Food & Wine Pairing Recipe of the Week – Chocolate, Pear and Hazelnut Tart

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There are some flavour combinations out there that are just meant to be. Lemon, Honey and Ginger, Strawberries and Cream, Cinnamon and Vanilla are just a few that spring to mind. And then there is this…. Chocolate, Pear and Hazelnut. A match made in heaven. Recipe from Food and Travel magazine.
Central Otago Desserts and Wine Chocolate-Pear-and-Hazelnut-Tart


  • Active time: 1hr
  • Total time: 1h45
  • Makes 8-12 slices

For the chocolate shortcut pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 85g golden caster sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • 1 egg

For the sponge dough

  • 45g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 90g golden caster sugar (or superfine sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 90g plain flour

For the chocolate and hazelnut cream

  • 90g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 90g milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 180ml single (light) cream
  • 40g shelled hazelnuts, roughly chopped and lightly toasted in a dry frying pan

For the filling

  • 1 large pear, halved and cored
  • 20g shelled hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam, to glaze (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas 3.

To make the chocolate shortcut pastry, put the flour, cocoa, butter and sugar in a mixer and pulse until you get crumbs.

Add the egg and mix again. Take the dough out of the mixer and bring together into a ball. If you prefer, you can make the dough by hand, but it’s easier to do this if the butter is grated or very finely chopped. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin until 3-4 mm thick.

Line a greased 23cm loose-based fluted tart tin with the pastry and trim the excess dough neatly around the edges. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

To make the sponge dough, put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric whisk to combine. Mix in the egg and baking powder with the whisk, then gently fold in the flour by hand until evenly combined.

To make the chocolate and hazelnut cream, put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Put the cream in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil over low heat, stirring frequently. Pour into the mixing bowl and whisk until you get a smooth cream, then stir in the hazelnuts. Gently fold the sponge dough into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Remove the tart shell from the fridge and pour in the chocolate and hazelnut cream.

Cut the pear into about 12 slim wedges and arrange in a circle on top of the tart filling. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. To check if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre of the tart – if it comes out clean you can take it out of the oven. If not, you can leave it in for a few more minutes.

Put the apricot jam, if using, into a small saucepan and heat gently until melted and runny. Brush the jam roughly over the tart (avoiding the hazelnuts) with a pastry brush and leave for a few more minutes before serving.

Wine Pairing – Bald Hills 3 ACRES Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

We believe that Pinot Noir is in fact the perfect accompaniment to any chocolate dessert and encourage you to give it a go! The blackberry and raspberry notes of the 3 ACRES 2013 are intensified when sipped alongside a sweet treat. Yet this wine is balanced enough to hold it’s own. That is if you manage not to drink it all before dessert! Enjoy!

Chocolate-Pear-and-Hazelnut-Tart-3 Chocolate-Pear-and-Hazelnut-Tart-5