Chocolate Hazelnut Fondant Tarts

These chocolate hazelnut fondant tarts have a gooey, melt-in-the-middle, chocolate fondant filling, paired with crispy hazelnut flavoured pastry. A rich, delicious Nutella-inspired dessert.

It’s still a case of using up ingredients in the baking cupboard, so today’s post features hazelnuts! I cannot quite remember what they were used for (although hazelnuts make good praline so I wonder if it could be something along those lines?), but they were *slightly* out of date, so I’m guessing they’d been lurking around in there for a while. (Can nuts go out of date? Life’s mysteries.)

When I found half a packet of hazelnuts in the cupboard, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Chocolate hazelnut is a classic combination, thanks to the popularity of that well-known chocolate hazelnut spread! Initially, I’d planned to try this recipe with almonds, and add Amaretto to the chocolate filling. I still think that would work just as well just by swapping the ground hazelnuts for ground almonds! Chocolate and almond are another delicious combination.

The pastry is flavoured with hazelnuts- and I am so impressed with how well the flavour comes through! It’s a really distinct flavour, which immediately makes you think of Nutella. I’ve never really been taken with flavoured pastry. I know cheese pastry is popular, and Mary Berry makes something with walnut pastry. I thought the flavours would get lost and it would be a bit of a waste of time, but I was wrong. Nutty pastry is delicious and I will now sing it’s praises for the rest of my life. The possibilities are endless- almond pastry! Paprika pastry! Lemon pastry! Make way, I think I just found my new favourite thing.

I found a couple of chocolate filling recipes before I settled on the fondant one. Some recipes made a filling similar to a ganache, but I thought these would be too sticky. I knew I wanted to add hazelnuts into the chocolate filling, to emphasise that hazelnut flavour, and I wasn’t sure if it would work with a ganache. So when I came across the fondant idea, I knew it would be perfect!

Cooked just right, the fondant is still sticky-soft in the centre, and the texture goes so well with the crispy pastry shells. Paired with the hazelnuts in the filling, which add a nice bite, this is a very easy, indulgent, yet impressive, dessert.

(Thanks to the wonders of blogging, I’ve discovered the hazelnuts may be left over from either the hazelnut crème patisserie in this Romeo and Chouxliet recipe, or these hazelnut and toffee cookies!)

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Chocolate Hazelnut Fondant Tarts

8 mini tarts

Chocolate Hazelnut Fondant Tarts

These chocolate hazelnut fondant tarts have a gooey, melt-in-the-middle, chocolate fondant filling, paired with crispy hazelnut flavoured pastry. A rich, delicious Nutella-inspired dessert.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTRY
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g ground hazelnuts
  • 75g cold butter
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 35g softened butter
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 25g ground hazelnuts
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • Icing sugar, to dust

Instructions

  1. Before you begin, place your tart tins on a baking sheet (I used eight boat shaped tins) and pre-heat the oven to 190°c/375°f/gas mark 5. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the ground almonds. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour and hazelnuts until it is combined and resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the water and stir. Bring it together with your hands into a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 20 minutes.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, to about 2mm. You’ll want it to be quite thin, but not so thin it breaks. Cut into smaller ovals (depending on the shape of your tart tins) and carefully lift into the case. Press into the fluted edges. Trim off any excess pastry, leaving a 1cm overhand. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until golden in colour and crisp to the touch.
  3. Reduce the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. For the filling, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Once melted, add the chocolate and melt together, stirring well. Remove from the heat before it has completely melted, and use the heat of the butter and pan to melt the chocolate entirely. Add the sugar and ground hazelnuts and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then add the eggs and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour into the pastry cases, filling to the top. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is set around the edges, but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Cool completely, then remove from the tins and dust with icing sugar. ▪
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