Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nutella Chocolate Mousse Tart


Nutella Mousse with Toasted Meringue and Hazelnuts





I had the opportunity to do a Guest Post for Mike @CostcoCuisine. I was so excited when he invited me to do a post on Nutella, my favorite addiction. Nutella being the perfect food and great on everything, if you get the time please check out his site as well, some great recipes there! Thanks again Mike!

Nutella  Chocolate Mousse

3/4 cup Nutella
1/3 cup unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon sugar

In a double boiler or oven proof bowl, over simmering water, melt the Nutella and butter, stir to combine. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and continue beating until smooth and glossy.
 Gently fold in 1/4 of the egg whites to the Nutella mixture using a spatula, then add the remaining whites and combine completely. Spoon into cooled pie crust and cool in the refrigerator 4 hours.
 
Chocolate Butter Crust :
Makes  1 large tart shell in pan with removable bottom
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dough

Place flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt in the bowl mix together with electric heavy duty mixer. Add butter, mixture will resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add yolks, cream, and vanilla; process until mixture comes together, keep adding cream if too dry, a little at a time.

Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and flatten into a disk with the palm of your hand. Wrap well, refrigerate at least 30 minutes or until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Line the bottom of a removable tart pan with pistachio nuts. Unwrap dough, roll the dough out about 1/2 thick on the clear wrap, lift still on the wrap and place on over the nuts, to line the tart pan. With plastic wrap push still over the top, press sides in to make sure all dough is in the fluted edges to the top. Remove plastic wrap. Prick the dough with a fork on the bottom and bake on 350 until tart is done around 25 minutes. I make sure the toothpick is clean in the center before removing from the oven. Cool around 5 minutes, loosen edges if they look stuck with a knife and gently move from the fluted edges then flip onto on board to cool.
Then line a cookie sheet with wax paper and flip it right side up.  Fill  when cooled with mousse, add a  toasted meringue- or whipped cream topping and chopped hazelnuts.

Meringue:

3 egg whites from large or jumbo eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
In a chilled clean bowl, beat the egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With mixer running, add the cream of tartar, then gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. But don't walk away and overbeat as I did! It will not be smooth and get dry as you see in the picture...don't even answer the phone! That's what happened to me and this is the result too stiff of peaks formed!
Pile on to the top of your pie and seal edges to crust. (Sprinkles with nuts after its sealed and starts to brown or they will sink in.) Bake at 400°F  until lightly browned. Watch this closely as it will brown quickly in different ovens.

Tips:
The bowl must be cold I put my bowl and beater in the refrigerator first! The bowl must be immaculately clean!

Sugar fills an important role in meringue. It stabilizes the beaten egg white foam which enables it to sit longer and hold its shape. Sugar pulls the water from the eggs and allows it to set better. When using sugar, your meringue can run the risk of getting a gritty texture so I only use superfine sugar when making meringue because it dissolves faster than table sugar. Use meringue within 5 minutes after beating as they will deflate quickly.

The challenge in making perfect meringue is neither to under or over beat the eggs. Under beating introduces too little air, and the whites will rise inadequately. If over beaten the mixture will separate. Seal your pie to the edges before baking. Its also better to make just before you serve as refrigerating will cause it to seperate from the edges and get runny.
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