My husband and I recently purchased our plane tickets for our upcoming trip to Paris. This has gotten me thinking about all of the fabulous Patisseries that have haunted my memories since my college semester abroad. It is these memories that make the extra thirty pounds I brought home seem like such a small price to pay for eating chewy pistachio french macarons in such close proximity to the Louvre. I fell in love with the city of lights one pastry at a time.
For a girl who grew up in small town Arkansas, it came as quite the surprise how at home I felt in this forgein country at the age of nineteen. Last night as I was thinking of all of the must see attractions I must show my husband in my most favorite city, I wanted him to be able to taste a bite of the European city in our tiny apartment in the middle of Houston, Texas. Now I too have made many the cassoulet full of the aromatic Julia Child beef bourguignon, and more than a few batches of French macarons, but I felt the need to create a more unique desert worthy of haunting his Parisian bakery dreams.
I scoured multiple cookbooks until I decided on my own version of a tart, a combination of a few different recipes done my way. So I began to assemble the key flavors and ingredients signature of what I can remember of a French Pastry, grapefruit zest, good bittersweet chocolate, plenty of butter, hazelnuts, ect….
Chocolate Hazelnut Grapefruit Tart
For those of us who need a little taste of the city of lights in our own tiny apartments
1 Prepared tart shell (recipe follows)
6 ounces of good bittersweet Chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup of sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
1 dash of salt
1/2 Tbsp of grapefruit zest
1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts (rub the skin of after toasting)
Preheat your oven to 325F, while your tart shell chills. Put Chocolate in a small metal mixing bowl. Melt your butter mix in half of your sugar, heat until dissolved. Pour this over your chocolate and stir until smooth. In a larger mixing bowl combine the rest of the sugar, eggs, salt, and zest. Using a mixer beat the mixer until it becomes yellow, fluffy and thick. This should take no longer than a few minutes. Pour a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate, this should lighten the chocolate. Then fold in the rest of the mixture.
Once mixture is folded in and no yellow is left, pour into the tart shell.
Then take your toasted hazelnuts and arrange to your hearts desire. Finally put your tart in the oven for roughly seven minutes, add sugar sprinkled on top nad turn the broiler on high at the last second if you want to have a crisp candied crust on top. Let cool, slice a piece, pour a espresso , close your eyes, and enjoy Paris….