Happy pi(e) day! Who wants to nerd out with me and dive into this Chocolate Hazelnut Tart?! A silky smooth chocolate hazelnut layer nestled in a toasted hazelnut shortbread crust and then finished with chocolate ganache…celebrating a number just doesn’t get any more delicious!
I chose to make a Chocolate Hazelnut Tart for Pi Day for a couple of reasons. I’m not one to miss out on a fun excuse to celebrate with yummy food, and I had just finished my recipe for Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. I made a lot of it during testing, and I was curious to see how it would work out in a dessert recipe. Things clearly went well. I’m in love! This tart isn’t as heavy as a chocolate ganache tart considering the main filling is a pudding base…which is THEN topped with ganache. It’s definitely not a light dessert but I could eat
three two pieces without feeling like I should have only had one.
The crust for this tart is bursting with toasted hazelnut flavor. I used a refined coconut oil, but I suspect that if you only have virgin coconut oil that the flavor would be great with the hazelnut.
A delicate, crisp shortbread really is the perfect complement to a smooth pudding filling, and the ganache on top isn’t even essential although I think it gives the dessert that much more of a luxurious mouthfeel. Plus, I don’t think you can ever overdo chocolate! Ended with a sprinkling of chopped toasted hazelnuts, and there you have it!
Are you a math and/or food nerd, and make pie for March 14? Tell me all about it!
A silky smooth chocolate hazelnut pudding layer nestled in a toasted hazelnut shortbread crust and then finished with chocolate ganache.
- 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup refined coconut oil
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup vegan hazelnut spread* (use one you really love)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup coconut cream**
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, blend the hazelnuts until a coarse meal forms, scraping down the sides and bottom. Don't over process or it'll become greasy and then nut butter.
Add the flour, confectioner's sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Add in the refined coconut oil and process on low for about 30 seconds until a loose dough forms.
Press into a 9 inch fluted tart tin with removable bottom. Start with the sides and work your way down ensuring that the crust is even. Use a measuring cup to press and smooth out the surface. Gently pierce the sides and bottom every inch or so with a fork and bake for 12-18 minutes or until fragrant and starting to lightly brown. Let the crust cool completely on a cooling rack.
While the crust is cooling, in a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with 1/3 cup of the plant milk until no lumps remain. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the remaining milk, sugar, cocoa and salt. Once it starts to steam a little, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch slurry, whisking constantly to avoid developing lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes and the pudding has started to thicken (it will thicken further once chilled.) Whisk in the chocolate hazelnut spread and vanilla.
Pour into the cooled crust and smooth out evenly. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top so a skin doesn't form. Chill for about 3 hours.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and coconut cream. Start with a 20 second burst, stir, then microwave for 10 second increments, just until melted. Don't overheat or the chocolate will burn and seize becoming hard and unusable for ganache. Whisk until smooth and pour over the chilled tart. Spread evenly over the top. Garnish with the chopped hazelnuts.
*Make your own delicious chocolate hazelnut spread !
**If you can't find coconut cream, you can use coconut milk. Use shelf-stable (canned or in a tetra-pack), and make sure that there's no gums or stabilizers listed in the ingredients. Ideally, the ingredient list should have no more than coconut and water in it. You want to make sure the coconut fat will be able to rise to the top, and that there's a lot of actual coconut fat in the product. Once you get it home, chill it in the fridge overnight and, without shaking the container, open it and gently scoop out the fat that has risen to the top. You can use the coconut water left at the bottom for smoothies, sauces, soups etc.