And here is yet another example of my favorite type of dessert: one that provides maximum pleasure but requires minimal effort. This beautiful, gluten-free tart will have people thinking you are a highly trained pastry chef while all you really need to know how to do is push the button on your food processor. If you are a dark chocolate lover, this is the tart for you. The flour-less filling is rich and textural thanks to the hazelnut meal. But the tart as a whole is lightened by the mellow sweetness of the juicy pears. This is the perfect tart to serve if you are throwing a small dinner party. It looks beautiful, tastes even better, and can be made well in advance. And if you feel like pushing the envelope on decadence, serve the tart with a dollop of whipped cream perched on top. You’ll thank me later.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into cubes and softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup hazelnut meal
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Bartlett pears
1/4 cup nutella
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup 1 % milk
- Grease a 13 x 3 3/4-inch rectangular removable base tart tin with cooking spray or butter. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the softened butter and sugar. Process until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and process until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process again until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tart tin and smooth the top.
- Peel, core and quarter the pears. Press the pear quarters into the chocolate batter at even intervals. Bake the tart for 40 to 45 minutes, until the sides of the tart can be gently and cleanly pulled away from the tin.
- Meanwhile, make the Nutella Glaze: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Let the tart cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then gently lift out of the tin, leaving the base intact under the tart. Let the tart cool completely before drizzling with the glaze just before serving. Serve extra glaze on the side.