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Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Pie

Recipe By: Christopher Taylor
Year Submitted: 2018
Winner Second Place



1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup very cold water

Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped

Chocolate Praline Cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur
1/3 cup praline paste or substitute Nutella
1/2 cup Valrhona chocolate pearls or substitute Nestle Crunch baking bits

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup

Whipped Cream Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners€™ sugar
2 tablespoons piping gel
1 teaspoon Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur
6 Ferrero Rochers, cut in half


1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Add the shortening and process until the shortening is incorporated.
2. Pulse in the butter until the pieces are no larger than 1/2-inch in any direction. Add the vinegar to the water. Pulse in the water mixture until incorporated but before a dough ball forms.
3. Remove the dough from the processor and pat into a 4-inch disc on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
4. Roll out the pie dough out to a circle large enough to fill a 9 1/2-inch deep dish pie pan. Line the pan with the rolled crust and crimp the edges as desired. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
5. Line the dough with aluminum foil and pie weights. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. If needed, continue baking 2 to 5 minutes more or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Chocolate Ganache
1. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds before whisking together until uniform.
2. Fold the hazelnuts into the chocolate mixture. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate while preparing the Chocolate Praline Cream.

Chocolate Praline Cream
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, 1 cup of cream, and cornstarch. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and eggs. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking on the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue gently boiling the mixture for 1 minute, still whisking constantly. The mixture will be very thick.
2. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and Frangelico. Strain the mixture into a medium bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
3. Whisk in the praline paste. Press plastic wrap on top of the mixture and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
4. To finish the chocolate praline cream, whip the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks. Beat the cold chocolate praline cream mixture an electric mixer to break it up.
5. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate praline filling until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
6. Evenly smooth the chocolate praline cream over the chocolate layer in the pie crust. Sprinkle the chocolate pearls over the top of the cream and gently press on them to adhere them. Refrigerate until the mixture is set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Ganache Glaze
1. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds before whisking together until uniform.
2. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cold Chocolate Praline Cream. Refrigerate while preparing the Hazelnut Whipped Cream.

Whipped Cream Topping
1. In a medium bowl, whip the cream and sugar to soft peaks. Add the piping gel and Frangelico and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
2. Decorate the top of the pie with the whipped cream, as desired. Decorate with the Ferrero Rocher halves.