After the last two years, I feel like I have a certain standard to uphold for my contribution to the office holiday potluck. However, there was simply no time this year for a time-consuming project. I needed to find a recipe that looked like a showstopper but didn’t require the work of one.
Two ingredients? This recipe fit the bill. Although, since, where I live, I can’t buy puff pastry made with real butter, I did make my own. (I used this recipe; while I think this one puffs more and isn’t much, if any, more effort, I didn’t have the mental fortitude for the multiple steps, even if each step takes just a minute or two.) In another life (like one before this), I would have made my own chocolate hazelnut spread too, but for once, I managed to be reasonable and bought this instead. As I’d hoped, It was more chocolately and less sweet than Nutella, although it still wasn’t particularly nutty.
Okay, so this wasn’t as visually impressive as a foot-tall cake. But it’s pretty, and it tasted just as good as those past projects. It was flaky and buttery, chocolately without being too sweet. At this point in my life, it was perfect.
2 (1-pound sheets) thawed puff pastry dough
½ cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
1. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat, roll one sheet of puff pastry dough into an approximate 12-inch circle. Use a 12-inch round plate or bowl as a guide to cut a 12-inch circle into the dough.
2. Spread the filling in an even layer over the round of puff pastry dough, leaving the outer 1-inch of the circle bare.
3. Repeat the rolling and cutting of the second portion of puff pastry dough to form another 12-inch round. Transfer this portion of dough to the top of the Nutella-covered puff pastry round, aligning it with the bottom ricle.
4. Place a small round cup or dish in the center of the circle, pressing it lightly to form a visual indentation without pressing through the dough. Remove the cup. Use a pizza roller to cut slits into the dough from the edge to the center circle. Each slit should be about an inch apart on the outer edge of the dough round, for a total of about 32 slits. Once all the slits are cut, pick up the outer edge of each segment while pressing gently on the center edge of the segment. Twist a couple times; repeat with all segments.
5. Transfer the pastry, still on the parchment paper or silicone mat, to a baking sheet. Brush with the egg wash. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browned. Transfer the tart, still on the pan, to a cooling rack and allow to cool for ten minutes. Slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve immediately or within about twelve hours.