dark chocolate hazelnut tart with top secret cranberry jam

dark chocolate hazelnut tart with top secret cranberry jam

I've been in the midst of a love affair with the hazelnut as of late, whirring it into hazelnut milk (should I post that recipe too?), scattering the richly roasted ones over hearty green salads, and pairing them with their soulmate of the culinary world, everyone's favorite, you know it and love it: dark chocolate. This sweet little sliceable is an homage to the aforementioned compatible couple, but it also has a secret: hidden underneath that peaceful pond of chocolate mousse is a layer of sweet-tart cranberry jam, a seasonal surprise that wakes up the fruitiness of the dark chocolate, and serves as the perfect sour foil to the roasty richness of the hazelnuts in the base. It makes one great third wheel. 

Bring this to any upcoming holiday function and your friends or family or mysterious long lost relatives will surely have one more thing to be thankful for. ❤️ 

For the crust:
• 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, roasted and unsalted
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil, softened
• 3 large, soft, fresh medjool dates, pitted and halved
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the cranberry jam:
• 1 1/14 cups fresh cranberries (frozen would likely work too)
• 1/4 cup freshly-squeeze orange juice
• zest from half of a large orange
• 3 tbsp. maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. gelatin, optional but recommended
• pinch of kosher salt

For the chocolate mousse:
• 1 cup good-quality chopped dark chocolate (approximately 125 grams)
• 3 tbsp. coconut oil
• 1 cup canned, full fat coconut milk, at room temperature

Make the crust: in a food processor, combine all crust ingredients and pulse in long bursts until mixture comes together to form a dough, holding it shape when pressed between your fingers. Press crust firmly into the bottom and up the sides of an 8 or 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom (you can also use 3-4 mini tart pans for cuteness). Wet your fingers if the dough starts to stick. Pop the crust in the freezer while you prepare the cranberry jam.

Make the cranberry jam: Combine all ingredients in a small-medium sized saucepan over medium heat, and allow mixture to come to a gentle boil. You will start hearing and seeing the cranberries pop and burst. Using a heavy metal or wooden spoon, stir constantly until mixture is thick and jam-like, smashing the berries with the back of your spoon as you go. Allow to cool slightly, then spread the jam evenly into the bottom of the chilled hazelnut crust. Refrigerate while you make the mousse. 

For the chocolate mousse: Melt the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler situation) until fully melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat, and slowly whisk in the coconut milk until fully incorporated. Continue to whisk swiftly until mixture starts to thicken slightly and come to room temperature. You could also expedite the process by beating it with an electric hand mixer. 

Pour the chocolate mousse over the chilled cranberry jam in your tart shell, then gently tap the pan against the counter to eliminate any air bubbles and allow the mousse to settle. Decorate with pomegranate seeds, chopped hazelnuts, dried or fresh cranberries, and dried rose petals for extra prettiness. Refrigerate until mousse is firm to the touch and fully set, 1-2 hours. Serve chilled and store leftovers in the fridge. Be grateful for hazelnuts. And chocolate. And top secret cranberry jam. 

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