Chocolate-hazelnut tart with maple ganache + a giveaway
I came home from the farm last Friday to Thom in the kitchen, hovering over a grocery bag, with a very bewildered look on his face. He pulled a bouquet of flowers from the aforementioned bag and proceeded to carry on awkwardly because I was home early and he wasn't expecting me. I wasn't expecting him, either. And between you and me, I was secretly hoping he was still out running errands because I do this totally immature thing (nearly every time I hear the keys in the door) where I hide behind a corner or in the closet and scare the living daylights out of him. And damnit, I could have gotten him good.
But anyway, he continued making small talk and next thing I knew my dad turned the corner while saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and I think it's totally accurate to say that I lost my metaphorical shit. I screamed and jumped up and down and gave him what felt like a minute-long bear hug. I was just thinking the other day about how it had been damn near a year since his last trip to Denver. And there he was, standing in our new place for the very first time, surprising me for my birthday.
We went to an escape room (high fives to Thom) and dinner that night, but I wound up going to bed semi-early because I had every intention of waking up before the sunrise to go on a long run (I always like kicking off a new trip around the big star with a difficult run) (and an empty laundry basket). I decided, shortly after rolling out of bed, that early-morning coffee with my pops would be a much more enjoyable way to kick off my birthday, so we walked through the park, to one of my favorite coffee shops, and spent a good two hours sipping on caffeinated beverages while discussing life and work and the impending wedding. We headed back to the house to wake Thom and open gifts, and then we went for a healthy-ish lunch because I was craving Andy's TLT somethin' fierce. There may have been a wedding suit-related meltdown in Ralphie's that afternoon, but it was my birthday and my dad was in town so I dragged him to Cafe Max for more coffee before we headed to Cuba Cuba to eat our weight in mojo fries and indulge in a pitcher of mango mojitos. And then I forgot all about the suit.
Sunday was more of the same. And for someone who doesn't like birthday weekends (there's a reason we call it a birthday, guys), I sure did have a good one. But on to the + A GIVEAWAY part!
If you've been hanging around this space for at least the past year, you should know that I kind of love giveaways. So this year I've put together a package of my favorite things in celebration of another year on this planet. My favorite wooden cake stand. My favorite polka dot coffee mug (along with a polka dot hot pad because the folks at More & Co. are too damn kind). My favorite loaf pan. And my favorite chocolates. There will also be a bottle of real deal vanilla extract, which means this package won't ship out until the first week of May. To enter, all you have to do is tell me your fondest birthday memory or your favorite celebratory dessert and why. As always, giveaways are open to the whole damn world and you have until 16 April at 11:59PM MST to enter. I'll choose a winner at random and they will be notified via email.
But wait, there's more! If you like Oh, Ladycakes + this photo on Facebook, you'll be entered for a chance to win a bottle of real deal vanilla extract as well as that pretty loaf pan.Giveaway is now closed, winner has been notified. Congrats, Sarah! There will be a real deal vanilla extract giveaway this time next month. Stay tuned.
Notes: Although I hate associating the H-word with desserts, there's no denying that this tart is pretty damn healthy.. for a dessert. If you want something a bit sweeter, replace the chocolate filling with my two ingredient chocolate mousse. Or add 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar to the filling (do not use additional maple syrup or else the filling won't retain its shape). If desired, you can replace the hazelnuts with your favorite nut or seed without altering the end result too much. I've tried almonds and pistachios with success - though I prefer hazelnuts because chocolate + hazelnuts FOREVERRRR. Although I'm not a fan of agave nectar, it can be used in place of the maple syrup.
CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT TART WITH MAPLE GANACHE
1 cup hazelnuts (raw or toasted)
1 cup thick rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons refined coconut oil, liquid
2 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1/3 cup cacao powder3-4 tablespoons
Grade B maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/4 cup hazelnuts, halved
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
Pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Lightly grease an 8" tart pan with a removable bottom; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the hazelnuts, rolled oats, and sea salt into a fine meal. Slowly drizzle in the coconut oil, followed by the maple syrup, and blend just until the mixture becomes crumbly. Firmly press the mixture into the prepared tart pan then prick the bottom with a fork about a dozen times. Bake at 325˚F for 10-12 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least an hour. Once cool, cover with plastic and store in freezer until ready to use.
Remove the cans of coconut milk from the fridge and open. Scoop out the white layer of cream that has risen to the top and place it in a large mixing bowl (discard the water or save for later use in smoothies, etc.). Beat coconut cream with a hand mixer, on high speed, for 20-30 seconds then sift in the cocoa powder and continue mixing until combined. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and mix on high speed until smooth and creamy (no longer than 45-50 seconds). Scrape filling into the tart pan and level with the back of a spoon. Dot with hazelnuts (and sprinkle with a few finely chopped hazelnuts, if desired). Transfer tart to the refrigerator to set while you prepare the ganache.
Add the cacao powder to a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the maple syrup and sea salt. Transfer to a piping bag (or plastic bag with the corner snipped) then drizzle over chilled tart. Place back in fridge and let the tart chill for at least another hour. Serve immediately. Tart will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to five days, but I doubt it will last that long.
Yield: 8-10 slices