Today we’re pairing decadence with no-bake convenience in this Nutella inspired tart. It looks impressive, yet it’s quite easy to make. Although I won’t deceive you, peeling the hazelnuts takes a little time, that will more than rewarded when you take your first bite!
The ultimate dessert for me is one that can be made ahead, and kept in the refrigerator so there’s no work to do when you’re actually in the middle of entertaining. Another prerequisite is that it almost always has to be chocolate. I’m a chocoholic and I’m not to proud to admit it! After all it runs in my family, so I guess I can just blame it on genetics.
Another bonus with this dessert is the impressive factor. Not only do the chopped hazelnuts around the edge look cool, but you can serve it on a cake stand, which is always gorgeous.
For this tart, start by toasting the hazelnuts, and then rubbing the peels off them the best you can. Some of the skins will stick, don’t worry about it and continue on. The main purpose with getting rid of as much of the skins as you can, is because the skin is bitter.
Some people recommend rubbing the hazelnuts in a clean towel to remove the skins. I found this works ok, but it made such a mess the first time I tried it, that I just do it by hand now.
If you’re in need of a shortcut and don’t have time to mess with hazelnuts, make my Chocolate Tart instead. You’ll miss out on the Nutella factor, but you can’t go wrong with straight up chocolate either.
Next some of the hazelnuts get pulverized into a cookie dough like crust in the food processor…
… and patted evenly into a tart pan.
The filling also comes together in the food processor…
… and when you smooth it into the tart pan, run the spatula over the top to create a nice swirl pattern. You’ll want to cover and place the tart in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. I’ve found the flavors are at their best the next day.
Tip: When you’re ready to serve the tart, use the spatula again to fix the swirl pattern. It tends to get slightly flattened when you cover the tart with plastic wrap.
And finally you roughly chop the leftover hazelnuts and scatter them in a ring around the edge of the tart just before serving.
Be prepared for some oohhs and aahhs at the dinner table. In fact it’s only fair to tell your guests about dessert before dinner, so they can save room for this beauty!Print
- 3 cups toasted hazelnuts, 20 ounces, see notes
- 1 cup pecans or cashews, untoasted
- 15 medjool dates, 10 ounces, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1–2 Tablespoons water
- Start by reserving 1/2 cup of the hazelnuts for garnishing the top.
- Place the remaining 2 1/2 cup hazelnuts, pecans, dates, cocoa powder, and sea salt into a 12-cup food processor. Process until the dates have been incorporated and only small pieces of nuts remain. Add the vanilla extract and process just to combine. Add the water only as needed to create a soft cookie dough like texture.
- Line a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom with plastic wrap. Spread and pat the crust out into the pan with a spatula, using your hands as needed. Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling.
- Wipe out the food processor bowl to remove any tidbits of nuts, and add the avocados, cocoa powder, maple syrup, hazelnut oil, sea salt, and vanilla extract.
- Process until completely smooth and spread the filling evenly into the tart crust.
- Cover and refrigerate until completely set up, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, use a spatula to make a nice swirl pattern on the top of the tart. Roughly chop the reserved hazelnuts, and sprinkle them evenly around the rim of the tart in a 2″ border.
- Remove the ring from the tart pan. Tuck the extra plastic wrap under the metal bottom of the pan, and serve on a decorative platter or cake stand.
To toast hazelnuts, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 250ºF for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.