Tarte Chocolat Nougatine

Last Friday, I got an email confirming my registration for the CAP Pâtissier exam. Part of me was thrilled they didn’t need any additional documents for my enrollment. However the other part of me started to stress like crazy. They provided us with the exam period schedule and I’ll receive my official summons a month prior to the opening of exams.

Exam Load

The first exam I will have take is geography/history and civics, which will be the last week of April. Next up is the foreign language exam (optional). I am “cheating” and taking English, but hey, the points I get will be a ‘bonus’ and let’s face it, I’m going to need all the points I can get…

Photo of three tart chocolat nougatine

The practical pastry exam is from the beginning of May through the end of June. However, the real fun happens on the 4th and 5th of June when I get to take French, Math, Science (physics and chemistry, neither of which I learned in high school), Environmental Health Prevention as well as the written Pastry exam.

Let me tell you, I am definitely starting to feel the pressure. I keep asking my self if I am even going to be ready… But in the meantime, the studying continues…

Photo with Chocolate Nougatine tart and crumbled nougatine

Tarte Chocolat Nougatine

I didn’t have many difficulties with the Tarte Chocolat Nougatine recipe. I assembled most of the tart quite quickly. However I did end up remaking the nougat disk. The first time I made it, I had difficulties rolling it out. It cooled faster than I could work, so the disk broke when I was trying to cut it. The second time I made it, I more or less knew what I was doing, meaning I could work faster.

I opted out of decorating the disk with royal icing, because I thought it looked dated. I included it in the recipe below because it may be in the exam.

Tarte Chocolat Nougatine

Sweet pastry crust, creamy chocolate ganache, topped with a crunchy nougat disk.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Almond, chocolate, nougat
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Equipment

  • 22cm tart ring (8.5inches)
  • sugar or laser thermometer
  • 2 silicone baking mats

Ingredients

Pâte Sucrée

  • 200 g All-purpose flour
  • 120 g Butter, slightly chilled
  • 3 g Salt
  • 80 g Powdered Sugar
  • 40 g Egg

Ganache

  • 200 g Heavy Cream
  • 15 g Inverted Sugar, or Honey
  • 160 g Chocolat de Couverture, dark 66%
  • 25 g Butter

Nougatine

  • 30 g Water
  • 80 g Glucose
  • 100 g Granulated Sugar
  • 80 g Chopped Almonds, or sliced
  • 10 g Butter

Royal Icing – Optional

  • 40 g Egg whites
  • 200 g Powdered Sugar
  • A couple drops of White Vinegar

Instructions

Pâte Sucrée

  • Cut the butter in small pieces, then add to the bowl of a mixer with the powdered sugar. Cream the butter and sugar on speed 2 (kitchen-aid) for about 2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the egg and salt together. Once the butter has lightened in color, add the egg mixture.
  • Mix on speed 3 or 4 until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  • Add the flour, all at once, then mix on low speed, until just combined. If you mix too long, you'll start to develop the gluten in the dough which will make the tart shell shrink during baking. If the dough is too dry, feel free to add a tad bit of water.
  • Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work space. With the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you and against the countertop. Do not overdo it, you should only need to repeat this action a couple of times to have a nicely combined dough.
  • Pull the dough together into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, then lightly butter and flour your tart ring or pan. Set aside.
  • At the end of the 30 minute resting period, roll out your tart dough until it's 3-4mm thick. Trim into a circle, leaving an excess of about two finger width around your tart ring. Using your rolling pin, transfer the dough onto the tart ring and start to work the dough into the corners. Using your thumbs, press the dough lightly against the tart ring. You're looking for a right angle around the entire circumference of the tart ring. This keeps the dough from shrinking during baking as there is no where for the dough to sag into.
  • Trim the excess dough from the top lip of the tart ring and prick the bottom of the tart shell with a fork. Let rest in the freezer for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F)
  • Blind bake the tart shell for about 20-30 minutes. I generally start with about 20 minutes then check on the crust and adjust accordingly.
  • If you wish to use baking weights, line the tart crust with a sheet of parchment paper and add them prior to baking, however this is not necessary.
  • Let the tart shell cool on a baking rack (leave the tart ring on until cooled). Once the shell has cooled completely, you can use a micro-blader to clean up the sides and edges if there are any irregularities in the dough.

Ganache

  • Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler).
  • In a small sauce pan, add the cream, inverted sugar (or honey) and butter. Bring to a boil.
  • Add a third of the cream mixture to the melted chocolate. Be sure to mix slowly, as to not incorporate any air as this will leave bubbles in the ganache which are a bit tricky to get rid of later.
  • Once the cream is completely mixed in with the chocolate, add another third. Repeat until all of the cream is mixed in thoroughly and you should have a smooth, shiny ganache.
  • Pour the ganache into the tart shell, filling it until it's even with the top of the shell.
  • If you find that you do have some air bubbles in your ganache, you can use a blowtorch to pop them, or use a toothpick.
  • Transfer your tart to the fridge and let chill until the ganache solidify. This generally takes me about 45 minutes

Nougat

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F)
  • Spread the chopped almonds out on a baking sheet and baking for 7 minutes or until nicely roasted.
  • Place a silicone mat on a baking sheet. Have the second mat ready nearby with a rolling pan.
  • In a small saucepan on low heat, add the water and sugar. Leave the pan on low heat until all of the sugar has been incorporated by the water, then bring to a boil.
  • Once the caramel is boiling, add the glucose syrup.
  • When the caramel reaches 168°C (335°F), pull it off of the heat and add the (still warm) almonds and butter. Stir quickly to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  • Pour the nougat mixture out onto the silicone mat to stop the mixture from cooking. Fold the mixture onto itself, using the sides of the silicone mat, so it cools at an even rate.
  • Place the second silicone mat on top of the nougat and with your rolling pin, roll the mixture out to a thickness of about 3mm (1/8 inch).
  • Once the mixture is rolled out, place a tart ring on the nougat. Use your rolling pin to roll over the ring, cutting the disk of nougat. If the nougat has cooled too fast and you cannot cut the disk, you can place it in the oven to soften the mixture before trying to re-cut the disk.

Royal Icing – Optional

  • Sift the powdered sugar onto a sheet of parchment paper. The parchment paper helps you sift it over a larger surface area and it's easy to transfer to the mixer bowl later.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, add the egg white and vinegar (or lemon juice). Start mixing the egg white, slowly adding the powdered sugar.
  • The mixture will resemble meringue when it comes together. Let it mix until you have stiff peaks.
  • Transfer to a piping bag with a small star tip.
  • Decorate the disk of nougat, piping icing around the edge of the disk.
  • Transfer the disk onto the tart and finish the decorations as desired.
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