CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT

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A malted milkshake from the olde soda shoppe. A box of Whoppers at the drive-in movie. Or Ralphie’s favorite, a glass of Ovaltine, complete with decoder pin and crummy commercials! The flavor of malt brings a sense of nostalgic comfort to many desserts. We’ve resurrected good old malted milk from the 1950s and paired it with dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts to create a rich, retro-modern treat (isn’t that the best kind?).

MAKES ONE 9-INCH PIE

WHAT YOU NEED

Pie dough for a Standard Single Crust (this page)  

9-inch standard pie plate 

Instant-read thermometer 

Pie crust shield or foil (see this page) 

INGREDIENTVOLUMEWEIGHT (STAN


DARD)WEIGHT (METRIC)


FILLING

Unsalted butter6 tablespoons3 ounces85 grams


Light brown sugar, lightly packed1 cup7 ounces200 grams


Salt½ teaspoon

Barley malt extract syrup⅓ cup4 ounces113 grams


Light corn syrup⅓ cup4 ounces113 grams


Eggs3 large

Blanched, roasted, unsalted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped2½ cups10 ounces283 grams


Bittersweet chocolate chips½ cup3 ounces85 grams


MALTED GANACHE TOPPING

Malted milk powder¼ cup1 ounce28 grams

Heavy cream¼ cup2 ounces57 grams


Bittersweet chocolate chips⅓ cup2 ounces57 grams


PARTIALLY BLIND-BAKE THE CRUST: Follow the instructions on this page. The pie will bake longer after the filling is added, so it should not be completely browned at this point. Remove the pie dish from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack, and remove the foil or parchment and pie weights. Decrease the oven temperature to 275°F. 

MAKE THE FILLING: When the crust is almost finished blind-baking, melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, salt, and both syrups. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Microwave the mixture at medium (50%) power, checking the temperature and stirring every minute or so until it gets to 130°F. (You can also use a double boiler; to do so, fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water, bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and set the bowl over the water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water; whisk constantly until it reaches 130°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.) 

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl to remove any stray bits of cooked egg. Fold the hazelnuts and chocolate chips into the egg mixture, stirring until the chocolate chips are melted. Place a pie crust shield on the pie to protect the edges from drips and splashes and pour the mixture into the warm pie shell. The hazelnuts will all float to the surface—this is okay. 

BAKE THE PIE: Carefully transfer the filled pie to the middle oven rack and bake until the surface has browned slightly and the filling has puffed and set, about 60 minutes. If the center is still sloshy, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes, until it has puffed and the center barely jiggles. Remove the pie crust shield and allow the pie to cool completely. 

MAKE THE MALTED GANACHE TOPPING: Place the malted milk powder and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and stir the cream to dissolve the powder. Microwave the cream on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until it just starts to boil. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted and the mixture is uniform. Pour the ganache over the surface of the cooled pie. You may need to tilt the pie to encourage the ganache to flow across the whole surface of the pie or use an offset spatula to spread it to the pie crust edge. The ganache will set as it cools at room temperature. The pie is best served at room temperature. (Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.) 

THE GUYS TALK PIES:

But ya ARE 
Blanch-ing Hazelnuts

Baking can be a lot of work, and when we can eliminate unnecessary steps, we do. Fortunately, one of the farmers’ markets near where we live has an incredible source of nuts of all kinds, including hazelnuts that come already blanched and roasted. However, we know that the average American supermarket stocks only raw hazelnuts that still have their brown skins attached, so a little extra prep is needed. Blanching and roasting hazelnuts is relatively simple, but it does take some manual labor.

Scatter the raw hazelnuts on a sheet pan and roast them in a preheated 350°F oven, tossing them every 5 minutes, until the skins have split and blistered, 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the hot nuts to a thick kitchen towel. Wrap the nuts in the towel and allow them to steam for about 10 minutes to help loosen the skins. Vigorously rub the hazelnuts between the layers of the towel to remove the skins. Not all of the skins will come off, but that’s okay. To roast the nuts for additional flavor, return the skinned nuts to the pan and bake until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

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