Are you drooling? I know I was the minute this edible art from my friend Giulia arrived in my inbox. I am in complete awe of how talented my friends are. I’m beyond excited to introduce you to my friend Giulia, aka Juls. I met Juls like I’ve met so many other of my brilliant blogging friends, online. She’s not only gorgeous (I have serious hair and dimple envy) she can whip up anything you’d like. Her smile is infectious and so is her personality! I know you’ll love her as much as I do! If you’re in Tuscany visiting you can even take a class with her. I can’t wait to make it to Tuscany to have a glass of wine and chat for hours! Until then, I will bake this tart and you should too – Paula
When Paula asked me to contribute with a Nutella sweet treat to the blog bella nutella, I decided to take up the challenge and dig into the Tuscan culinary tradition to find a typical cake made with this delicious chocolate spread… a trip to the Mount Amiata to visit some friends made me discover the ricciolina tart… I bet you will adore it!
The ricciolina tart hides between two crumbly shortcrust layers a thick Nutella filling and a generous handful of dried fruit, just to make it even more devilishly good. As the filling is made with Nutella, the first thing that comes to mind would be to use hazelnuts, but you can find sometimes also almonds or walnuts. I chose walnuts.
The walnuts are extremely appreciated in the Tuscan pastry making (just think at cavallucci) and their use goes back to the old times when myths and legends were part of the everyday life. Despite the love for this rich dried fruit, the relationship with the walnut trees has always been based on respect and fear. It was thought that the witches chose these trees as a shelter: every time the wayfarers found a walnut tree with a cracked trunk, they used to abandon that path not to wake up the witch who rested inside.
This is a mountain tart, a rustic and traditional shortcrust with a thick filling of Nutella and walnuts, covered by a gentle puff of meringue on which you can draw squiggles of chocolate, from which the cake takes its name.
Nutella and meringue tart Serves: 8
300 g of organic plain flour
150 g of sugar
150 g of butter
1 packet of baking powder (about 17 g)
1 pinch of salt
3 eggs (1 whole egg + 2 yolks, do not throw the egg whites, you’ll need them for the meringue)
400 g of Nutella
80 g of shelled walnuts, or almonds, or hazelnuts
For the meringue
2 egg whites
4 tablespoons of sugar
1. Mix the flour with the sugar, the salt and the baking powder. Add the diced butter and rub all the ingredients with your fingertips as to make soft crumbles, just as grated Parmesan cheese.
2. Beat a whole egg and two yolks in a bowl, then add them to the crumbles and keep rubbing the ingredients with your fingertips until you have a nice and smooth ball of dough. Flatten the dough ball with your hands, wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 180°C.
4. Divide the dough into two equal parts: line a 24 cm buttered round baking pan with half of the shortcrust dough, then spread half of the Nutella on the pie and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
5. Roll out the second part of shortcrust pastry in a disk big enough to cover the cake. Press the edges to seal the pie and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
6. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form then gradually add 4 tablespoons of sugar, keeping on whipping the egg whites until the meringue is firm and glossy.
7. After 40 minutes of baking, when the cake is golden, remove it from the oven and spoon the meringue over the cake, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to shape it and create some puffs of meringue.
8. Stir quickly the leftover Nutella in the jar to heat it up, then drizzle it on the meringue and mix them gently with a fork to form crazy doodles.
9. Bake again the cake for 2 minutes, and as soon as the meringue gets firm on the surface and slightly golden, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before you slice it.
Thanks again to Giulia for stopping by with this ridiculously delicious Nutella and Meringue Tart ! Be sure to…