So last week I made all of you a promise. I promised you the recipe for the luscious Chocolate Créme Caramel with Hazelnut Praline that I gave you a sneak peek of when I posted up the Classic Créme Caramel. Now I will say that most of the time I prefer things in their pure, original form.
Original music tracks over remixes, for example. But let’s face it, there are occasions where exceptions have to be made for something amazing. And as much as I’m an avid supporter of the classic créme caramel, this chocolate version blew me away. A perfect amount of bittersweet chocolate in the silky custard, and that delicious small ‘squelch’ sucking noise it makes when you pull away a spoonful of it. Caramel two ways, and then that slight savoury element of the roasted hazelnuts. Absolutely to die for.
This also comes from the Donna Hay cookbook of A Cook’s Guide, with minor modifications of ingredient weight and baking time.
To serve two, you will need:
- 1/4C (35g) raw hazelnut kernels;
- 150g caster sugar;
- 80ml water;
- 90ml milk;
- 90ml pouring cream;
- 50g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped;
- 1 egg, plus two egg yolks, extra;
- 38g caster sugar, extra;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste.
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celcius. Roast your hazelnuts by placing them in a clean, dry frying pan over low heat and toss occasionally until the skins begin to flake off and the nuts brown. Scatter out onto a clean tea towel and rub them gently between the tea towel and this will remove most of the skins.
Chop them up roughly and place the nuts on a small baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Don’t be pedantic like me about arranging and spreading the nuts out – I poured the toffee on later and it went whooosh like a tidal wave and they went everywhere anyway. Hmph.
Place the 150g of sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes on low heat until the mixture is golden. Pour half of the caramel over the nuts and pour the remaining caramel into two one-cup capacity ovenproof dishes, swirling the ramekins to entirely coat the bottoms. Set aside for five minuets or until the caramel is set.
See what I meant? Tidal wave, just like I told you!
Place the milk, cream and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture just barely comes to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Place the egg, extra yolks, extra sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. Then gradually add the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Strain and pour into dishes.
Place the ramekins in a water bath by lining the bottom of a deep baking tray with a tea towel and place the ramekins into it. Pour in enough boiling water to the tray to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until set. Basically it’s ready if the mixture doesn’t wobble or look like it’s going to burst out of the surface and flow out when you tilt it to one side. Remove from the baking tray and refrigerate for two hours until cold.
Remove caramels from the fridge half an hour before serving and to get them out, run a knife carefully around the edge of the ramekin and dip the base of the ramekin in hot water for 10 seconds. Place a plate over the top before flipping it over and once you see the gorgeous caramel seep out from the bottom, you know you’ve had success. Serve with broken shards of the hazelnut praline.
Perfection. I don’t think you need any other words to explain it.
Happy Hump Day, lovelies 🙂 xx