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Thanksgiving Way Out West, Dessert Round: Nick Maglieri’s Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

Thanksgiving Way Out West, Dessert Round: Nick Maglieri’s Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
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Several weeks ago, Andrew went to the Institute of Culinary Education, a great cooking school on 23rd St. in Chelsea (www.ice.eduwhere 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:

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