Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chocolate And Hazelnut Toffee Tart

A couple of days ago, we had my birthday dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, a treat from my hubby. Yup, no cooking on that day :)  We were late, as my kids had some schoolwork to finish and by the time we reached the restaurant, we were really hungry! It was a lovely dinner. I enjoyed the appetizers more than the main course! Took some pictures to share.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls, this is REALLY good! Served with some delicious sweet salty sauce, yummy! There's another appetizer dish which we ordered, a huge piece of prawn crackers topped with fresh shredded veggies with a drizzle of light sweet and sour sauce , with cold prawns and squids, really delicious. I have forgotten to take the photo for this appetizer.

A side dish, small little saucers filled with steamed rice flour topped with some fried shallots, garlic (and some other secret ingredients!) and croutons, with some sauce to spoon over and enjoy! Really good!

I ordered this for myself, Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli with a  pot of sour spicy soup over a  hot mini stove, with fresh prawns, celery, tomatoes and bean sprouts. Nothing special about this main dish, quite ordinary, I still prefer the appetizers!

My hubby ordered Fish braised in sweet and salty sauce, with a pot of hot sour soup over a mini stove,  some prawns, veggies and a bowl of rice. The fish is nice.

My daughter ordered a plate of noodles with chicken, prawns, squids and some veggies.  My son ordered a bowl of chicken ball noodles, which is very tasty, and again, I have forgotten to take a photo of his noodles, we were extremely hungry!  :)

 A glass of delicious refreshing drink! Basil, Lime and Soda, this is so good!

A pot of Vietnamese tea for my hubby.

The cute little saucer has a depression in the centre to place the little teacup. 

We really enjoyed the dinner and I would not mind going back there again just for the appetizers! By the time we reached home it was already 10.30pm and all of us were so stuffed from dinner that we did not even have our dessert. I made for myself Chocolate and Walnuts Toffee Tart, on that same evening, before we left for dinner. By the time we came back, the chocolate has not quite set yet. And since we were so full from dinner,  I placed the tart in the fridge, after the birthday song :)  and only have it the next day.

Happy Birthday to me!  :)

Oh my! this is SO DELICIOUS! I am overall not a number one fan of chocolates, but this is incredibly good! If you love chocolates, please do make this! It's not difficult to do, I would say it is quite simple and easy, and the end result is just fantastic! The original recipe uses hazelnut, but since I have only walnuts, I use that instead. Rachel says to serve it at room temperature, but we prefer it chilled, take it out from the fridge and leave it for about 5-7 minutes before serving. Heavenly!

The sweet crust is not sweet at all, it has all the right balance of butter and sugar, I really like the crust, it would be a nice basic crust for any sweet tarts.

The walnut toffee filling is so good, with just the right amount of sweetness.

The chocolate mousse is smooth, creamy and delicious. I use a bar of semi-sweet chocolate instead of dark chocolate as that was what I had, and it is lovely.

Put them all together, the lovely crust, the walnut filling and the smooth creamy chocolate, and you will get a delicious, gorgeous chocolate tart! Go make this!
Chocolate and Hazelnut Toffee Tart
(adapted from "Rachel's Favourite Food At Home" by Rachel Allen)
1 portion of Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (recipe below)
For The Hazelnut Toffee :
50gm (2 oz butter)
75ml (2-3/4fl oz) single cream (I use heavy cream)
100gm (4oz) soft light brown sugar (I use 80gm)
150gm (5oz) hazelnuts, roased, peeled and coarsely chopped (I use walnuts)

For The Chocolate Mousse :
200ml (7fl oz) single cream (I use heavy cream)
200gm (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces

To serve :
Cocoa powder (optional)
Softly whipped cream

Roll out the pastry to line a 25cm (10 in) tart in. Cover and chill for 20 minutes, then blind bake. The pastry will not go into the oven again, so it must be completely cooked.

For the hazelnut toffee layer, place the butter, cream and brown sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, add the hazelnuts and allow it to cool. Spread over the cooked tart shell.

For the chocolate mousse, place the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from the heat and immediately add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and mixed with the cream. It should be just tepid now. Pour over the hazelnut toffee in the pastry case.

Place the tart somewhere cool until the chocolate mousse has set. If you are keeping it in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before you serve. Dust the tart with cocoa (if using), slice and serve with softly whipped cream.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
(adapted from "Rachel's Favourite Food At Home" by Rachel Allen)
This makes enough to line one 28cm (11in) square or one 25cm (10 in) square tin (with a little left over), or two 20cm (8in) square tins, (it is best if they have removable bases). Uncooked pastry freezes perfectly, so it is handy to have some in the freezer. It will also keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

250gm (9 oz) plain flour
125gm (4-1/2oz) butter, diced and softened
1/2 - 1 egg, beaten
25gm (10 oz) icing sugar

Place the flour and butter in a food processor. Whiz for a few seconds, then add half the beaten egg and continue whizzing. You might need to add a little more egg, but don't add too much - the pastry should just come together. (If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour, then use your hands to bring it together with the egg). Flatten out the ball of dough to a thickness of about 3cm (1-1/4 in), wrap or cover with cling film, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When you are ready to roll the pastry, remove from the fridge. Place the pastry between two sheets of cling film, which should be bigger than your tart tin. Using a rolling pin, roll it out until it is no thicker than 3mm (1/8 in). Make sure to keep it round, if the tin is round, and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin.

Removing the top layer of cling film, place the pastry upside-down (cling film side facing up) in the tart tin. Press into the edges, cling film still attached and, using your thumb 'cut' the pastry on the edge of the tin to give a neat finish. Remove the cling film and pop the pastry in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

Blind baking is a way of partially cooking a pastry case before adding its filling. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper when cold (leaving plenty to come up the sides), fill with baking beans or dried pulses (you can use these over and over), and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry feels dry. Remove the paper and beans, brush with a little leftover beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Take out of the oven and put to one side while you prepare the filling. This can be easily made a day in advance.

