Several weeks ago, Andrew went to the Institute of Culinary Education, a great cooking school on 23rd St. in Chelsea (www.ice.edu) where he had signed up with one of the masters of the baking arts, Nick Maglieri. The class was small – just 9 students – and the night was an intensive Pastry Making session. The course was called “Perfect Pastry” and Chef Maglieri really put his small class through its paces. The class featured the making of three essential doughs: Olive Oil dough for savory pies and tarts, “Quickest” Puff Pastry and Classic Sweet pastry dough for dessert pies and tarts. The class was broken up into teams who divided the savory pie fillings—Spinach and Bacon, Gruyère and Scallions—and the sweet pie fillings –Pecan and Chocolate Hazelnut—and then they all made a Bistro Apple Tart and Puff Pastry Straws. He came home absolutely exhausted, mostly from having worked all day and then standing all night. But he also came home triumphant because he felt he’d really knocked pastry making.
|Chef Malgieri’s latest book
does not contain the recipe for
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
To prove that point, our friend Terry’s Birthday gave Andrew an opportunity to make Chef Maglieri’s Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, a recipe so new, it is yet to be published anywhere but right here, right now. For the same party, he also made Cheese Straws with the “Quickest” Puff pastry dough. I keep putting “Quickest” in quotes because to the untrained eye –mine—the effort seemed enormous. ( I am going to post the Cheese Straws separately and just in time for Thanksgiving.) And I think the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart would be a great addition to anyone’s Thanksgiving table. I’ll let you in on one little secret: You can switch this to a pecan pie simply by omitting the chocolate, substituting pecans for the hazelnuts and using a 9-inch pie pan instead of the 10-inch tart pan. Without further ado, here is the recipe but first, Chef Maglieri’s words of wisdom on pastry making:
1. Always use cold butter in very small pieces. They will better incorporate into the dough.
2. In rolling the dough, aim to make it 1/8 inch thick and not any thinner. Using the model of a clock face, roll the dough from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock and then 2 o’clock to 8 o’clock and finally from 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock.
3. When working with dough for a tart pan, divide the dough into thirds. Take two thirds of it and press it into the bottom of a buttered and flowered tart pan. Take the remaining third and divide it into three equal strips. Roll each of the strips about the length of the diameter of the tart pan and then press them in along the edges. If you are mathematically inclined, you may recognize that Pi equals 3.14159 so three strips the same length of the diameter of the pan can be stretched and molded to fit the entire pan edge.
4.To skin and chop hazelnuts, bake the nuts on a cookie sheet at 350° F for 12-13 minutes till the point where you see wisps of smoke and cracked shells.
5. Rub the hazelnuts with a towel to remove the skins.
6. Hazelnuts can’t be chopped with a knife because they are round. But a food processor can be pressed into service or you can smash them under the weight of a cast iron skillet.
Now here are the recipes:
Master Recipe for Chef Maglieri’s Sweet Pastry Dough:
To make the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, you only need to make half this recipe. But you can freeze the other half and then use it at a later date.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (4 oz. or 1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into ten pieces.
2 large eggs, cold
1. Combine dry ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to mix.
2. Cut butter into 10 pieces and add. Pulse to mix in butter finely.
3. Add egg and continue to pulse until dough forms a loose ball.
4. Gather the pastry together and make it into a disc-shape.
5. Cut the dough in half and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Chill dough until ready to bake the tart.
For the Chocolate Hazelnut Filling:
According to Chef Maglieri, the inspiration for this filling in a Piemontese chocolate hazelnut confection called “Gianduja”
One 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom
Half batch of Sweet Pastry Dough
2 cups (10 oz) whole hazelnuts, shelled
1 cup dark corn syrup
½ cup sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate in pellets or cut into ¼ inch pieces
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 large eggs
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons dark rum or Bourbon (optional
1. Roll the dough on a floured surface and line the pan using the instructions in item 3 above. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
2. Set a rack in the lowest level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
3. If the hazelnuts are not already skinned, follow the instructions in items 4, 5 and 6 above.
4. For the filling, combine the corn syrup and sugar in a medium sauce pan and stir well to mix.
5. Place on medium heat and bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally.
6. Off heat, add the chocolate and butter and gently shake the pan once or twice to submerge them.
7. Be sure to let the chocolate sit in the hot sugar mixture for a few minutes before whisking to ensure that an even chocolate melt is achieved.
8. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then the salt and the rum. Stir in the hazelnuts.
9. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake the tart until the dough is baked through and deep golden at the top edge of the crust, and the filling is set, about 35 to 40 minutes.
10. Cool on rack. Unmold the tart and slide it from the pan bottom to a platter.
11. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.