Make Ahead

Milk Chocolate Nutmeg Tart with Hazelnut Crust

February  9, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Makes one 9-inch tart
Author Notes

Ok, so maybe nutmeg and chocolate is boring to others, but it was new to me. Particularly nutmeg and milk chocolate. I don't normally go for milk chocolate, but this tart managed to change my opinion. It was delicious enough that I'm just going to share it, whether or not nutmeg and chocolate is a snooze fest! The idea comes from reading the Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit, which is currently one of my favorite books. The tart crust is based off of Kate Zuckerman's hazelnut crust in The Sweet Life. —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

Silky milk chocolate slowly melted with heavy cream and spiced with plenty of nutmeg makes for a rich and decadent tart. Allow at least a day to make this dessert since there's a lot of wait time with making the crust, freezing it, baking it, and letting it set in the fridge. If you have trouble rolling out the hazelnut crust you can always press it in pieces into the pan. —broccolirose

What You'll Need
  • Milk chocolate nutmeg tart
  • 1 pre-baked hazelnut tart crust (see below)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (about) freshly ground nutmeg
  • 10 ounces really good quality milk chocolate, at least 30% cacao solids
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Barely sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  • Hazelnut tart crust
  • 2 1/2 ounces hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch each, salt and baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  1. Milk chocolate nutmeg tart
  2. Finely chop your chocolate, and cut your butter into several smaller pieces.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the cream and 1/4 teaspoon of the ground nutmeg just to a boil around the edges. Remove it from the heat and immediately dump in the chocolate and the butter. Let it sit undisturbed for a minute. Then gently, starting from the center of the pot and stirring in small circles, begin to stir the melted chocolate into the cream. Stir in progressively larger circles (but still gently because you don’t want extra air to get in there and ruin the silky consistency), until it is completely mixed and is a uniform color.
  4. Set aside and allow to cool for just a bit, around 10 minutes, then taste and add up to another 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to get a nice spicy flavor in the chocolate. Next, pour the chocolate mixture into the pre-baked tart crust. Set it in the fridge and let it chill for a couple of hours before serving.
  5. Serve chilled in thin slices with soft pillows of whipped cream mounded on top.
  1. Hazelnut tart crust
  2. In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts and the flour together until you have a pretty fine powder. Transfer this to a small bowl and whisk in the baking powder and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute. Then, beat in the sugar on medium-high speed until the butter and sugar are light and fluffy and fully creamed together, about 6 minutes. Stop on occasion during this process to scrape down the sides.
  4. Beat in the egg yolk until fully incorporated, a couple minutes.
  5. Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Then, mix it with the mixer on slow speed for a couple of minutes, until completely combined. Stop and scrape down the edges now and then to make sure everything gets mixed in. Gather the dough into a ball and pat it into a thick disc, then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 24.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the crust and carefully transfer it to a 9-inch tart pan. Press it into the tart pan, using your fingers to press together and fix any cracks (my dough cracked quite a bit, but it was really malleable and easy to press back together, making it quite nice to work with). Freeze the tart shell for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line the frozen tart shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill it with dry beans or pie weights. Put it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven, remove the weights and lining, then pop it back into the oven to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool before filling with the chocolate filling.
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27 Reviews

James F. March 30, 2020
This recipe is not tested correctly - and I have the proof of it from Segnit. It's a bit of a fluke that it sets for some doing the recipe - and more likely it will not, as some are finding.

In Segnit's first book, Flavor Thesaurus, she gives the ratio of 7oz of chocolate to 1.25 cups of cream. I have found this doesn't set. The author of this Food52 article then increased it to 10oz. I found it set better with that, but still not great.

In Segnit's second book, the recent Lateral Cooking, she has a section on ganache and she says for sauce, not designed to set hard, the ratio is 7oz chocolate to 1.25 cups of cream. Then she writes for a harder setting filling for a tart it's closer to equal amounts chocolate to cream. This later book basically says the recipe in the first book will give you a pie crust full of gooey sauce...

