HomeRecipesHazelnut, Vanilla-Apricot and Muscovado by Alessandro Bartesaghi

Hazelnut, Vanilla-Apricot and Muscovado by Alessandro Bartesaghi

(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Apricot and hazelnut are two of my favorite flavors – I use them in many of my desserts. I love hazelnuts from Piemonte, a region in the northern part of Italy. It brings me back to my country; as a kid, I used to pick them from the tree in our garden and then leave them to dry, ready for the winter. Apricot season is unfortunately quite short, so I normally like to rehydrate the semi-dried fruit in vanilla and Muscovado sugar syrup. This syrup gives a unique and deep flavor profile, which lingers on the palate.

Yield: 6-8 portions

Hazelnut Sablé

  • 194 g all-purpose flour
  • 62 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 11 g hazelnut meal
  • 2 g salt
  • 98 g unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 33 g whole egg
  1. In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, hazelnut meal, salt, and diced cold butter. Mix until there are no visible pieces of butter. Add the egg and mix until the dough comes together. Roll in between two guitar sheets to a thickness of 1.5mm. Let rest in the refrigerator overnight to allow the gluten to relax.
  1. Line an 8ʺ (20 cm) tart ring with the dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  1. Bake at 320˚F (160˚C) for 25 minutes, until golden.

Hazelnut Chocolate Cremeux

  • 54 g superfine granualted sugar
  • 107 g heavy cream, 35% fat
  • 8 g glucose syrup
  • 62 g Jivara 40% milk chocolate
  • 20 g hazelnut paste
  1. Dry-cook the sugar to a dark caramel. Deglaze with cream and glucose syrup, and bring to a boil. Let cool to 140˚F (60˚C).
  1. Melt the chocolate with the hazelnut paste and pour over the caramel slowly, emulsifying the mixture with a hand blender.

Hazelnut Praline Sponge

  • 143 g unsalted butter
  • 87 g hazelnut praline
  • 136 g Muscovado sugar
  • 172 g hazelnut meal
  • 258 g whole eggs
  • 2 g salt
  1. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, hazelnut praline, Muscovado sugar and hazelnut meal. Add the eggs little by little, then the salt.
  1. Spread in a half sheet pan lined with a silicone mat and bake in a convection oven at 320˚F (160˚C) for 20 minutes.

Vanilla Apricots

  • 40 g semi-dried apricots, diced
  • 30 g water
  • 20 g passionfruit puree
  • 10 g Muscovado sugar
  • 2 g vanilla paste
  1. Combine everything, place in a Cryovac bag and cook in a bain-marie for 1 hour.
  1. Let cool naturally at room temperature. The fruit should absorb all the liquid.

Passionfruit Curd

  • 48 g passionfruit puree
  • 5 g lemon zest
  • 28 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 27 g egg yolks
  • 30 g whole egg
  • 30 g unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 9 g gelatin solution, 1:6 ratio
  1. In a Thermomix, combine passionfruit puree, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and egg. Cook to 183˚F (84˚C), then bring down to 122˚F (50˚C) and add the diced butter and gelatin solution. Emulsify.

Orelys Mousse

  • 48 g full-fat milk
  • 13 g gelatin solution, 1:6 ratio
  • 94 g Valrhona Orelys chocolate 35%, melted
  • 96 g semi-whipped cream 35% fat
  1. Heat the milk and add the gelatin solution. Gradually pour the hot milk over the melted chocolate, and make an emulsion with a hand blender.
  1. Once the mixture is at 86˚F (30˚C), incorporate the semi-whipped cream.

Caramel Glaze

  • 178 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 144 g heavy cream, 35% fat
  • 103 g water
  • 6.2 g cornstarch
  • 44 g gelatin solution, 1:6 ratio
  • 50 g Valrhona Orelys chocolate 35%, melted
  1. Make a dry caramel with the sugar.
  1. Heat the cream and deglaze the caramel with it; bring to boil.
  1. Mix water and cornstarch and add to the caramel. Cook for a couple of minutes. Cool to 140˚F (60˚C), add the gelatin solution and strain over the chocolate. Make an emulsion and set aside. Use at 77˚F (25˚C).

Hazelnut Meringue

  • 100 g superfine granulated sugar
  • 0.4 g cream of tartar
  • 60 g egg whites
  • 30 g hazelnut meal
  • 9 g cornstarch
  1. In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites, and heat to 122˚F (50˚C) over a bain-marie. Transfer to a mixing bowl fitted with the whisk attachment and whip until cold and light.
  1. Mix hazelnut meal and cornstarch and fold into the meringue. Pipe in long strips onto a tray lined with silicone paper using 1/3ʺ (8mm) piping tip. Bake at 266˚F (130˚C) for 90 minutes.


  1. Cut two discs of hazelnut praline sponge with a 5.5ʺ (14 cm) round tart ring. Freeze.
  1. Place one hazelnut praline sponge into the 5.5ʺ (14 cm) round tart ring, pour over the Passionfruit Curd and place the other hazelnut praline sponge on top. Freeze.
  1. Pour the Orelys mousse inside of a round 6.3ʺ (16 cm) silicone cake mold, place the frozen passionfruit curd-hazelnut sponge insert on top and freeze.
  1. Pour the Hazelnut Caramel Cremeux in the baked tart, and arrange the Vanilla Apricots in it. Let set in the refrigerator.
  1. Melt the Caramel Glaze to between 77-82˚F (25-28˚C) and pour over the frozen cake. Clean the side and place in the middle of the tart base.
  1. Cut the meringue into irregular lengths and place around the cake, in between the mousse and the tart base.

About Alessandro Bartesaghi

Alessandro Bartesaghi is the Executive Pastry Chef of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. He won the Asia-Pacific Semifinal for the Valrhona C3 Chocolate Chef Competition in 2019.

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