If you’ve never woken up to your significant other clutching their right upper flank, curled up in fetal position and moaning about kidney pain.

Well then you’re obviously not dating a medical student.

And you obviously are not my boyfriend.  Because that is exactly, verbatim, what he had to deal with at 3AM on Thursday morning.


At the risk of oversharing (and really, when don’t I risk that), I went to bed at 1AM on Wednesday night with what I thought was a pretty standard UTI and woke up two and a half hours later with pyelonephritis.

(It seems that even the bacteria my body harbors are getting ready for the NYC marathon.  And they apparently get their kicks by doing laps between my bladder and my kidneys. Ascending urinary tract repeats, if you will.  In my opinion, they need to get a new hobby.)


I don’t know whether it was fate or a happy coincidence that I had decided to stay at The.Boy.’s that night.  Because as I flopped around on his bed, gripping my side in searing squeezing pain and saying, “I don’t know what we should do.”

He got up, put clothes on and said, “I’m taking you to the emergency room.”

If I had been at my apartment, alone, I surely would have convinced myself that it was nothing more than a little acid reflux and would have laid in bed on the verge of screaming for at least four more hours.  Even though the hospital is literally across the street.  I’m stubborn that way.

So we got in a cab, sped from Brooklyn Heights to the Upper East Side (because there was no way I was not going to my hospital) and stepped into a nearly empty ER.  We were seen in 20 minutes, and then left in a partitioned off “room” for two and a half hours while they repeatedly asked about my pain level (8/10), offered me IV fluids (which I refused), and argued with me about taking Percoset (I was brutally against it but eventually caved in).  Basically, I questioned medical intervention at every step.  They say that doctors make the worst patients and really…now I see why.

My mother showed up about two hours into this whole ordeal (note – she only lives 20 minutes away.  Her favorite child was in the hospital and she had to shower first), with my sister in tow.  And they proceeded to try to annoy me to their maximum potential just so I would stop focusing on the pain.  It worked.

Eventually I was released, my mom went to work and left my sister and The.Boy. to take care of me.

He stayed all day.  Even though he had a bar exam prep class to go to.  Even though it meant losing an entire day of studying.

He. Stayed.


And I wish I had had this tart sitting in my fridge.  Because he deserved a large piece of it.

Really, a whole tart pan-full.

So while I made this for Father’s day, the luscious rich dark chocolate filling encased in a hazelnut graham cracker shell would also make for the ultimate thank you present.  (Lots of kisses help, too.)

PS – I woke up this morning feeling much better, thanks for asking. 🙂

PPS – If you’re looking for a fabulous summery dessert to make this weekend, check out my guest post on the MarxFoods blog.  The Balsamic Caramel Peach Upside-Down Cake I posted there is not one you want to miss.


Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts
Makes one 9-inch tart, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts

For the crust

  • 6 graham cracker sheets
  • 1/2 cup skinned hazelnuts
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Topping

  • 1/3 cup skinned hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup water

For the filling

  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar


  1. For the crust – preheat the oven to 350.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers, hazelnuts, salt and sugar,  Pulse until fine.  With machine running, slowly pour in the butter and process until combined.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Place in the oven and bake until crust is golden brown and fragrant, about 12-14 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  2. For the topping – in a small saucepan, combine the hazelnuts, sugar, salt and water. Bring to a boil and then cook for 1 minute.  Drain the hazelnuts.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and then bake for 15 minutes, or until nuts are toasted and shiny.  Let cool.
  3. For the filling – bring 3/4 cup cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.  Whisk to combine and then let cool to room temperature.  In a large chilled bowl, whip remaining 1 cup cream with the confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the chocolate mixture until combined.  Pour into the cooled crust and refrigerate until completely set, at least two hours, but up to 2 days if covered with plastic wrap.  Top with candied hazelnuts before serving. 


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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90 Responses to Chocolate Mousse Tart with Hazelnuts

  1. Glad your feeling better. This tart sounds amazing. Heading to see your peach cake now

  2. OohLookBel says:

    Oh you poor thing. Wishing you a speedy recovery and many more amazing choc hazelnut tarts, wonderful boyfriends and marathons.

  3. Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear about this! I am glad you’re feeling better and hope you continue to have a smooth recovery. Caring, thoughtful boyfriends are the best. And this tart? Also the best. Honestly. Looks so amazing!!

  4. Sam says:

    I’m glad you’re OK! (And he sounds like a keeper)

    I make a very similar chocolate mousse tart with silken tofu instead of cream. I don’t know why I never thought to add hazelnuts though…looks delicious.

