A while ago, I attended an auction on Facebook to raise money for a very worthy cause. There were a lot of cookbooks signed by their authors to place our bids on and I bid on several of them at once. Once the auction progressed, I had to choose just one and go for it. So I started doing a bit of research on the books.
Tarts have always been my weakness and also the weak point when it comes to knowing when the dough is right. I have been wanting to get comfortable with it and make tarts just as easily as I put a green salad together. So I started with Lisa’s blog, Tarte Du Jour a while back. Her recipes turned out great and we got hooked on several of the recipes, like Goat Cheese Tart, Whole Wheat Crust, and Berry tart. The more I made tarts, the more I realized that I was lacking something in technique. So I figured I can not go wrong with a book dedicated to only tarts. My bidding ambition kicked in and I went for Holly Herrick’s book, Tart Love!
I love the book! Besides the beautiful pictures and recipes, what is needed to make a good tart, basic tart recipes with step by step instructions and tips are given on the first 8 pages of the book. Then you just dive into the world of tarts. Of course, I had to start with Nutella Tart. I have made it twice in a month. I also made Sweet Potato Tart for Thanksgiving meal as well as an appetizer from the book. Sweet potato tart was very well received on Thanksgiving and I will give the recipe for that soon as well.
I wanted to share the Nutella tart with you so before I posted this recipe, I emailed Holly to ask for a permission. Her only condition was that I pay great attention to the detail and give you a recipe free of errors. So I will do my best and try to be detailed and error-free (as much as possible). However, I can not write everything in those 8 pages to prepare you for the tarts. If you are into tarts, you will want to invest in this book. Mine already has dog-eared, butter and Nutella stained pages along with small traces of flour.
And full disclosure: I am not getting paid for this post or getting a free book to give this book a review (or even free Nutella!). My only secret motivation is to spread more Nutella Tarts in this world. Otherwise, what kind of world would we be living in?
Tart Dough (This dough recipe yields two 9-inch tarts. You can halve the measurements but I like to keep one on hand, in the freezer)
- 2-1/4 cups White Lily all purpose flour (if you do not have White Lily, find with a low protein content)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Generous pinch of sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- About 3 tablespoon ice-cold water or just enough to hold the pastry together.
- 1 egg wash (yolk, splash water, pinch salt blended together)
1. Combine dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse the contents 10-12 times.
2. Add butter, quickly blend it with 40-50 pulses in the food processor (until it resembles the size of a very coarse sand or sea salt- this tip from the book helped me a lot to figure out when to stop playing with the butter).
3. Add water gradually, until the exact moment the pastry begins the form a big, messy ball (these are Holly’s words from the book. I stopped as soon as I saw the dough coming together.).
4. Turn the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, shape it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal size balls. Flatten to a disk shape, wrap it up and chill at least 30 min in the fridge (or overnight). You can freeze one of the disks for future use. You will only use half of the dough recipe here.
5. Roll out the pastry and line a tart pan. Fold about 1/2 inch of excess (hanging) pastry back into interior wall of the pan, making the walls thicker. Make the border slightly higher than the tart pan by pressing the pastry with your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for another 20-30 min.(There is a good long section in the book about the borders.)
6. Brush the egg wash all over the bottom, sides and adges. It is ready to pour the filling in.
- 1 cup of Nutella
- 4 tablespoons of butter(I used unsalted)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (I used 1/8 teaspoon table salt)
- 3 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts( the recipe says finely chopped. I used half cup finely and half cup coarsely chopped to give it a bit of a crunch)
1. Make the pastry.Preheat the oven to 375-degrees F.
2. Cut butter in small cubes. In a small saucepan, combine butter and Nutella. On medium-low setting , melt butter (I stirred often to make sure all butter is melted). Once butter is melted, take it off the heat.Add half-and-half and stir with a sturdy spatula until it is all mixed.
3. In a big bowl, combine eggs, vanilla and salt, and stir. Add corn syrup, whisking continuously. Once it is all combined and mixture is fluffy, add Nutella mixture. Stir until all combined and smooth.
4. Fold in hazelnuts. Pour into the prepared tart shell. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden and puffy.
5. Let it cool down for 45 min or so, or chill it in the fridge overnight.
6. Serve it warm with whipped cream or icecream , or serve it cold with a hot cup of coffee. I had it both ways, cold one right out of the fridge is my favorite so far.