Week 180: Chocolate praline tartlets

One of my favourite chocolate filling is chocolate praline. The thick luxurious nutty chocolate filling with a slight crunch from the praline. I have always wondered how to achieve it and was overjoyed when I tried out Maja Vase’s recipe and it turned out to be exactly what I have been looking for!

The tart shell is a slight modification from my go-to pâte sucrée beurrée. It is then filled with a thick layer of chocolate praline, then topped with a slightly thinner layer of luxurious chocolate ganache. Then decorated with white chocolate, milk chocolate cremeux and toasted chopped hazelnuts.

I have also accidentally discovered a very simple way of making chocolate ganache. I realise I can just melt the chocolate and heavy cream together in a saucepan, on very low heat and stir until the chocolate has just melted, being careful not to overheat the mixture. Easy peasy!

Makes 4 x 8cm tartlets

For the chocolate praline

50g blanched whole hazelnuts

50g granulated sugar

100g dark chocolate couverture

100g heavy cream

Pinch of salt

1) Toast the hazelnuts for 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 200C fan.

2) Make a dry caramel with the sugar and allow to cook until caramel is a golden amber.

3) Add the toasted hazelnuts into the caramel and stir until all the nuts are coated.

4) Remove from heat and pour the caramelised hazelnuts onto a silicon pad and allow it to cool to room temperature.

5) Use a nut grinder or food processor to grind the caramelised nuts into coarse powder.

6) Bring the heavy cream into a light boil then pour it over the chocolate in a bowl. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring until chocolate has fully melted.

7) Add the ground caramelised nuts and salt into the ganache and stir until mixture is homogenous.

8) Fill each tart shell with 55g of chocolate praline and allow to chill in the refrigerator.

For the chocolate ganache

90g dark chocolate couverture

15g glucose

54g heavy cream

1) Add all ingredients into a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

2) Cook on low heat while stirring continuously until chocolate has melted completely.

3) Remove from heat and continue stirring until ganache is smooth and glossy.

4) Pour ganache onto the chocolate praline in the tart shells, approximately 32g for each tart. Chill in refrigerator.

For the chocolate cremeux

40g whole milk

40g heavy cream

1 egg yolk

7g granulated sugar

1/4 gelatine leaf

50g milk chocolate couverture

20g white chocolate couverture, optional

1) In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a light boil.

2) Whisk the egg yolk and sugar in a bowl then pour a bit of the hot cream to temper the egg yolk mixture before pouring it back into the saucepan.

3) Heat the cream mixture on low heat while stirring continuously until cream is thickened.

4) Bloom the gelatine leaf in bowl water then squeeze out the excess liquid and stir it into the warm cream until fully melted.

5) Pour the warm cream over the milk chocolate couverture in a bowl. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring until the chocolate is melted completely.

6) Allow the cream to cool to room temperature. Fill it into a pastry bag, then pipe small blobs of cremeux onto the chocolate ganache.

7) Melt white chocolate, if using, and decorate tarts as desired.

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