Just time to fit in a recipe before the year's end! And since i completely failed to include anything seasonally festive and 'christmassy' i'm going to take this opportunity to share the recipe for the dish i made for Christmas dessert. I found this recipe in the 'Listener' magazine in 2010, and have made it once a year since then, mostly at Christmas time. It is a bit of work to make, but it is lovely and rich, and not too sweet; i find it well worth the effort. I can't yet claim it to be a recipe i make to help use up a glut of anything (although i do, from time to time find myself with a 'glut' of Whittaker's Dark Ghana in the pantry!), but now that we have 12 hazelnut trees (bushes?) planted i may one day find myself with a glut of hazelnuts, and they are a key ingredient in this recipe. Hazelnuts are the main cause of the effort involved in this recipe, and if i use my own in the future it will increase the amount of effort required, what with having to shell the hazelnuts as
well as roast and chop them. It takes a surprisingly long time to chop 200 grams of hazelnuts - i could save quite a bit of effort by putting them in the blender, but have never been quite brave enough to... a blender has the tendency to turn some of your nuts to dust (fine if you are wanting to produce something like almond meal), while leaving the odd large chunk as well. Part of the attraction of this dish is the texture of the chopped hazelnuts - you want them small, but not tooo small, and hand chopping allows you to get a nice even result. But by all means, use a blender if you are in a rush - or else don't be as fussy as me with your chopping and leave them a bit chunkier. The other thing i do that adds time and effort to the recipe is remove the skins from the hazelnuts - when i finish roasting them i immediately wrap then in a tea-towel and put them in a plastic bag to let them sweat a little, then rub as much of the skins off as possible. The recipe does not actually say you need to do this, but since roasted hazelnuts have a tendency to shed much of their skin anyway, and the skins are particularly bitter, i think it is worth the effort.
For thew chocolate, i use Whittaker's Dark Ghana (what else) which contains 72% cocoa solids. If you use a less dark chocolate your tart will be a little sweeter. I don't worry about using unsalted butter, and i also substitute Cointreau for the Campari, simply because that is what i have available. You could probably also use Grand Marnier or any other orange-flavoured liqueur that you happened to have in the cupboard.
If you produce hazelnuts, and you like coffee and chocolate, i think you will find this recipe to be a delicious way to use some of your nuts.
BITTER CHOCOLATE and COFFEE TART
Martin Bosley in the New Zealand Listener, August 2010
175 g plain flour
a good pinch of baking powder
a good pinch of salt
65 g caster sugar
125 g unsalted butter
1 free-range egg yolk
150 g caster sugar
90 g unsalted butter
grated zest of an orange
1 tablespoon plain flour
200g roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
100g dark chocolate, grated
1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
2 tablespoons campari or orange juice
In a food processor bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Work in the butter and egg until it forms a smooth dough. Rest the pastry in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling it to fit a 20cm tart tin, pressing it to the edges. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. To make the filling, use an electric mixer to cream the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add the orange zest. Lightly mix the eggs for a few seconds, then mix into the butter. Add the flour, hazelnuts, chocolate, coffee and Campari/orange juice. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before removing from the tin.
Serve with cream whipped to billowing peaks.
Serves 6-8 (easily!)