I remember the first time I tried chocolate with sea salt. It sounded weird to me at first, but as soon as I took the first bite, I was delighted. It instantly became a favorite. Nowadays, I rarely make anything chocolatey without a good extra pinch of salt. And the same goes for caramel, which is so intensely sweet on its own. Salt adds depth, and maximizes the flavor to bring out all the good stuff. This notion is something I keep coming back to when I think about food, and life in general. How differences should be celebrated, how they enhance each other. Opposites attract. Our differences are what makes us interesting, and food, in flavor and texture. Sweet and salty. Smooth and crunchy. These tartlets have it all. A crisp, nutty shortbread crust, a crunchy hazelnut filling topped with a rich, smooth chocolate ganache and flaky salt on top. Just the right balance between flavors and textures.
Some of my recent favorite flavor combinations are chocolate & salt, rhubarb & cardamom, strawberry & balsamic and coconut & coffee. What are some of your favorite combinations?
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TARTLETS WITH SEA SALT
Makes 10 small tartlets
I used my Electrolux* blender to mix the toasted hazelnuts into a fine meal but you could also use a food processor if you don’t have a blender. If you don’t have tartlet pans with removable bottoms, you can cut long strips of baking paper and put along the bottom of the pans before you press in the dough. This will make it so much easier to remove them from them from the pans once baked! Crust with nut filling can be made a day ahead.
- 100 g (25 g for crust + 75 g for filling) hazelnuts
- 25 g toasted hazelnuts
- 180 g (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. light muscovado sugar
- pinch of flake sea salt
- 150 g (about 1 1/4 stick) salted butter
- 45 g (1/4 cup) light brown muscovado sugar
- 100 g (1 scant stick) salted butter
- 2 tbsp. liquid honey
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 75 g toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 200 g semi-sweet chocolate (around 55%), chopped
- 240 ml (1 cup) heavy cream
- Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Spread 100 g hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 8-12 minutes. Let cool. Put the toasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub to remove as much of the skins as possible.
- Put the nuts in a blender along with the flour, sugar and salt. Mix until nuts are finely ground. Pour mixture into a bowl. Melt the butter and stir into the dry mixture until just incorporated and a dough forms.
- Using your hands, press the dough into the tartlet pans (I used about 35 g of dough for each pan, my pans are approx. 10 cm across), smoothing the edges with your fingertips. Prick the bottoms of the dough and transfer the pans to a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool while you prepare the filling.
- Mix sugar, butter, honey and cream in a saucepan. Stir together and let come to a boil. Let simmer for a minute, then stir in the 75 g of chopped hazelnuts. Divide the mixture between the tartlet shells.
- Bake on the lower rack of the oven at 175°C (350°F) for 18-20 minutes or until filling is golden brown and bubbling. Let cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.
- Pour the cream into a saucepan and place it over medium high heat until cream is very hot but not boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate – make sure all the chocolate is covered with cream, if not, press chocolate down with a spoon. Let stand for 30 seconds, then stir with a spoon until chocolate is melted and ganache is completely smooth. Make sure to stir carefully, or you’ll get lots of air bubbles in your ganache. Let cool to room temperature.
- Pour the ganache into the tartlet shells. Let stand until set, about 1-2 hours in room temperature (refrigerator will be a bit faster). If you want a shiny surface on the chocolate, use a torch to very carefully toast the chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
*This post was made in collaboration with Electrolux. All opinions are as always, my own! 🙂
Rebecca | Let's Eat Cake says
Whoa! This looks incredible. I just pinned a ton of these to my board as I would love to try it this weekend.
Thank you Rebecca!! Hope you’ll like them 🙂
Hi Linda, firstly thank you for sharing your recipe, it sounds so amazing I’ve decided to give it a go tomorrow! May I ask if these goodies can be stored & if so, would they go into the fridge?
Thanks for your sweet comment, Jane! If stored for more than a few hours, yeah I’d put them in the fridge and top with salt just before serving. They’re good to eat both cold or room temp, depending what you like 🙂 They’ll be softer att room temp though. Hope that helps! x linda
Izzy Bruning says
Oh my goodness this is amazing!!!
Those photos make me drool……
Izzy | Pinch of delight
Laura & Nora @Our Food Stories says
Looks so beautiful and delicious <3
Lili @ Travelling oven says
Wow Linda, these photos are so dreamy and beautiful, that dripping chocolate made me drool! 😀 I am obsessed with chocolate + salt combination and now craving these little tartlets badly! <3
Coco in the Kitchen says
I had problem with crust and butter. Looks like toooo much 🙁 or maybe because I used gluten free flour 🙁
Hi! I’m not sure what you mean, did you have too much dough for the tartlets?
Amazing!! I’ll try it as soon as possible! What do you think, is it possible to replace heavy cream with coconut milk and agar agar?
I bet coconut milk would work fine! I’m not sure if you’d need the agar agar though as the chocolate will harden the ganache anyway 🙂 Thanks so much!
uhhhhhhhhh, nice spectator. I have the same spectator, name’sOtto, nice and greedy. Splendid tartlets and splendid photo
They look so lush! And I love the combo of chocolate and sea salt, it’s almost like these two meant to be together!
Absolutely in love with your photography Linda, you are super talented, and very inspiring!
Dina recept och bilder är ljuvliga konstverk!!!
Finns det någon möjlighet/inställning som jag inte sett, att få recepten på svenska?
Stort tack för dina inspirerande bilder!
Melissa Novotny says
These tarts look divine! I’m a big fan of the cracker base, so easy and delicious, and that chocolate filling? wow, yummy. Very lucky to have such a family 😉
Hi Linda,first of all I got your blog late, I missed to have this early. Anyway thank you lot for such nice recipe. I will try it today itself.
I can´t move my eyes away from these impressive photos. Tarts with sea salt….mmmm….I must try!
Little Cooking Tips says
This post is a work of art. You’re so right about the salt in caramel and chocolate. Adding a little makes them so much more interesting! Can’t wait to give your beautiful tartlets a try, we’re drooling over the keyboard:):)
Greetings from sunny Athens, Greece!
Mirella and Panos
Simplesmente maravilhoso, adorei a receita.
J Kelly says
there turned out unbelievable!!! So fun to make and so good to eat! Thank you for the post
Homes & Weddings says
Good heavens, that looks good. And the photography? Incredible. Wow, I am in utter AWE.
The salt with chocolate that makes a good cake. Thanks for recipe.
BY LOUISE*SK says
It all looks perfect! I’m constantly amazed by the quality of your pictures and how hungry they make me feel.
This recipe looks delicious! I need to try this as soon as possible! Your pictures are beautiful by the way. Thanks for the share!
Hi Linda, this looks so good! Thank you so much for sharing this. Would you recommend doing this in a bigger 28cm tart pan?
Hi Hannah, sorry for the late response! You can most definitely make a bigger tart – although I can’t say if the ratios are correct to make a big one. Do let me know if you decide to give it a try!
Hi Linda! How many days do they last? Thanks
I’d say they’re good for several days if you store them in the fridge – maybe up to a week! I can’t be sure though, as we ate them quite fast 🙂
Followed a few of your recipes and they look delicious and the photography is amazing. I would love a few sub ideas for us unsophisticated chefs that are working with everyday ingredients and budget ha – muscovado sugar I’d never heard of til I had to look it up from your recipe- maybe you could do some cheapy tips to the side/bottom?
Thank you so much for your kind comment! You can definitely use regular brown sugar in place of muscovado! 🙂
What type of pan do you use? Non-stick? Removable bottom?
Hi Tammie! They didn’t have a removable bottom but I think they are non stick… I can’t remember which ones I used now!