Week 132: Chocolate praline tartlets

A good friend was in town for work and she offered to stay over for a day to give me some photography tips (and a lens!). We knew each other since we were born and it was great to catch up.

And for our photography lessons, I decided to bake up these chocolate praline tartlets. My last attempt with praline was a little lame, as the hazelnuts were covered by way too many flavours I added to the tart. So, this time I decided to keep it simple – just chocolate, praline, hazelnuts and more hazelnuts.

Makes 3 8cm tarts

For the milk chocolate feuilletine layer

30g milk chocolate couverture

25g pure hazelnut paste

15g hazelnuts, toasted and crushed

Pinch of fleur de sel

20g Gavottes, crushed

1) Melt the milk chocolate and hazelnut paste over a Bain-Marie until smooth.

2) Remove from heat, then gently stir in the rest of the ingredients.

3) Divide equally into prepared tart shells and refrigerate.

For the hazelnut praline crème pâtissière

125g whole milk

1 large egg yolk

10g granulated sugar

6g cornstarch

10g unsalted butter, at room temperature

50g hazelnut praline paste

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.

2) In a bowl, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk until well-mixed.

3) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

4) Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil.

5) Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat). The mixture should have thicken, Do not overcook.

6) Remove cream mixture from heat and pour it onto hazelnut praline paste in a large bowl. Fold gently to incorporate. Allow to cool to < 50C.

7) Add butter to the cream and stir to incorporate.

For the chocolate ganache

140g dark chocolate couverture, > 70% cocoa butter

60g heavy cream

85g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) Melt the chocolate in Bain-Marie and at the same time, bring the heavy cream to a light boil.

2) Gently whisk the hot cream into the melted chocolate.

3) Allow ganache to cool to 60c then whisk in the ganache.

4) Emulsify using a hand blender.

5) Chill in the refrigerator until it is thick enough to be piped.

To assemble

3 baked chocolate tart shell

A few toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1) Divide the feuilletine crunch equally between the tart shells and gently press to level.

2) Pour in the hazelnut praline crème pâtissière and shake to level. Allow to chill in the refridgerator until slightly set.

3) Pipe a thin layer of chocolate ganache on top of the crème pâtissière and level using an angled spatula. Refrigerate until ganache layer has hardened.

4) Pipe the remaining ganache on the set ganache using a plain tip, then lightly sprinkle on the chopped hazelnuts.

I am glad to report that the hazelnut really comes through in this version of the tart. I was originally worried that the chocolate ganache would be overpowering but I reckon, the multiple layers of hazelnut helps to reinforce the nuttiness.

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