Hello everyone! Yesterday, I spent my day studying pastry theory, as I was completely out of butter, eggs and various other ingredients. Quelle horreur! Our grocery delivery arrived in the evening, eating away at the meager hours of sunlight we do have. This meant that a proper photo session was out of the question. Have I mentioned that I love that we can get groceries delivered? As we tend buy 20kilos of flour, 10 liters of milk and 10 kilos of butter along with various other supplies, having someone delivery them directly to your front door is pure bliss! Oh gosh! You know when you’re an adult when you get excited by little things in life such as grocery delivery.
If you have been following my escapades, you may have seen this tart pass by on my Instagram a couple months ago. I’ve been wanting to remake it without having my nose glued to the cook book and “enjoy” the creative process. This is also one of the tarts that I may fall upon for the exam, so I wanted to make sure I know the recipe inside and out. Once I can make it in my sleep, I know I’ll be ready.
Background on the tart
Tarte Piémontaise is originally from Italian origins. The name itself comes from the region in Italy named Piémont, which is situated near the French-Swiss borders in the Alps. It is also known for producing some of the worlds best hazelnuts. The tart itself is quite easy to throw together; the most important aspect is respecting the resting time for the ganache so you obtain the correct consistency for creating that iconic pipped ganache topping. If in doubt, pop the ganache in the freezer for a couple minutes to thicken it a bit faster.
Start off with making a hazelnut tart crust, which is classically prepared by creaming together butter and sugar. Egg is added along with the powdered hazelnuts and flour.
While the dough rests in the fridge, we’ll proceed with the hazelnut cream. This is quite similar to the almond cream that we saw recently in the Tarte Bourdaloue. We will also be adding praliné in addition to ground hazelnuts, to up that hazelnut flavor.
We won’t par-bake this crust, so the hazelnut cream is added directly to the to the tart shell before popping that in the oven. Once the tart has cooled to room temperature, we will top it off with pipped dark chocolate ganache.
As the ganache on the Tarte Piemontaise is one of the most important elements it’s important to use a good quality ingredients. You’ll need a good quality dark chocolate “couverture”. I personally use Callebaut N°811 which has a fairly round, balanced flavor and is 54.5% cacao and is quite loved in the pastry world. If you are in the States, you can find it on Amazon.com easily enough.
In France, you can find it in any pastry supply store or at the restaurant supply store Métro Cash & Carry. A membership card that is only available to business owners or students studying pastry or cuisine is required. I’ve tried Cocao Barry’s Force Noire which is 50% cacao and the fluidity level is a bit lower than Callebaut N°811. However, according to Mr. Hubby, despite the lower percentage, it’s stronger and a tad more bitter than the Callebaut N°811. It really depends on your personally preferences. The important thing is that it is dark chocolate. Milk chocolate won’t be the same.
Did you have any difficulties with the Tarte Piemontaise? Please don’t forget to leave the recipe a review below and if there are some other recipes you’d like to see, let me know! I am always on the look out for more ideas!
- Tart Circle or Tart Pan (22cm diameter)
- Sheet Pan
- Stand Mixer
Hazelnut Tart Crust
- 100 g Butter, softened
- 60 g Powdered Sugar
- 40 g Egg, Beaten
- 2 g Salt
- 30 g Powdered Hazelnuts
- 170 g All-Purpose Flour, Type 45
- 60 g Butter, Softened
- 60 g Granulated Sugar
- 60 g Powdered Hazelnuts
- 60 g Egg, Beaten
- 10 g All-Purpose Flour Type 45
- 20 g Praliné
- 200 g Dark Chocolate Callets
- 250 g Heavy Cream, minimum 30% fat
- 50 g Butter
- 25 g Glucose, or a neutral honey
- 50 g Whole Hazelnuts, Shelled
- 100 g Granulated Sugar
Hazelnut Tart Crust
- In a bowl of the stand mixer or in the bowl of the food processor, mix the butter with the icing sugar and salt to obtain a homogeneous and creamy mixture.
- Add the egg and mix briefly. Then add in the hazelnut powder & flour. Mix just enough to form a homogeneous dough. Be careful to not over mix, as it will start working the gluten and eventually make your crust more prone to shrinkage during baking.
- Pull the dough out onto sheet of parchment paper. Using the palm of your hand, push the mixture away from you, crushing dough with the palm. Repeat three times. This action is called "fraser" in French and ensures that the butter is well incorporated.
- Pull the dough back into a ball and flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes .
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, equipped with the paddle, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix until just combined.
- Add in the hazelnut powder with the flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Add in the praline and mix again, until just combined. Try to avoid over mixing, this will make the cream inflate and possible overflow.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and lightly grease the inside of a 22cm (8.5inches) diameter tart circle. Place the circle on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If using a tart pan, I suggest using one with a false bottom.
- Removed the dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of about 3mm ( 1/4 inch), the line your tart circle/pan. Lightly pick the bottom of the tart with a fork, so the bottom of the tart shell does not inflate.
- Spread the hazelnut cream inside the tart, you can either use a piping bag or use an off-set spatula.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. It should be nicely golden. Let cool at room temperature before de-circling it.
- In a double boiler, or microwave, melt the chocolate.
- In a small sauce pan, bring the cream and glucose to a boil. Pour the cream on top of the chocolate, in three additions and whisk thoroughly to emulsify.
- Add the butter and mix until combined, then pour the ganache into the casserole, creating a thin layer of ganache. This will allow it to cool faster. Let it cool for 30 minutes. Once the ganache is cooled, transfer to a piping bag equipped with a star nozzle. The ganache should have a creamy texture and not be completely solid, but at the same time, it should be stiff enough to be able to pipe without melting back into itself. Test it before piping onto the tart. If it still needs time to chill, place the piping bag with the ganache into the fridge.
- Pipe the ganache on top of the hazelnut cream, starting around the edges and making your way to the center. Place the tart in the fridge to chill.
- In a small sauce pan on medium-low heat, add the granulated sugar. You will eventually see parts of the sugar start to caramelize. Swirl the pan to incorporate the un-melted sugar grains and continue to cook until all of the sugar is completely caramelized.
- While the sugar is caramelizing, take a tooth pick and stick it in a hazelnut. Continue until all of the hazelnuts are on tooth picks. Prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and set aside.
- Once the caramel is ready, gently dip the hazelnut into the caramel, then slowly remove the hazelnut, allowing the caramel to drip down. Hold for a couple seconds allowing it to cool a tad, before transferring to the parchment paper. You can also put a heavy cutting board on the edge of the counter. Lay some parchment down on the ground under the cutting board. After dipping each hazelnut in the caramel, carefully stick the toothpick between the countertop and cutting board, allowing the caramel to drip down towards the ground. The parchment paper will catch any caramel that drips to the ground.
- Continue with the rest of the hazelnuts, until all are covered in caramel.
- Once you are done caramelizing the hazelnuts, take the hazelnuts off of the toothpicks and feel use a pair of scissors to trim the "tail" of the caramel to the desired size. I like to take the left over caramel webs and form them into a rough ball, which can be a nice touch on top of the tart.
- Before serving, add a couple caramelized hazelnuts on top of the ganache to decorate the tart.
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