I needed a Thanksgiving Day recipe and could not decide on a pie or cake. This recipe came along in my inbox just in time to make the decision. I had toyed with an idea for a torte using all the flavors of Thanksgiving dessert- pumpkin, apple and cranberries, but I could not think of the best combination in time. I will work on it for next year. In the meantime this was a great recipe that I tweaked for my own (in)convenience.
Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Tart from Betty Crocker. I do not use Betty Crocker products (unavailable or very expensive where I live) and their recipes are usually more advertisements for their products than anything else, but once in a while they come up with some great ideas. Most of their products can be easily substituted.
The recipe calls for a hazelnut spread with cocoa. Being in Europe, the grocery store has about 10 choices of hazelnut chocolate spreads on the shelves, but for some reason I decided to make my own using this recipe. If price was my motivation, I am not sure that I came out on top, but I did figure out that a coffee grinder is an excellent tool for making nut butter. I have tried making nut butter in my small food processor that I burn the motor out on in about 10-20 months from purchase and have not been successful. The coffee grinder zipped the hazelnuts into butter in a fraction of the time it would have taken in a food processor. Good to know. My home made "nutella" was not quite spreadable and had the consistency of play-dough, so the chocolate layer came out thicker than it was supposed to be. I also whipped the egg whites and folded them into the filling thinking this would lighten up the filling and give it more volume.
I was happy with the result and my guests were very complimentary, but I am never sure if they are just being nice since I am such a nut about my deserts. I do have to say by the end of the night there was none left which is always a good indicator. I concentrated on not making such a gigantic monstrosity as usual so I would not have much left over.
If I were to make this recipe again, I would almost double the pumpkin filling. Even with whipping the egg whites, the filling was just barely there and the chocolate, which was supposed to be more of an accent, was the main part of the tart. My guests even commented, "There is pumpkin in this?"
The tart was not very sweet, which I liked, but still rich and chocolaty.
I could not find my camera as usual during the dinner party, so you will have to do with the one picture I took during preparation ;) I will update if my guest who took a picture emails it to me! (Done!)