Tag Archives: nutella

A tale of two tarts: salted caramel or hazelnut?


1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

It’s the school holidays and J wanted to make chocolate mousse, while I wanted to test out my newly purchased Gobel tart rings. I usually make tarts with ganache but thought hey I could use mousse! We discussed the elements and J came up with a plan, a cross-sectional drawing of her mousse design.

After a bit of debate, we had two ideas:

  1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart
  2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

For the hazelnut tart, a thin layer of Nutella (you can of course use chocolate ganache) was spread on the base of the tart, then a thin layer of roasted hazelnut paste and then topped with the chocolate mousse.

For the salted caramel tart, a thin layer of salted caramel was first spread on the base of the tart, then topped with chocolate mousse. Some freeze dried strawberries were added to give a contrasting taste to the sweet and salty caramel.

For both, cocoa nibs, crunchy chocolate pearls and feuilletine shards were added for texture.

I like how I can do the components separately (to fit in with school holiday activities) and then assemble right before serving.

Hope you will enjoy these!

Sweet almond tart base
Makes 10 x 9″ ring tart bases
DSC_6794
200g all-purpose (plain) flour
40g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
100g butter, cold and cubed
1 egg (I use size 8)

  1. Sift and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter and ‘rub in’, working the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resemble small crumbs
  3. Add the egg and incorporate it into the dry ingredients.
  4. Work the dough lightly by gathering the dough with your fingertips and folding it over with a downward push of your palm. Work quickly and lightly, till it comes together.
  5. Wrap up the dough inside a folded sheet of baking paper, gently roll flat with a rolling pin and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. While the dough is resting, prepare the tart rings by buttering them.
  7. When the dough is ready, lightly sprinkle some flour on your bench or chopping board.
  8. Roll out the dough on the board with a rolling pin to a thickness of 2-3mm. You may need to add more flour to keep it from sticking as it is a very soft dough.
  9. Cut out a circle of dough larger than your ring and place onto the buttered tart ring or mould.
  10. Press well onto the sides. Use a glass to flatten the bottom and sides to ensure you have straight edges.
  11. Cut off excess dough by going over the top of the tart ring with the rolling pin.
  12. Pinch the edges up slightly.
  13. Prick holes at the base with a fork.
  14. Rest in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes to stop it from shrinking.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  16. Using ceramic baking beads or rice, blind bake at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or when browned all over. Set aside to cool completely

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

Putting it all together
Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart

  • Cooled tart base
  • Nutella (or melted chocolate)
  • Roasted hazelnut paste (Equagold)
  • Chocolate mousse (Mousse recipe)
  • On the top – Chocolate crunchy shards, pearls, cocoa nibs

Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

These turn out more rustic than elegant 😉 still delicious regardless!

Chocolate hazelnut mousse entremet


What’s more delicious than a pot of velvety chocolate mousse?” I asked J, my 5 year old daughter. She looked puzzled, not that she didn’t understand me, but that it was already quite up there on her ‘best food moments’ list I think.

One decorated with all sorts of chocolatey bites and pearls, perhaps?” I offered and her eyes lit up like the time she got Movenpick ice cream at a buffet and realised she could go back for more.

Yes!!!!” She said, grabbing onto my arm and shaking it excitedly, “we could put those little pearls and even gummies!

Next, we were both in the pantry looking for all sorts of things to use to decorate our little pots of black gold…

I gave J creative freedom to do what she wanted to the pots while trying to explain the concept of ‘less is more’ – I think I failed. I must be kidding myself to think I could persuade a 5 year old to put less chocolate on!

(After thought – for adult versions, do exercise control over how much more chocolate you add. As the mousse is already quite sweet, adding too many more sweet elements to it may just tip the balance!)

Biscuit base
250g nice biscuits, blitzed into crumbs
125g unsalted butter, melted

Hazelnut spread layer
Leoine or Nutella hazelnut spread

Chocolate Mousse
180g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
170g unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup (60ml) dark-brewed coffee (optional)
4 large eggs, separated
4 + 1 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) (or use Cointreau for orange-flavoured mousse)

Textural component / Decoration (optional)

  • Valrhona chocolate pearls (for crunch)
  • Dark or milk chocolate squares – for artistic/structural representation
  • Chocolate spheres – I used ones with blueberry pieces in it
  • Candy gems – for texture and children  (or the young at heart)
  • Edible soil – cocoa powder or blitzed chocolate biscuits
  • Fresh As freeze dried raspberry powder – for colour and taste contrast

1. Mix the melted butter with the biscuit crumbs. Divide into serving bowls or pots and push with finger tips to form a firm base. Place in fridge to firm up.

2. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate  and Frangelico (also add coffee now if you are using), stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Add the cubed butter in and mix gently. Remove from heat.

20140316-220614.jpg

3. Beat the yolks of the eggs with 4 tablespoons of sugar for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick.

20140316-220841.jpg

4. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Let it cool.

20140317-155241.jpg

5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff.

6. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites until just incorporated.

7. Remove your serving bowls from the fridge. Spread hazelnut chocolate (I used Leoine, you can use Nutella if you wish) onto the surface of the crumb layer.

20140317-155344.jpg

8. Pour the mousse into the serving bowls, layering alternately with a biscuit crumb layer and more mousse.

9. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

10. Add your textural components before serving – I’ve chosen chocolate squares, pearls, biscuit crumbs, blueberry-in-chocolate balls and freeze dried raspberry powder for added taste and textural comparison. The sharpness of the raspberry powder cuts through the sweetness of the mousse which is my 5% magic for this mouth watering dessert. (Why oh why am I giving this away?!?!?!)

11. These are served in tiny pots here, you can equally plate them in larger vessels. Trust me, no one will complain!