchen towel, take each hazelnut and rub the skins off. Then pop them into a small food processor and pulse a few times (you’ll want these to be coarsely ground).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal (or semolina), baking powder and salt.
3. In a KitchenAid mixer or in a food processor (I’ve used both and like the KitchenAid best), mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk (keep the egg white to use for the shiny crust later) and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until dough comes together.
4. Put the dough on a floured surface, and take one-third of the dough, roll it into a log and wrap it in plastic wrap. Put in the freezer for a half-hour. Press the rest of the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and up the sides. Freeze for a half-hour, too. (I rolled out little disks and laid them in the pie dishes and into the larger cake pan I used. Then ran a sharp knife along the edge to cut off the excess.)
5. After a half hour, take the tart crust out of the freezer, along with the dough log. Spread the Nutella all over the tart bottom, so there’s a nice, thick layer. Sprinkle the crushed hazelnuts on top. Slice thin discs and place them on top of the tart, side by side (there will be a little room in between each one, so the Nutella peeks through). Whisk the egg white with a bit of water and brush it on top of the discs and the crust edges. Sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Bake until the crust is done — it’ll be nice and golden brown — about 20-25 minutes. Be sure to let the tart cool completely before you slice it (or eat it).
Mini Nutella and Hazelnut Tart. These popped right out of the Mini Pie Dishes
thanks to the tiny ribbing on the dish.
This one was made in an 8″ cake pan with removable bottom
Toast hazelnuts until skin splits. Rub in a dishtowel to remove all skin
Roll dough out and lay into pie dishes, trim edges with sharp knife
The mini burgers I served at my taste testing dinner will be in another post. They were bison, lamb and the made-famous-by-Oprah, Mar-a-Lago Turkey burger served at “the Donald’s” private Palm Beach club by the same name. Stay tuned and get your grills fired up.