Chocolate Macadamia-Nut Tart

If ever you are asked to bake a decadent chocolate dessert, this chocolate macadamia-nut tart will be a sure hit! Macadamia nuts and chocolate are a duo that go perfectly together. Hawaii lays claim to making the macadamia nut an international hit, with many macadamia trees planted among the islands. While many nuts are valued for their protein and omega-3 fatty acids, macadamia nuts are not among them. They are high in fat and low in protein.

Nonetheless, this dessert is just another to add to your festive desserts that cause us to pack on a few pounds around the holidays. Friends and family at holiday parties are sure to want leftovers of these (if there are any)!

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s collection of baking recipes. While the recipe is quite time-consuming and labor intensive, it is well worth the effort.

The first step is to make the pastry dough as a pie crust. Since the recipe I used made two 11-inch shells and only one is necessary, I have halved the recipe here to make things simpler.

~ 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
~ 3 tablespoons sugar
~ 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut up
~ 2 large egg yolks
~ 4 tablespoons ice water

1. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour and sugar until mixture resembles coarse meal. There should no longer be any large chunks of butter
2. Lightly beat egg yolks in a small bowl; add ice water. Add to mixture in large bowl and knead with hands. While continually kneading, add more ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together.
3. Mold dough into a flattened disc and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Once the dough has chilled for at least 1 hour, the filing can be made.

~ 2 large eggs
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 1/2 tablespoon bourbon
~ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~ 1/4 teaspoon salt
~ 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
~ 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
~ 2 1/2 cups unsalted whole macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface and with lightly floured hands, roll the pastry dough into a 14-inch diameter circle. Fit pastry into an 11-inch pie pan; trim dough evenly along edge. Use trimmings to patch any thin spots in shell. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and bourbon until combined. Whisk in flour and salt. Whisk in butter. Stir in chocolate. Pour into chilled pie shell. Cover top with nuts, pressing them halfway down into filling.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and continue baking about 35 minutes, until crust and nuts are golden. If tart gets too brown on top, place aluminum foil over top for remainder of baking time. Cool on wire rack.

Decadence awaits you once the tart has cooled. The chocolate sinks to the bottom to give it a layered look. A bite with crust, chocolate and a macadamia nut is the best. Be sure to have a big glass of water or milk nearby.

While thinking about the tart makes my mouth water, there are some alterations I would make to the recipe in the future. The tart was taken out of the oven when it looked finished; however, when it was cut into, the middle was still gooey. Therefore it had to be refrigerated before guests arrived. Also the tart tasted like pure butter. A solution to help both of those cases is to reduce the amount of butter, but still have enough for decadence and the same flavor. I would recommend reducing it to 1 stick instead of 1 1/2. Additionally, the macadamia nuts were very overwhelming. Either using half the amount of whole macadamia nuts would be better or simply cutting the macadamia nuts in half so that you still have the same visual appearance of whole macadamia nuts on the top.

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