It’s one of those days. One of those days when I can’t be trusted in the kitchen. We all have them…I think. Or maybe it’s just me._DSC3300-2_DSC3308-2_DSC3304-2First I turned on the faucet to fill the tea kettle and failed to notice the spoon in the bottom of the sink. Spraying myself in the face with water first thing in the morning is not how I normally like to start the day.

Next, while testing a recipe for a spiced pumpkin pot de crème, I dropped the jar into the hot water bath creating a disgusting concoction of water and pumpkin mush.

Then I burned my sweet potatoes.

And finally, while beating some eggs to accompany my burnt sweet potatoes, I somehow managed to slosh egg all over the counter and onto the floor._DSC3340-2_DSC3371-2_DSC3359-3_DSC3350-2Despite this  seemingly endless stream of kitchen mishaps, I managed to keep my head up and my pride mostly in tact. I also managed, miraculously, to conjure up a delicious hazelnut frangipane tart with dark chocolate and cranberries, perfect for the holidays. I plan to make this for thanksgiving as part of a lovely menu featuring recipes from some of my favorite new cookbooks. I’m happy to share the menu if anyone is interested._DSC3229-2_DSC3402-2I love frangipane and it turns out hazelnuts make a wonderfully rich and festive version. I also love a little tartness with my frangipane, hence the cranberries. And who doesn’t like chocolate?_DSC3391-2_DSC3387-2_DSC3386-2This tart is moist on the inside with a little crispness on the top and sides. It is delicious on its own but would also be great with some soft whipped cream.

I used Callebaut chocolate, but feel free to use your favorite brand as long as it is good quality and dark.


Makes 6-8 small tarts or one 9 inch tart


2 cups hazelnuts

1 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup cane sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped

3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, finely chopped

turbinado sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 6-8 4 inch tart rings or a 9 inch springform pan. If using tart rings, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. If using a springform pan, line the bottom with parchment and then place on a baking sheet.

Spread the hazelnuts on a  baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant.

Transfer the hazelnuts to a food processor and grind into a flour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, and continue beating. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Mix in the hazelnut flour and cornstarch.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and cranberries.

Spread the batter into the tart rings or springform pan. Gently press several whole cranberries into the top of the tarts and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Bake for 30-40 minutes (slightly longer for a larger tart) until puffed and golden around the edges.