I am truly starting to believe that this is the devil in cake form. It’s going to be the death of me, or, at the very least, the fatness of me. It’s just so good that I can’t leave it alone. I should just throw it away and dump coffee grounds over the top, but, shamefully, I can see digging through for more fancy s’mores-esuqe goodness. Anyone remember this scene from Sex and the City?
I found the original recipe on What’s Cookin’ Chicago?, and made it this summer. While it was delicious, I can’t say I was the biggest fan of the meringue topping. It just wasn’t my thing, and doesn’t keep all that well, so you really have to eat it the same day it’s topped. If you like meringue, try it, otherwise, go with my changes noted below and enjoy you decadent chocolate tart with a thick layer of toasted marshmallow. Yum!
- 1/3 cup Hazelnuts
- 1 stick unsalted Butter at room temperature + more for greasing pans
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tsp Frangelico liqueur
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¾ cup Flour
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 Vanilla Bean, halved lengthwise
- 7 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 large Egg Whites, room temperature
- 1 cups Sugar
- ¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With your fingers, butter four 4 3/8-inch, 1-cup capacity tartlet pans, using about 1 generous tablespoon softened unsalted butter total.
- Arrange the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. (Alternatively, you can place them in a dry nonstick skillet and toast the hazelnuts on the stovetop.) Immediately gather the nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Chop the nuts and set aside.
- Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the Frangelico liqueur and salt. Gradually add the flour and combine on low speed until just incorporated. Add the hazelnuts and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, divide into 4 equal portions, and press into the prepared pans, making sure the dough comes up to the top edge of the pans.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on racks. (Don’t worry if the tart bottoms look wrinkly.) At this point, the crusts can be cooled and stored in airtight containers for up to 2 days.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, salt and vanilla bean. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.
- Remove the pan from the heat and take out the vanilla beak halves. Using a paring knife, scrape out the vanilla pad’s tiny black beans and add them to the cream mixture.
- Put the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
- Spoon the ganache into the tart shells, dividing it evenly among them. Refrigerate the tarts at least 30 minutes, or until the ganache is set.
- Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler, or set your clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer, or the mixture no longer feels grainy between your fingers.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
- Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. Brown with a kitchen torch and garnish with chocolate and graham cracker segments (optional).