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Channel your Inner Fat Kid

Consider yourself warned:  This recipe is not for the faint of heart.  It is not low-fat, low in calories, low in sugar OR low in taste.  Once in a while, we need a splurge and this is a really good one.

If we’re being perfectly honest here,  my “inner fat kid” doesn’t exactly need to be channeled.  She happily resides within & unfortunately can be pretty demanding most of the time.
I have had a love affair with Nutella for as long as I can remember.  There is just something about that smooth, chocolately, nutty yumminess that makes me smile whenever I have it and luckily for me there is usually a jar in the cupboard.

My favorite combination of flavors is salty & sweet, so when I was thinking about doing a dessert, I wanted to add in a salty element somewhere and the crust just seemed the natural way to go.  Pretzels are my go-to snack so they are always on hand and thus, a dessert was born…

The slight saltiness and crunch of the crust balances out the smooth richness of the filling and it all works very nicely together.

Note: this tart is so decadently delicious, you may want to consider turning the lights down low and putting on some Barry White before eating it…

Nutella Tart with Pretzel Crust

For the crust you will need the following:

  • 1 cup pretzel crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

To make the pretzels crumbs, put a couple of cups of your favorite pretzels into the food processor and pulse until you have coarse crumbs.  You don’t want big pieces of pretzel but you aren’t looking for something as fine as breadcrumbs either.
Remove from food processor and put in a bowl with the other 3 ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine (it should look like wet sand).

Divide the crumbs evenly between 3  5″ tart shells or 1  8″ shell.  You will need the tart forms that have a removable bottom.  Press the crumbs firmly around the sides,  being careful to cover completely and evenly coat the bottom.  The  crumbs should be evenly distributed along the sides and the bottom so that the crust is even all around.

Put the tart shells on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 325.   Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To remove the tart from the form, hold the sides firmly and press up on the bottom to release it.  Be careful to do this gently so you don’t break the sides.

For the Filling:

  • 12 ounces good quality chocolate.  I use 56% Valrhona.  It is a semi-sweet chocolate that works well here.  I would not recommend milk chocolate, it is too sweet for this.
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

– Chop the chocolate and set aside.
– Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
– Combine the milk and cream in a small pot and bring to a simmer.
– SLOWLY add a small amount of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly.  (This is tempering the eggs so they don’t scramble when it gets combined)
– When about a quarter of the mixture has been added to the eggs, add the rest of the egg & sugar mixture to the milk mixture, whisking as you add it and cook over med-low heat until the mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
– Pour the egg & milk mixture over the chopped chocolate and mix until completely combined and smooth.
– Pass through a fine sieve to catch any little bits of egg that may have scrambled.

– Let mixture cool slightly before filling the tart shells.

– Fill shells to just below the top edge of the sides and refrigerate until completely set, about 3 hrs.

– Top with Fleur de Sel or chopped roasted hazelnuts as garnish.

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