It gets confusing in the book at this point, because she flips between weight and volume - and the amounts actually doesn't match at different parts of the section. But it breaks down to: 12.4oz of milk chocolate to 1.25 cups of cream. If you do that it will set well and taste wonderful. I should know - I had to do three different versions of the recipe to learn this!
Taylorjean07 December 30, 2018
I just made the dough for the crust and am going to make this tomorrow, I only have an 8 inch round tart tin so I won't use it all, about how thick should the pastry be rolled out to?
Annak November 24, 2016
I increased the chocolate (just a touch more than five and spice suggested below) and it set pretty quickly in the freezer, but we left it over night to be sure. After that cold night it was fine in the fridge or wherever. Also, I had trouble rolling the crust so I just pressed it in with my fingers and it worked great.
kelly H. December 17, 2014
Thanks for the reply Emily. I get that it's a ganache and not a custard - and it should harden up. Do you think there is too much cream? The flavor it wonderful in it's simplicity. I will test this one more time with your adjustment without a crust to see if it will set.
kelly H. December 17, 2014
I too followed the recipe obsessively to the tee. After 11 hours in the fridge, it is at best 30-40% set. Every other chocolate tart recipe I have seen calls for eggs, cornstarch or even gelatine (which I won't use). I may do what Emily at fiveandspice suggest and increase chocolate and decrease cream. This was a test run for Christmas dinner and my time is very tight. May go with another recipe too...
fiveandspice December 17, 2014
Sorry it didn't set for you either! I'm feeling befuddled as to what is causing the difference since I haven't had this problem before. The reason there aren't eggs is because the filling is simply a ganache. It's supposed to be a soft ganache, but it should set. I've upped the amount of chocolate in the recipe to the proportions for a more solid ganache.
ejm November 21, 2014
Nice recipient but I too did not get a set filling. I added a bit extra chocolate but after 10 hours in fridge no luck. Freezing was only a temporary solution. Will probably try again
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 20, 2014
I'm not a baker, but need to try this for T-Day- wish me luck! Any novice advice appreciated!
Isola747 November 14, 2014
I followed the recipe to the dot. Nonetheless, albeit having chilled the tart in the fridge for more than six hours, the milk chocolate filling is still somewhat fluid and has yet not set. Would it be advisable to add gelatine to the mixture?
blanchette November 14, 2014
I had the same issue Isola, it took ages to set up but eventually did. Just took it's time going about it. Not sure how to go remedy this....
fiveandspice November 14, 2014
That is really interesting. I've never had trouble with it setting up. I wonder if it has something to do with cacao solids/fat content in the chocolate or something? Or fridge temp? The easiest fix for that is to make the recipe with a higher amount of chocolate and less cream. Like 7.5-8 oz chocolate and 2tbs less cream.
Isola747 November 14, 2014
Thank you both for replying. Desperate to get my chocolate fix, I placed the tart in the freezer for about one hour, which alleviated the problem somewhat. It still made one yuck-looking mess on the plate, but nevertheless a delightful gustatory experience. I used a high-quality milk chocolate containing 35% cocoa. I am contemplating melting the chocolate and butter in a water bath, and whipping the heavy cream to a semi-whipped state before gently folding in the melted chocolate/butter-mixture (akin to a mousse). After all, this is a "death by chocolate"-tart, and adding some fluffiness to the chocolate, it won't feel so heavy.
Valhalla March 23, 2013
Is the Macy's ad, or any ad crawling across the bottom of the page, going to be a permanent feature?
fiveandspice March 26, 2013
That's one for the editors. I have no idea!
blanchette March 17, 2013
I just finished making this beauty for 3 reasons. The first reason is I just bought the most fragrant nutmeg I've ever had the pleasure of meeting (from MountainRoseHerbs), secondly is your photo of this tart is so delicious to look upon, and thirdly, I came across some gorgeous organic hazelnuts just last week! I was anxious to try out my new nutmeg spice when I found this recipe! I love your website and the instructions helped me overcome a snafu or two in the preparations. I tasted it before adding the final dose of nutmeg -- it was all I could do to NOT get a straw and drink it all! So yummy!!!
fiveandspice March 18, 2013
I'm glad some of it lasted long enough to make it into the tart. ;)
Tarragon November 23, 2012
I made this for Thanksgiving. This recipe was a perfect showcase for good milk chocolate (I have about 3 lbs of Valrhona left over from a project). The nutmeg and the hazelnut crust were perfect. I made the crust, lined the tart pan and froze it on Sunday, and then baked the crust, made the filling, and filled and chilled it on Thursday. I would not change a thing in the recipe! It was wonderful and enjoyed by all. I especially appreciated the detailed directions on the crust - I am not a baker and but for the warnings in the recipe I would have panicked when the dough started to tear! It worked out great though, and I will make it again (as long as I have good chocolate: this is a must).
JadeTree November 23, 2012
What a great review! Thanks to your timeline, I think I can make this the day ahead for Christmas dinner since I really don't need an all-day project for that particular day :) I was puzzling over how to do this since I think it would be perfect for our menu, so thanks for putting in your experience.
fiveandspice November 24, 2012
Glad it worked out so well for you and that you found the instructions clear!
Kitchen B. March 7, 2012
Hmmmm, delicious looking. I love the nutty crust (hazelnut and chocolate are a marriage made in .....) and the filling too. And like you, nutmeg is growing on would be great with an almond crust and a pinch of cardamom!
fiveandspice March 7, 2012
Mmmmm, love the almond and cardamom idea!
EmilyC March 2, 2012
Congrats on your EP! This dessert is right up my alley -- unfussy and delicious! I love hazelnut tart crusts, too -- so can't wait to try one filled with chocolate and nutmeg! Yum!
fiveandspice March 2, 2012
Thank you so much EmilyC! I was so surprised and thrilled by the EP! FYI, your hot chocolate cakes are on the menu for a friend's birthday next week, though I'll have to change up the spice because this particular friend hates anything licoricy. But, as you say yourself, infinitely change-up-able!
EmilyC March 4, 2012
That's great to hear! FYI, I recently made a few edits to the instructions -- in case you printed or saved it in Evernote. Your tart is definitely on my "must make soon" list! Actually, I've got several recipes of yours on that list! : )
fiveandspice March 4, 2012
Big ditto on that to you, my dear! :)
Midge February 9, 2012
Wow, milk chocolate, nutmeg, and hazelnuts sound great together. Yum!
fiveandspice March 2, 2012
Hi Midge! I don't know how I missed this comment before, but thank you! All the flavors are really lovely together! I'm glad you approve. :)