  5. I still haven’t met him but I already adore him…. and does this mean that your mom actually got to meet THE BOY?! Do I deserve this tart just because?

  6. Definitely a keeper, Joanne. So happy to hear you are ok.. but refusing iv fluids? What’s up, girl? 😛

  7. london bakes says:

    Oh I’ve been there, it’s not fun. It sound like the boy was pretty wonderful though. Definitely deserving of a slice of chocolate tart.

  8. Marcia says:

    Owee, I’m so sorry. But glad he dragged you to the ER.

  9. Lynn says:

    I’m so making this. Yum.

    And I’m glad you are better – my goodness, that sounds painful! The Boy is definitely a keeper.

  10. MM says:

    What a great guy. He does deserve the whole tart. Probably two.

    Hope you feel better!

  11. so sorry about getting sick he was a star and your right this would have been a nice treat

  12. Amy says:

    Good grief! I’ve had many a UTI…even that “standard” can go suck it. So this pyelonephritis you speak of? Um, no thanks. And then you, studying to be a doctor, refuses medication. WTF? They also say teachers make the worst parents. Hm. I think *I* need some of this tart after reading all of that. And p.s. I’m liking The.Boy. He’s a keeper.

  13. Aw, your bf is sweet 🙂 I had the same kidney infection last year. Had no idea what it was and at 2am I woke up with a pain so intense I couldn’t breathe. I wonder if we went to the same UES hospital 😉 I hope not though, because they kept me there for 10 hours and gave me an IV antibiotic I was allergic too. Worst experience of my life.

    So glad to hear you’re feeling better!! And this tart sound amazing!

  14. Johanna GGG says:

    sounds amazing – both the boy and the tart (and even the pain but that is a different sort of amazing that we prefer not to know about) – glad you are feeling better

  15. Danielle says:

    Im glad your feeling better – The Boy sounds like a keeper. And this dessert has my mouth watering!

  16. Oh, yum! The Boy is a keeper…

  17. First of all, I would eat this in a second and wish I had the recipe for the solstice. Secondly, I am so sorry to hear about your UTI! OUCH!! glad you are feeling better. Karma took care of your boy I am sure- won’t be surprised when he aces the exam!

  18. Glad you are feeling better. Wow, I’ve never seen an empty Emergency. And they still kept you waiting? The tart looks amazing!

  19. Oh no! Hope you continue to mend Joanne. Chocolate helps heal anything!

  20. Margarita says:

    oh joanne, ow, ow, and ow! that is the worst pain i can imagine… but, that boy is a keeper. i wish you still had some of that tart left too, that would cure you. keep feeling better!

  21. Mo 'Betta says:

    Since I have had a kidney stone w/infection, I feel your pain. Literally. Glad you are feeling better! The.Boy.gets major cool points for staying! Oh yeah, and the tart looks and sounds amazing!

  22. Awww he’s a sweetie! And so are you. Good to know you’re feeling better. This tart looks luscious!

  23. Beth says:

    He sounds wonderful. And kudos to your (well-showered) mother and your sister for helping out too. It’s at times like this that we appreciate our loved ones!

  24. This reminds me of last weekend, when I woke up multiple times in the night to be sick, with what I thought was food poisoning. Except my boyfriend didn’t gallantly sweep me off my feet and insist on looking after me…he announced later in the morning that he’d slept straight through my frequent trips to the bathroom and hadn’t noticed a thing. Charming.

  25. Cara says:

    You and I, we have good taste. Because I can tell a very similar story about the early years with my guy, involving a phantom back injury, a trip to the ER, and a private hotel room for the weekend so he could massage my back alternately with ice and a heating pad (doctor’s orders.) And sushi too, he made sure I had that.

    So glad you are ok!

  26. Blond Duck says:

    So was it a UTI? I’m too blond to know med terms.
    You seriously need to bake him something girl! You got a winner. Ben once had to take me to the hospital during finals in college….he only left to take a final and made his best friend watch me. 🙂 Love that man.

  27. oh my gosh, that tart looks so so delicious!! and gorgeous photos! glad you’re feeling better:)

  28. Glad to see you are feeling better and yes, your BOY definitely deserves a large portion of this gorgeous pie!

  29. I’m glad your feeling better! The tart looks amazing!!!!!!!!

  30. Kristen says:

    I’m really glad to hear you’re feeling better! In case you haven’t believed everyone all of the other times we’ve said it, The.Boy is a KEEPER! Don’t be stubborn about that one ;).

  31. Karen says:

    This does look like a great father’s day gift (or a great thank you gift). It’s nice to have someone to look after you, isn’t it… glad you’re feeling better!