(kitchen flavour's notes : I made 3/4 of this pastry recipe and use a round 9" tart pan. I baked blind for 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans, and bake for another 7-8 minutes till the pastry is cooked and golden brown.)


  1. Happy Birthday! Your birthday dinner looks sooo good- what a treat! That tart is gorgeous too. I prefer walnuts to hazelnuts, so I would make it exactly like you did. :)

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! The Vietnamese dinner looks good, I'm glad you had a lovely celebration with your family. Your tart looks delicious, great job!

  3. Joy you are a doll! What a beautiful dessert to share with Cookbook Sundays! Thanks so much.

  4. Happy Birthday to you. Ya, Vietnamese food is good, I like it too. Oh, your tart is so tempting and delicious.

  5. Happy Birthday! That tart looks so good. I've never had Vietnamese food.

  6. Happy Birthday ! Tart looks absolutely divine.. sure bookmarked !
    Looks like someone had a pleasant time with the appetizer :)

  7. Happy Birthday 生日快乐 Selamat Harijadi お誕生日おめでとうございます!
    The tart looks scrumptious!
    Have a great weekend :-))

  8. happy birthday :) that nut toffee layer looks amazing, and your birthday dinner looked very enjoyable.

  9. Happy belated Birthday! I love the noodles your daughter ordered.
    Now let's move forward to your toffee tart ;-)) it looks splendid!

  10. Happy belated Birthday Joy!! It sounds like you had a wonderful night out. You deserve it! And your tart looks absolutely amazing! My goodness, but does that ever look good! Gorgeous pics, I want to make that. Have a lovely weekend!

  11. Happy belated Birthday! How nice of your husband, this looks like a delicious meal!

  12. Happy belated birthday! That dinner looks so appropriate as a special birthday dinner, and the tart is so decadent! Yum!

  13. happy belated birthday to you , Joyce! How many candles?? haha! anyway, that tart looks simply marvellous and that filling..mmm..heavenly!

  14. i've had chocolate tarts before, but not hazelnut toffee - I'm sure it made a really wonderful birthday tart :)

  15. Happy belated birthday and this chocolate toffe cake look georgeous and delicious!! gloria

  16. Wow that chocolate tart is amazing.

    We are having a themed linky party over at my blog, (Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays) and this weeks theme is chocolate. The link will be up tonight beginning at 8 pm Please come by and link up a few of your favorite chocolate recipes! We hope to see you there.


  17. Ooops...wonder why after commenting and hit 'post comment' it says 'service unavailable'....hmmmm. Will try again. Hope this one goes thru.

    Happy Belated Birthday! That's such a fabulous meal you had with your family. I love VIetnamese food. My gosh...that chocolate tart just looks too tempting. I think I will dream of it tonight! I have to bookmark this to try. I have always wanted to make a chocolate tart but somehow never got down to doing it. Have to make it soon. I think my family will go crazy with this first....haha :D Thanks very much for sharing. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  18. Happy Birthday! Great dinner treat from hubby :) Well done! Lovely tart too...nutellalicious!

  19. Belated birthday wishes,Lovely treat too..The tart looks very chocolaty n creamy ..yum yum!!

  20. Happy Birthday Joy! What an awesome Birthday party, I wish I could have been there to celebrate with you and to have such a beautiful meal to celebrate a wonderful lady!! The Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart is out of this world, it just looks beautiful and I am sure the taste is out of this world as well. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and sure hope to see you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  21. Amboi! your choc tart looks heavenly! I shall try yr recipe one day. and the vietnamese food looks pretty interesting. yr next trip there, don't forget to invite me..hahaa.

  22. Hello!
    I have missed commenting your posts! Sorry I haven't...I've been away. Happy late bIrthday! What a great place to celebrate your birthday at. I love Vietnamese food; it's so fresh as you've shown us here. Also, your chocolate tart sounds delicious !!! I love nuts and chocolate..and tarts!!

  23. Happy birthday to you,trat looks so yummy and lovely presentation.

  24. Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you had a great time! I really want to try authentic Vietnamese cuisine, I think it's similar to Chinese but I bet there are subtle differences :) Especially the basil and lime soda, that sounds really good, and really interesting too, and the bowl that the noodles came is really cute too!

  25. Happy Birthday!!! Looks like a wonderful birthday meal and celebration, everything looks fantastic, especially the tart :)

  26. I mean it just looks like heaven- the rich chocolate with the hint of toffee and hazelnut. I am not sure if anything could possibly be better than this! I am in love

  27. Happy belated birthday! That tart looks absolutely wonderful~

  28. Happy Birthday! wow Your birthday dinner looks soooooooo good and tasty now im hungry^^

  29. Feliz cumpleaños querida que cumplas muchos más que se cumplan todos tus deseos,me llevo el trozo de chocolate con avellanas para celebrar me encanta,abrazos grandes.

  30. Hello friends,
    Thank you for all your lovely wishes and kind comments. I really appreciate them all. Have a lovely and yummy week, everyone!

  31. Everything looks so yummy...especially the tart!

  32. Wow! Your choc tart looks sooooooooooo yummy...!!! Must try out this recipe!! I'm so glad you had a wonderful birthday....hugs and kisses!!!....

  33. Congratulations Joy!
    You are featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. You are welcome to pick up your Featured Red Plate.
    Miz Helen

  34. I am speechless. This is fantastic and your pie is being featured, today on Bake with Bizzy. I have to have this. I am feeling desperate - it is too late to bake it.

    Swoon. (smiles)

    Come over later and bring something to eat.