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Today is a very special day – 3/14 – the best excuse of the year to make pie!

So in honour of pi day, I share below my five favourite pies from last year.  May your days be filled with delicious pie!

– Catherine

 

Tourtiere – Easily my favourite savoury pie, this traditional Quebecois meat pie is a treat!

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart with Toasted Pistachios  – This combination of tart cranberries, nutty pistachios, and smooth chocolate is elegant and stunning. 

Raspberry Glacee Pie – If you ever need to bribe my mother, look no farther.  This delicate raspberry pie is truly divine served with whipped cream.



Pumpkin Pie – Nothing screams autumn more than impeccably spiced pumpkin pie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie –  Whipped hazelnut cream filling topped with chocolate ganache.  Need I say more?

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My friend’s boyfriend is anaphylactic allergic to peanut butter, so she generally refrains from eating it.  This often proves a challenge because she is a peanut butter fiend at heart.  When her boyfriend visited Toronto for a weekend, we decided to celebrate by binging on peanut butter non-stop.  Another good friend decided to make Joy of Cooking’s peanut butter pie.  It was what you call love at first sight – oozing with peanut butter filling and topped with a gooey chocolate ganache, this was even tastier than Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Between the three of us, the pie evaporated before our eyes.

A few weeks later, we attended an Easter dinner.  Filled with delicious food and great company, the night melted away.  Instead of peanut butter, my friend tried substituting hazelnut butter.  While the peanut butter pie was indulgent, the hazelnut butter was utterly decadent.  I decided that I would have to make the pie myself for a very special occasion.

Last week, my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary.  Along with a delicious cheese fondue, we celebrated their marriage with chocolate hazelnut pie.  Now my mother is what I call a true dessert connaisseur: she lives for dessert and can spot a supreme one from just an ordinary affair a mile away. The hazelnut pie exceeded her expectations, and I have no doubt we will soon be eating it again!

Hazelnut butter can often be found in the organic section of the grocery store.  If you cannot find it, simply substitute almond or peanut butter instead.  As for serving size, a sliver is all you need to savour this smooth dessert.  Bon appetit!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

(10-inch pie or 9-inch springform pan)

 

INGREDIENTS

Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups fine graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ to ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Hazelnut Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup hazelnut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

Ganache:

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

 

DIRECTIONS

Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer)

Hazelnut filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, hazelnut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).

Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped creamand raspberries for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!

– Catherine

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