  32. Eileen says:

    Wow, that sounds like a super stressful & painful night. Glad you’re feeling better! And of course a delicious tart could only speed your recovery… 🙂

  33. Jenn Kendall says:

    that is a gorgeous tart…i love hazlenut and chocolate together! i have a tart pan that i have somehow not used yet. i think i am hearing it calling out for this 🙂

  34. Mary says:

    That man is definitely a keeper. Glad you are feeling better too! This tart looks heavenly, btw. I love how pretty it looks with the whole hazelnuts on top too.

  35. Keeper!!!!! You may have to cave and make him a roasted chicken. J/K! 😉

  36. That Girl says:

    Kidney infections are a million times more painful than UTIs. I’m so sorry!

  37. Hotly Spiced says:

    Oh dear. That is so painful. My daughter had a kidney infection a few months ago and I had to do that emergency dash to the hospital and we were up all night and I was exhausted but I couldn’t leave her. She had IV antibiotics and some serious pain relief and like you, by the next day she was so much better. I didn’t make her a chocolate and hazelnut tart like this though. It’s beautiful Joanne xx

  38. Aw, I’m so glad you’re feeling better. That sounds awful! This tart on the other hand – amazing! I seriously have no words, this looks so incredible!

  39. Miriam says:

    Aww, think you’ve found a keeper *wink* Glad you’re feeling better!!
    :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  40. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you are feeling better. My kids or I’ve never been to ER so far (knock on the wood) and I can’t imagine how scary it is to have such pain. Take good care Joanne. Meanwhile the chocolate mousse tart looks gorgeous and I like these hazelnuts are on top, not embedded. Really cute and catchy.

  41. Reeni says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! He definitely deserves a slice of pie! Or maybe an entire pie. Or maybe I deserve this pie. Heehee. It’s positively sinful!

  42. ohhh so that’s what it was.
    i hear those are painful, never had one thank goodness. with all the probiotic crap i take i better not.
    love how you call him the boy.

  43. Simply Life says:

    sounds like you have a keeper- glad he took care of you and that you’re feeling better!

  44. Dude, I’m so glad you’re okay! And thank god you were at your boy’s place. You poor thing.

    I wish I could make this and send it over to you!

  45. Carolyn Jung says:

    Now, that’s a nice boyfriend. Definitely a keeper! 😉

  46. Christine says:

    Oh my, I’ve had 2 UTI’s in my life but never a kidney infection…can’t even imagine that. UTI’s are wicked. The.Boy. is a real dear. The tart looks totally deadly and delicious. So glad you’re feeling better.

  47. Kari says:

    Oh gosh, what an experience 🙁 I’m so sorry! I am glad you’re feeling better, and very very glad you had the boy there to take you to the hospital! (I’d be the same, though, if I’m honest, convincing myself it was fine even as I knew it really wasn’t.)

    On happier topics, this tart looks beyond incredible 🙂

  48. Glad you’re feeling better. 😀 That must have been quite scary though to have to go to emergency that late at night! The Boy sounds so nice! 🙂

    The tart looks fantastic! I would happily eat the whole thing 😉

  49. Guru Uru says:

    What a horrid ordeal my friend I sincerley hope you are feeling better now!
    As for The Boy, he soundss like a keeper – what an absolutely gem 😀
    Very lucky!
    And this tart should be made for him (and you) asap to celebrate!


  50. Megan says:

    So glad you are feeling better! The boy sounds so sweet. And I think this tart would cure me of any ailments!

  51. Elizabeth says:

    Oof, I’d take someone to the hospital solely for the purposes of procuring this tart 🙂 Glad you’re doing better!

  52. JasmyneTea says:

    Good God, UTI’s are horrible, how much worse would a kidney infection be???
    Glad your bf was there to look after you though 🙂 very tart-worthy.

  53. Big Dude says:

    Sounds like a rough night but glad you’re feeling better. Chocolate mousse and hazelnuts – it doesn’t get much better than that.

  54. I will have to use different nuts, as I’m allergic on hazelnuts, but in general I really like the recipe 🙂

  55. Katie says:

    What an intense few days! It’s always good to have someone around in a situation like that. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. A tart like this would certainly cheer me up.

  56. Barbara says:

    Glad you’re feeling better and “the boy” was a doll to hang in there. Men usually can’t get away from illness fast enough.
    Love that bittersweet chocolate with the hazelnuts. Really a lovely tart, Joanne.

  57. Shannon says:

    maybe you’ll just have to have to make him one all for himself 😉 love the bit about bacteria doing laps… is that bad? ha!

