This tart from Pierre Herme shows off his genius at combining textures. A crumbly tart crust is first topped with a dense, creamy layer of nutella, then a layer of rich moist chocolate filling (half way between pudding and ganache) is spread on top. Crunchy hazelnuts complete the picture. Taking a cue from his Tart Grenobloise, I piped some caramel sauce on top to add some smokiness and depth.
Here's a cross-section from one of the tartlets I made. You can see all the layers very clearly.
Need I mention that everyone loves this tart?
Adopted from Pierre Herme's Chocolate Desserts
1 Tart crust, fully baked
2/3 cup Nutella for the bottom layer
Chocolate filling for the top layer, recipe below
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and roughly chopped
Caramel sauce to drizzle on top, optional, recipe below
Spread Nutella evenly on the bottom of the tart shell.
Spread the shiny chocolate filling on top. I love the contrast.
Spread the chocolate filling evenly, then sprinkle hazelnuts on top.
Bake in a 375F oven for 11 minutes. The center of the tart will still be jiggly (it was kind of hard to tell with all the hazelnuts on top). Wait until cooled, then pipe caramel sauce on top. It's very important to let the tart cool down first, otherwise the caramel topping will melt onto the surface, like this.
I had to re-pipe the caramel a second time. Oh well, extra caramel never killed anyone : )
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (there's a typo in the book that gives the weight of 7 tablespoons of butter as 200 grams, it should be 100 grams)
1 large egg, at room temperature, stirred with a fork
3 large egg yolks, stirred with a fork
2 tablespoons sugar
Melt chocolate and butter in separate bowls. Allow them to cool until just warm to the touch (~104 F).
Stir the egg into the chocolate gently, without beating air into the ganache. Stir in the egg yolks little by little, then the sugar. Finally, stir in the warm melted butter. By now the mixture should become very shiny. Work rather quickly, or you'll find that the chocolate will cool down too much and the mixture becomes too hard to work. If that happens, just pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen up.