Chocolate and candied nuts. AND, no baking required!
To realize such a decadent dessert can be made so effortlessly is one of the reasons I love this recipe so much. I first began tinkering with this recipe way back in 2014 when I made a chocolate tart with a chocolate crust. I liked it. A lot.
Then I came across another recipe for a no-bake version, somewhat similar. Then I made my praline almond and chocolate cookies in 2017. Combining the elements I loved in each of these recipes resulted in the no-bake chocolate and candied hazelnut tart I am excited to share with you today.
Pouring the tart into a rectangular pan makes this a candy-bar of sorts offering simple narrow slices that you can hold in your hand and enjoy. All the while holding a cuppa in your other hand. The perfect pair.
You will want to plan to make this tart 4 hours ahead of time as you need to give it ample time to chill, but once it is chilled, it is fantastic.
Candied hazelnuts (or almonds or walnuts) are found in the tart and on top.
I do hope you enjoy this recipe. It brought many smiles to my face and those I have shared it with, and I hope it brings a smile to your household and loved ones as well. Be sure to stay tuned until the end of the video when the date of this year’s Holiday cooking episode will be shared. Now to the video!
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A No-Bake Chocolate & Candied Hazelnut Tart
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp fleur de sel
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
Candied Hazelnuts & Almonds (unsalted roasted nuts of your choice)
- 1 1/3 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts
- 2/3 cup unsalted roasted almonds or just use all hazelnuts or walnuts
- 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp fleur de sel
- 9 ounces high quality chocolate (dark chocolate, semi-sweet or bittersweet) Scharffen Berger is my favorite
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 egg whites
- 3-5 teaspoons espresso optional
- Combine in a food processor, flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until combined and then add the egg yolk until just combined.
- Press the crust into the tart pan you have selected. Using it before you chill it makes it more malleable to create the crust just as you desire. Make sure to push up the sides to the top of the tart pan. Then place in the refrigerator (this is not necessary as it will chill for 3-4 hours after you place the filling in the tart). Otherwise, just set aside while you make the filling.
- Optional: I have baked the crust (15 minutes, 400 F/200 C) and not baked the crust. I too was delightfully surprised how much better the tart was not baking it. I found the crust too hard when I baked it (the crust still becomes hard not baking). This is entirely your preference. Admittedly, it was a mistake the first time I did not bake it and moved ahead with the recipe. But I have never looked back as it tasted so much better (and I didn’t know the difference as I kept the pastry thin and the warm chocolate when added worked a bit of magic).
- Roast the nuts if need be. Place on a dry baking sheet. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Melt the sugar in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat. Stir consistently, but the entire time is not needed. Melt until amber in color and all sugar grains are dissolved. I use a spatula to stir.
- While waiting for the sugar to melt, place the roasted (unsalted) nuts (all hazelnuts and almonds – 2 cups in total), on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread to a single layer.
- Immediately upon finishing the melting of the sugar, pour as evenly as possible over all of the nuts. Not all of the nuts will be entirely covered, and that is okay, but make sure it is evenly and lightly distributed so the nuts receive the melted sugar (caramel), not the pan.
- Set aside the nuts to cool while you make the chocolate filling.
- Rough chop the chocolate (9 ounces) you will be using. Add the chocolate and the butter to a small to medium sauce pan. Melt over low-medium heat until combined. Add the salt and espresso (optional). Remove from the heat to let cool while you whip the egg whites.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix with a whisk or hand mixer the egg whites until soft white peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg whites gently to the melted chocolate that has now cooled. Fold to keep as much air as possible. Then add the next 1/3 of egg whites, fold and then the final 1/3 of the egg whites until combined, but no more.
- Using a food processor, break of the nuts and pulse until roughly (or finely – your preference here) chopped.
- Add 1 1/3 of the nuts to the chocolate filling. Fold in with the spatula until combined.
- Take the prepared pastry crust and pour in the chocolate and nut mix. Spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 of chopped nuts to the top of the tart.
- Refridgerate for at least 3-4 hours.
- Enjoy chilled with a cup of hot tea.
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