Updated: Aug 19
This pudding is not for the faint hearted, it's a dessert lovers dessert. A punchy ending to a light meal or "a" just because on a rainy afternoon with a cup of coffee. I got this dessert from the talented Ashley Hansely from Gatherers caterers, it was the menu in Wiltons Music hall in London where they could never make enough of it! The praline adds a bit of crunch to what is a silky smooth dessert, served with a dollop of cremè fraîche or good old whipped cream.
Serves 6-8 depending on the company you keep
340g of good quality dark chocolate- I like to use 70%
4 large eggs,separated
170g icing sugar
60g good quality cocoa powder
120g softly whipped cream
100g of skinned toasted hazelnuts.
Walnuts or almonds are equally
250g of caster sugar
5 tbsp water or enough to make the
mix look like wet sand
First before begin get yourself a 6" X6" square tin or terrine mould, use a bit of oil to grease the inside and cover the surface with two or three layers of cling film and put aside.
Melt the butter and chocolate in a metal bowl over some simmering water making sure the bowl isn't touching the water, set aside and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in egg yolks and coco powder.
Whip cream with 30g of caster sugar to soft peaks and keep in the fridge.
Then whip the egg whites adding icing sugar gradually until you get stiff peaks, you can hold it over your head if you're feeing brave, thats the real test of a stiff egg white.
Fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mix, beginning with 1/3 of the mixture, when this is fully incorporated, add another 1/3 repeating the same process, and then the final 1/3, lastly folding the whipped cream. Pour into your pre-lined tin and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours, take out the fridge half an hour before serving, only because a little room temperature will bring out the flavour better.
While your Terrire is resting in the fridge make your praline.
*A note on caramel: Before you even consider turning on the hob, get yourself a large bowl of cold water and a clean pastry brush. To get a great clear golden brown caramel you will need an extremely clean pot, a clean pastry brush, clean sugar, no old packets from the back of the cupboard that are half hard and probably have flour in them. Any dirt can cause caramel to crystallise and I mean any!
I once used about 3kg of sugar trying to get one decent bit of the stuff!
Secondly, don't leave it for even a second because that's when it will burn and you don't want your house and dog smelling of burnt caramel for the day.
Your large bowl of water is going to be used to dunk the base of your pot into when your caramel is ready.
Your pastry bush is used to dip in the water and brush down and crystals that start to form on the side of the pot while cooking.
Have a parchment lined tray with your toasted hazelnut close at hand.
Put your sugar and water in your pot, with your bowl of water beside you and your pastry brush at the ready.
Start on a medium heat and DO NOT STIR, just watch. If you see crystals forming on the sides brush them down with your pastry brush, if one side is browning more than the other move the pot to even the heat.
Your caramel will be ready when it begins to turn a dark brown, careful not to allow this to go to far as it will burn. As soon as it begins to go from an lighter to darker brown dunk the base of your pot into the large bowl of water, stopping the cooking and pour the mixture over your hazelnuts. Allow to cool fully and blitz for a second or two in a food processor, you don't want a powder just a less chunky version of what you began with.