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Recipe of the week: the chocolate tart

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Written by:
Recipe of the week: the chocolate tart

When we opened Wildair, we knew we wanted two desserts and we wanted them to be really crowd pleasing, really simple. This chocolate tart is both.

I adapted this chocolate-hazelnut crémeux from something I learned in a Jean-Georges recipe, which I always liked because it was something you could really manipulate and change, something you could pipe instead of fill [see examples, right]. From there, it was kind of obvious to me that it should be a tart filling, since it needed something crunchy and a tart shell would provide that much-needed texture. That other crunchy part beneath is a filling made from feuilletine and hazelnuts – it really reminds me of a Ferrero Rocher candy. My dad always had boxes and boxes of the things. It was all he ate. Maybe that’s where this came from.

Sometimes people think I’ve taken it off the menu or changed it just because we change the style of piping or plating– it’s just a way to mix it up without changing the fundamental components. Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere.

Serves 4

For the pâte sucrée
83g plain flour, plus more for dusting
15g buckwheat flour
23g cornflour
1g kosher salt
62g unsalted butter
41g sugar
1g vanilla extract
50g eggs

For the praline feuilletine
100g hazelnuts
100g sugar
20g glucose
Rapeseed oil
50g feuilletine
6g kosher salt

For the assembly
Chocolate-hazelnut crémeux (see recipe below)
Flaky sea salt

For the pâte sucrée

Whisk together the plain flour, buckwheat flour, cornflour and salt in a medium bowl.

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and continue to beat until well combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Wrap the dough in cling film and pat to a square 2.5 cm thick. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1.5mm. Using a 12.5cm ring cutter, punch out rounds (you can chill it if it’s feeling too soft to cut).

Shimmy four rounds of dough into four 10cm ring moulds, pressing to get into the edges of the mould. Place on the lined baking sheet.

Bake until the dough is evenly golden brown, for 12-15 minutes. Feel free to do this with the remaining dough and eat them as snacks.

For the praline feuilletine

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Spread the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown and fragrant, 10-15 minutes.

Line a second sheet pan with a Silpat. Combine the sugar, glucose and just enough water to make the texture of wet sand in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the caramel is a light-amber honey colour, add the hazelnuts and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and quickly transfer the hazelnuts to the lined sheet pan and let cool completely.

Break up the praline and transfer to a food processor. Pulverise until the texture is slightly grainy and chunky but won’t break down further. Add a bit of canola oil and continue to process until the praline is smooth and the consistency of loose peanut butter (the longer you pulverise, the runnier it will become; be careful not to overprocess or add too much oil too fast).

Transfer to a large bowl with the feuilletine and salt and mix to coat the feuilletine evenly (it’ll look a bit wet, like a weird Rice Krispies treat). Set aside.

Chocolate-hazelnut crémeux

Makes about 600g

1 sheet silver gelatin

166g milk

166g whipping cream

230g gianduja chocolate, chopped

60g unsalted butter

Flaky sea salt

Soak the gelatin in a bowl of ice water until completely softened. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a pan. Squeeze the water from the gelatin, add to the pan, and stir to dissolve.

Pour the hot milk/ cream mixture over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and use a hand mixer to blend until completely smooth. Add the butter and blend until smooth. Season with flaky sea salt and transfer to a large bowl (or pastry bag if piping) and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least three hours.

For the assembly

Spoon a bit of the praline feuilletine into the bottom of the tart shell, using the bottom of a spoon to make an even layer. Pipe a generous amount of chocolate-hazelnut crémeux into the shell however you like. Finish with flaky sea salt.

Book review: A Very Serious Cookbook by Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske >>

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