A decadent, gluten-free, creamy white chocolate dessert, loaded with fresh fruit and crunchy hazelnuts. Perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat. Dairy-free option too!
Every year for Valentine’s Day I try to make my husband a new dessert based on a treat he already loves. Last year I made him this incredible chocolate-peanut butter cream tart, meant to bring to mind an upscaled Reese’s. This year I drew inspiration from our favourite Ritter Sport bar – the White Whole Hazelnut. While you may not be a white chocolate fan, I think the crunchy nuts and fresh fruit in this tart might just change your mind!
How to make the tart
This crust was inspired by the amazing hazelnut crust from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I really admire Sally’s work, her recipes turn out so well every time! I wanted to make an equally delicious gluten-free version, and I think you will enjoy the crunchy, cookie-like texture of this recipe.
Start with the crust
I love hazelnuts, they are so delicious and good for you! Begin by toasting the hazelnuts. I like to do this while I preheat oven, for about 7 – 10 minutes (depending on how quickly your oven heats up!). Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t get too dark! Let the hazelnuts cool down for 5 minutes or more. Meanwhile, pulse the oats in a food processor or high speed blender until they become a coarse flour. Add one cup of the cooled, chopped hazelnuts to the oats and process until you have a fine grained mixture. Not only is this efficient, but the ground oats soak up the natural oils from the hazelnuts, reducing the risk of making hazelnut butter and keeping the favour intact. Add in the rice flour and salt, and pulse a few times until well mixed.
Next, add the cold fat of your choice – cubed butter, vegan margarine or cold coconut oil – to the processor and pulse 15-20x, until it resembles coarse crumbs. You could also cut in by hand if you don’t have a food processor. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture and pulse an additional 8-10 times, until it begins to come together in pea-sized clumps. Place the crust mixture in the fridge for a few minutes to rest.
Lightly grease a 9” tart pan. If you decide to use a fluted tart pan, make sure each scallop and the bottom corner get a little bit of the grease. You’ll thank me later when it comes time to pop it out. Tip the dough into the pan, and press in well using a lightly floured measuring cup or flat-bottomed glass. This dough can be a little sticky and temperamental, so chill as needed.
Cover with parchment, and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the edges just start to brown. Very carefully remove from the oven, and take the pie weights and parchment out. (I lost a few chunks of crust here, thank goodness for fillings!) Bake for another 5 minutes until the base browns up a bit. Allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before filling the tart shell with the white chocolate ganache.
Next comes the filling
Normally, in addition to being gluten-free, we also try to eat dairy free. But there are some exceptions – like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Try as I might, I just prefer my chocolate when it is made with dairy. But you do you, there are some great vegan chocolates out there. Whatever you do, splurge a little on your white chocolate. This is not the time for grocery store brands! I love Callebaut or Green and Blacks for flavour, and Laura Secord for certified gluten free (in Canada).
Place the chopped white chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave for 60 seconds, or until is starts to melt around the edges. In a separate glass measuring cup, heat the whipping or coconut cream for a few minutes in the microwave, just until it starts to simmer. Pour over the white chocolate and stir extra gently until all the chocolate is melted. You really want to take care not to beat too much air into the mixture, as you will end up with bubbles in your smooth tart surface. Pour into the prepared crust, use a toothpick to pop any bubbles that rise to the surface, then chill for 4 hours or overnight, until completely set up.
Top with fresh fruit, remaining quarter cup of chopped toasted hazelnuts and white chocolate curls.
Enjoy! It’s all made with love.
Gluten-free White Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
- 1¼ cup chopped hazelnuts, divided
- ¾ cup oats
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- ½ cup cold, cubed butter, dairy-free margarine, or coconut oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups chopped white chocolate (regular or vegan) (roughly 250 g)
- 1 cup whipping cream or coconut cream
- Preheat oven to 350F. Toast hazelnuts in the oven while it heats up for 7 – 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t get too dark. Let hazelnuts cool for 5 minutes.
- Pulse oats in a food processor or blender until they become a coarse flour. Add 1 cup of the chopped hazelnuts to oats and process until they are a medium-to coarse grained mixture. Add in rice flour and salt and pulse a few times until well mixed.
- Add cold butter to processor and pulse 15-20x, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture and pulse for an additional 8-10 times, until it begins to come together in clumps. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
- Lightly grease a 9” tart pan. Tip the dough into the pan, and press in well using a lightly floured measuring cup or flat-bottomed glass. Chill as needed if the dough gets sticky.
- Line smoothly with parchment and add pie weights. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven, and carefully lift the parchment and pie weights from the crust. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, until the base is lightly browned. Allow to cool.
- Place chopped white chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave for 60 seconds, or until just beginning to melt just around the edges. In a separate glass measuring cup, heat the cream or coconut cream for a few minutes (90 seconds to 2 minutes) in the microwave, until just beginning to simmer. Pour over the white chocolate and stir gently until all the chocolate is melted.
- Gently pour the melted chocolate into the prepared tart shell. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped, toasted hazelnuts, fresh fruit, and white chocolate curls.