Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Treat.

Hey! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for a numbers of reasons- good food, time with the family, and best of all, my birthday. Hehe. While the dinner is delicious, my favorite part always has been and always will be dessert.

Now autumn seems to be all about pies. Of course, pies are delicious, but I like my pies with less fruit and more chocolate. Cue this delicious dessert that a friend mentioned to me that she was making.

Nutella Tart.

Now, I don't know if you have all tried this delicious chocolate hazelnut spread, but if you haven't already, run out to the store and buy some. Spread it lightly on toast, bake it in this tart recipe, or better yet, eat it right out of the jar with a spoon. I'm embarrassed to say just how much of this stuff I ate while I was making my tart.

The following recipe was adapted from Lemons and Anchovies. I decided not to use the crust recipe and just used a simple shortbread recipe adapted from Fruit Tart. This crust would usually be used for a fruit tart but I think it was delicious with the nutella tart.

Shortbread Crust

-1 1/3 cup flour

-1/3 cup light brown sugar packed

-7 tablespoons butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour your tart pan. I used a 9" Wilton tart pan with a removable bottom plate.

2. Mix flour and brown sugar with mixer or whisk.

3. Cut in butter one tablespoon at a time until mixture is crumbly.

4. Press into bottom and sides of tart pan firmly.

5. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutella Tart Filling

-2/3 cup Nutella spread

-4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

-7 tablespoons unsalted butter

-1 large egg at room temperature, whisked

-3 large egg yolks at room temperature, whisked

-2 tablespoons sugar

-1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts 

-2/3 cup Nutella spread

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the Nutella evenly over the bottom of the tart crust.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler or, if you're lazy like me, in the microwave.

3. Use a small whisk to stir egg into chocolate very carefully. If you whip the mixture too quickly, it will "agitate" the ganache and you'll end up with air bubbles in your finished tart. Trust me, I know from experience. But I promise, it's just as delicious with a couple of air bubbles in it.

4. Repeat with egg yolks, then sugar, and finally, melted butter. Pour the ganache over the nutella and tart crust. If wanted, you can also scatter the chopped hazelnuts over the top of the tart. It looked nice and it was a nice, tasty little crunch, too.

5. Bake tart for 11 minutes on center rack. The center will not be solid yet. Let set for 20 minutes and serve. I recommend serving warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I made this mostly for myself and my sister-in-law since we're both Nutella fanatics. But I have to say, everyone else really enjoyed it, too. It's now my husband's new favorite baked goodie.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


First and foremost, welcome and thank you for stopping to check out my blog!

Some of my fondest childhood memories were of spending time in the kitchen with my mom. I was always amazed by the fact that she could turn common household ingredients into something delicious with barely a recipe to follow.

Mom & Me
(Don't mind the lion.)

As an adult, my baking adventures began, as they probably do for most, with boxed cake mix and a tub of cookie dough. But somewhere along the way, I read this quote and it changed me.

"If you only do things you know you can do, you'll never do very much."

Challenge accepted.

Naturally, I consulted my mom and together we got to work in the kitchen. She's taught me so much, but the biggest lesson I've taken away is "Baking is science." It absolutely fascinates me how much chemistry actually finds it's way into the kitchen!

From there, we grew. Eventually my sister and my aunt got involved in learning more about baking and we started taking classes all together. We have a blast spending time together and making delicious treats for our family and friends.

My sister and I.

Aunt Lisa & me.

And now, I'd like to share our adventures (sometimes, misadventures) with all of you!! Happy Baking everyone!