Chocolate hazelnut tart

13 December 2010
by Phuoc

Continuing from this post, the second batch of desserts I baked for the food photography session with Dario were chocolate hazelnut tarts. My trip to the States lead me to the discovery of Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. This bakery is very similar to Bourke Street Bakery in terms of the massive queues that wind around the corner of the bakery and the vibe of having a cafe inside bakery where customers can chill out and enjoy the baked goods with the aromas of the bakery filling the air.

I was very impressed the banana cream pie that I had (imagine a light banoffee pie with a flaky pastry tart – YUM) that I decided to get their cookbook when I returned from my trip. The cookbook is split up into sections; breakfast, tarts & pies, cakes, fruit desserts, cookies, pastries & confections, cream desserts, with a glass of wine (savouries) and basic bakery recipes, has a decent amount of beautiful pictures and plenty of advice and tips for each recipe.

For the photography session I wanted to make a big tart but as I was preparing the shells the night before, I was having trouble trying to get the dough into the bigger tart tins so I made smaller ones. The main reasons why I think I was struggling was because 1) it was a very warm and humid night so my dough was getting very soft to work with very quickly and 2) I didn’t bother to chill it further after I’ve rolled it out; so I urge you to make sure your dough is slightly chilled before you line your tart tins and possibly rolling the dough in between two sheets of baking paper to make it easier to transfer the dough in the tart tins.

The good thing about this recipe is that you can also serve the chocolate filling in ramekins if you can’t be bothered to make the pastry shell (bake it for the same time as you would with the tarts). This way, it would be like having a warm chocolate custard with toasted hazelnuts on top. Serve it with a dollop of cream and you have a quick and easy dessert you can whip up in no time.

Crumbly pastry, slightly oozy chocolate filling with roasted hazelnuts and orange zest; could anything be more perfect?

Photos are courtesy of Dario (


A recipe from Tartine by Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson

Makes 4 10cm tarts

Pate sablee

130g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar

Pinch of salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups (250g) flour

Chocolate and hazelnut filling

170g chocolate, chopped

115g unsalted butter

¼ cup (60mL) brandy (optional)

2/3 cup (135g) sugar

3 large eggs

1/8 tsp salt

Zest of half an orange

140g hazelnuts, lightly toasted (at lowest oven temp for about 10mins), skins rubbed off and some roughly chopped

For the pate sablee (to be made at least 2 hours in advanced)

  1. Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, mix in the egg until combined.
  2. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated (it is important to not overmix/overhandle at this step otherwise your dough will strink when baked).
  3. On a lightly floured surface, gather the dough and shape into a 1cm-thick disk, wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Roll dough out to a 3mm thickness on a floured surface (lightly flour rolling pin and both sides of the dough to discourage sticking).
  5. Cut a circle roughly 5cm bigger than the tart tin and carefully line the tart tin (if the dough has become too soft to work with, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes). If the dough develops any tears, patch it up with a little extra dough.
  6. Trim the dough to level the top of the tart tin with a knife or rolling pin (by rolling it over the surface to “cut” the dough).
  7. Chill the pastry shells in the refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160C
  9. Prick the base of each pastry with a fork, line tarts with baking paper and fill with a layer of ceramic pie weights, rice or beans (the latter two could be saved and reused).
  10. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  11. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    [Pastry shells will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 2 week.]

For the filling

  1. Preheat oven to 160C
  2. Place chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine the butter, brandy (if using) and 1/3 cup of the sugar and heat over medium-low heat and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour the butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar, eggs, salt and orange zest and mix until mixture is pale yellow.
  5. Pour one third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk to lighten, and then pour the remaining egg mixture in.
  6. Pour the filling into the pastry shell and arrange the hazelnuts evenly on top.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until surface of filling loses some of its shine but hasn’t souffleed.
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

Print this recipe


  1. chocolatesuze

    ooh this tart looks oh so norty mmm

  2. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    This looks delicious! Chocolate and hazelnuts are a match made in heaven

  3. Isis-Rae

    your food photography skills are amazing. what camera do you use? or is it all skill. hehehe.

  4. Margaret | fangirlish

    Chocolate and hazelnut will never not go well together – omnomnom.. you didn’t bring your camera along to this at all? Eep.

  5. OohLookBel

    Ooh, yum, I love hazelnuts! The photos really do the tart justice, too.

  6. Simon @ the heart of food

    Awesome tart by the looks of it.

    Would love to see the outcome of the lessons you’ve learned from the photo session. Are any of the pics in this post yours, or are they all Dario’s?

  7. Steph

    These look so evil! And so yum! Your tart shells are so neat, mine always look so dodgy haha

  8. mademoiselle délicieuse

    Chocolate and hazelnut are a match blessed by the gods in my book! YUM =D

  9. Gastronomy Gal

    looks amazing. The tart shell looks like it worked out really well.

  10. john@heneedsfood

    Look at that oozing chocolate! Mmmm

  11. FFichiban

    Yuummmmmmmmm and I think I prefer smaller ones cos then they can be individual portions (sharing is caring but when it comes to desserts its free for all!)

  12. catty

    WOW your hazelnut tarts look amazing! It looks like you’ve specially placed the hazelnuts all kinda facing up like that! Purrrrty!

  13. nic@diningwithastud

    Oh wow! You had me at hazelnuts and then I saw the gooey centre and drooled on my desk! It looks SOO yummy!!

  14. Helen (grabyourfork)

    Such deliciousness! I love the sound of that banana cream pie but ooh chocolate and hazelnut? Yes please!

  15. Phuoc

    Suze: Naughty indeed..

    Kristy: Oh of course! Mmmm…

    Isis: These weren’t taken with my camera love (but my camera is the Canon G11).. I wish it was all skill! Though I’m sure you can take fab pics with my camera, I just need to work on my food styling..

    Margaret: Yeah I did bring it but didn’t take pics of the final shots because it was dark…

    Bel: Thanks!

    Simon: Thanks! All pics were Dario’s

    Steph: Thanks Steph! Oh I was worried that they wouldn’t turn out properly. I think the trick is to roll the dough in between two sheets of baking paper to make it easier to transfer into the tart tins.

    Mademoiselle délicieuse: I love it! I’m thinking of making truffles next!

    Gastronomy Gal: Thanks! I was a little worried in the beginning that it wouldn’t work out, the trick is not to handle the dough as much and to make sure it remains chilled at all times.

    John: I know! I love that shot. Food porn at it’s best (nothin’ like Karen’s oozy choc shots but good enough for me) – I had a shot where it was really really oozy but decided not to put it in this post.

    FFichiban: I totally agree with you!

    Catty: Thanks! Well kinda… Some of the hazelnuts were chopped up so they were slightly facing up and some were left whole. Yummy regardless! 😀

    Nic: HAHA Thanks!

    Helen: I will have to make the banana cream pie next, so much deliciousness..

  16. maryana

    Looks like you too noticed that baking time in the book was too short!

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