  58. Saguna says:

    That sounds insanely painful- I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. What a crazy, crazy day that sounded like- I hope you had some of this luscious looking stuff to aid in your recovery! Can’t go wrong with a Martha dessert it seems…

  59. He IS a keeper! I’m so sorry, that sounds like no fun at all. What a guy…he deserves a big fat tart all to himself. Hooray for tomorrow! =)

  60. I don’t like nuts… but these photos make me want to eat these hazlenuts like there’s no tomorrow. What a fabulous tart!

  61. daphne says:

    that sounds horrible! Hope your pain is gone and drugs are working 😉 and what a keeper your boy is!!!!

  62. beautiful looking tart and pictures

  63. vianney says:

    Hope your feeling better, oh what a sweetheart. he totally deserves this tart (and big kisses)

  64. Faith says:

    Awww, sweetie, I’m sorry! So glad you’re feeling better now though…and can I say, I think the boy sounds like a real keeper? 😉 Definitely deserves a big slice of this heavenly looking tart.

  65. lovely mousse tart 🙂 i hope you get much better by now 🙂

    Latest: Pretty Whitesoot

  66. Cathleen says:

    I NEED TO MAKE A TART! I bought a big tart pan last month, and it’s just sitting around. I haven’t used it yet. Why??

  67. Wowzers, what an ordeal! Thank goodness you’re alright. When my appendix burst two years ago mom had to put me on hold while in the emergency room since talking to her buddy from high school was a priority. Parents are funny!

  68. Nina says:

    That looks delicious…chocolate and hazelnuts pair together so well….yummy. I hope you are feeling much better now. Take care.

  69. Erica says:

    Wonderful dessert and I am sorry,but happy that you are feeling better! Great guy and your mom sounds just like mine 🙂

  70. Oh wow! Im glad you’re ok xo! He’s definitely a keeper 😀

  71. Esi says:

    Glad you’re ok. Such a gorge tart.

  72. Pam says:

    It’s official. The.Boy. is A.KEEPER! I am so glad you are feeling better and I am also glad that you were with your guy when this happened.

    I am loving the tart & wishing I had a slice right now.

  73. I just got Martha’s pies and tarts book and have only flipped through it so far, but this sounds really similar to another one that caught my eye – the milk chocolate and pistachio tart .. my dad would love it, but this one looks amazing too! I’m so sorry to hear about what you went through and am glad you’re feeling better!

  74. Lady!

    So glad that you’re feeling better…geesh!

    And now that you are feeling better you should probably come to Seattle and make this tart for me!

  75. I am so glad you are feeling better! Both The Boy and this tart seem like definite keepers. 😉

  76. Wow, I so sympathize with you! I have a HUGE kidney stone just sitting in my bladder, misbehaving and I am not going to hospital until I need pethadine. Hope you are all better soon! And this guy is a keeper 🙂 *wonders if Joanne knows it is leap year all year*

  77. I’m so so so sorry you went through that. How terrible. I’m glad he was there with you.

    Might be time to make him another tart for being so good 🙂

  78. elly says:

    Sorry you had to go through that. I’m glad you are feeling better, and your SO definitely sounds like a keeper. 🙂 This tart looks out of this world.

  79. grace says:

    oh, i so wanted to see the innards of this incredible tart. take care of yourself, my dear!

  80. Chris says:

    sorry to hear about your issues but the upside is that it looks like you have got yourself a real man, not a dude.

  81. Glad you’re feeling better…that must have been scary! Glad the boy was there to keep you company!

  82. Lora says:

    Wow. glad you are on the mend. The tart looks luscious and it makes me miss the availability of hazelnuts in Germany. p.s. Your boyfriend sounds like a keeper.

  83. Deborah says:

    I know I just said it, but he really is a keeper!! I love chocolate and hazelnut, and this sounds like a little bit of heaven.

  84. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Sounds like you have been through quite a lot. I am glad that you are feeling better, but please take care.
    This tart sounds superb!!! Take care and blessings dearest for a speedy recovery!! Catherine xo

  85. kellypea says:

    Very, very scary. Can’t imagine the pain. Wondering about the glorious decadence of that tart, though. Mmmm… Glad you’re on the mend!

  86. I was just scrolling down the page to see what I’ve missed here lately and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this! Wow! Then I read about your hospital visit!! Double wow! Glad to hear you’re all better. I had a kidney stone once and wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone.

  87. Elizabeth says:

    Yikes – glad you’re feeling better! I think you’re the one that needs this tart.

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