Recipe of Chocolate Praline and Cocoa Nib Tart

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Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)The beauty of the chocolate tart is that at heart it’s so simple: a pate sucree crust and a ganache filling, with a couple of fun elements added for crunch and for visual appeal. There’s a disk of chocolate praline and, on top of the tart, a chocolate dentelle (“lace” in French), a nougatine-like tuile made with hazelnuts and cocoa nibs.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings


  • 5 ounces (144 grams) Hazelnut-almond praline paste
  • ½ ounce (15 grams) 40% milk chocolate
  • 0.4 ounce (12.5 grams) Cocoa butter
  • 0.66 cup (60 grams) Feuilletine
Chocolate Dentelle
  • ¼ cup (37 grams) Skinned toasted hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) Granulated sugar
  • 2.1 ounces (62 grams) Unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (25 grams) Light com syrup
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (21 grams) Whole milk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon (37 grams) Cocoa nibs
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (7 grams) Cocoa powder, sifted
Chocolate ganache
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) 64% chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup + 3½ tablespoons (170 grams) Heavy cream
  • 1¾ teaspoons (14 grams) Trimoline (invert sugar)
  • ½ tablespoon (12 grams) Glucose
  • ½ ounce (14 grams) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
How to Make It
    For the praline
  1. Spoon the praline paste into a large bowl. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl (a microwave works best because of the small amount of chocolate). Melt the cocoa butter separately (chocolate and cocoa butter melt at different rates). Slowly, with a spatula, stir the cocoa butter into the chocolate until combined and smooth, then stir in the feuilletine. Add to the praline paste, stirring to combine well.
  2. Place a large piece of parchment paper on the work surface. Spoon the mixture into the center and top with a second piece of parchment. Roll the praline to under Vs inch thick. Slide the praline, in the paper, onto a sheet pan. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. (The praline can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.)
  3. For the tart shell
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F (standard). Line a sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  5. Following the instructions on page 130, roll out the dough, line the tart ring, and fill it with raw rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the dough is set and no longer sticks to the parchment paper. Remove the parchment and rice (store the rice for future use), return the pan to the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through and golden brown. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. For the dentelle
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (standard). Place the hazelnuts in a small heavy plastic bag and roll a rolling pin over them to crush them into pieces as small as the cocoa nibs. Set aside.
  8. Combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and milk in a saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 230°F/110°C. Remove from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts, cocoa nibs, and cocoa powder.
  9. Pour the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and top with a second sheet. Roll out the dentelle as thin as possible.
  10. Transfer it, still in the parchment paper, to a sheet pan. Remove the top piece of parchment and place the pan in the oven. After a few minutes, the mixture will begin to bubble. After about 12 minutes, the bubbles covering the surface will have become smaller and you will smell the aroma of the cocoa nibs and hazelnuts. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack.
  11. After 2 to 3 minutes, the dentelle will have stiffened  enough to be cut into a shape. Cut out a round to garnish the top of the tart. If you’d like, the remaining dentelle can be cut into pieces and used to garnish the individual slices. Set aside.
  12. To cut the praline
  13. Measure the bottom of the tart shell. Remove the praline from the freezer, remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and cut out a round of the same size. (It is best to work on the cold sheet pan, because the praline softens very quickly.) Return the praline to the freezer until it has hardened again.
  14. Using a wide spatula, transfer the praline to the tart shell.
  15. For the ganache
  16. Melt the chocolate in a medium bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  17. Place the cream, Trimoline, and glucose in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to combine the ingredients. Remove from the heat, pour one-third of the mixture over the chocolate, and stir from the center, incorporating the chocolate from around the edges of the bowl. Repeat with the remaining cream. The ganache should be shiny and smooth.
  18. Pour the ganache into the tart shell and let it set at room temperature for at least 4 hours. Run the tip of a paring knife between the top of the crust and the ring to loosen the crust, then lift off the ring.
  19. The tart can be stored at cool room temperature for up to 2 days. (Do not refrigerate, or the ganache will lose its shine and become too firm.)

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