Photo by Dave Weidner _ Sweet Tartlette _ Traverse Magazine

Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Tart

A big thank you to Sweet Tartlette owner and pastry chef Sarah Steele for sharing this fabulous dessert recipe.


Chocolate Tart Shell Yields 1-10” tart shell

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½-2 ounces dark chocolate

Hazelnut Caramel

  • 1 ounce hazelnuts, toasted or hazelnut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 5 tablespoons cream, warmed


  • 1 cup cream
  • 7 ounces quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • Pinch kosher or sea salt
  • Toasted hazelnuts


Chocolate Tart Shell

Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt together. Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg white making sure to incorporate it fully. Add the vanilla. Beat to combine. Scrape the bowl and beat a few seconds more. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Pull out of the mixer and knead the dough just enough to homogenize all of the ingredients. Shape the dough into a round and wrap in plastic. Chill until firmer and easier to handle, about 30 minutes.

When ready to roll, bring the dough out of the refrigerator and, if necessary, give it a few whacks with the rolling pin to soften it up. Roll to 13 inches. Drape over the tart pan and carefully fit it to the sides of the pan, allowing the excess to drape over the sides. Do not cut this off. Chill for 30 minutes before baking.

Heat the oven to 350.

Prior to baking prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes. It will feel soft still, but will crisp up as it cools. Once cool, if there are pieces of crust attached to the shell, run a sharp knife along the edge of the shell to remove these.

Melt the dark chocolate slowly in a microwave and brush over the baked shell and chill to firm up before adding the caramel. Hazelnut Caramel: If making your own hazelnut butter, puree the hazelnuts in a small food processor until they are fluid. Set aside. Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan. Do not stir or swirl the pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook the syrup until it reaches 330°F or a medium-dark amber color. Add the butter and swirl it into the syrup. Carefully add the cream and hazelnut paste. It will bubble up. Gently stir with a heat-proof spatula.  Let cool at room temp until it is just warm and still fluid. Pour the caramel into the prepared tart shell. Chill until firm. Ganache: Bring the cream to a boil with the salt in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir with a spatula or whisk, making small circles in the center of the bowl until the ganache starts to emulsify. Make larger circles until the cream and chocolate are fully combined. Pour the ganache over the cooled caramel. Decorate with the toasted hazelnuts as desired. Chill. Allow the tart to sit out for an hour or so before serving.