Hmmm…. you know that moment when the visual image of something turns out to be less then the actual food itself?
Let me explain; I had been wanting to make the recipe for chocolate nougatine with hazelnut praline from Jo over at Foodjunkie for a while now, but I couldn’t find enough hazelnuts. In the supermarket they only sold them in tiny packs of 50 gr and I needed 450 gr and ofcourse they did not have enough packs plus that it cost a fortune, so I was happy when yesterday I finally found them albeit with the skins still on.
Since I have an unexpected day of tomorrow it meant I would have time to do some proper cooking today and this would be the perfect opportunity to make this recipe. On the recipe you see the original photo from the magazine, which – as I am sure you will agree – looks very different from this version I made.
I started with making the meringue which tasted fabulous even without baking it…:) but then I got to do the hazelnut praline and I am really not sure if I did it correctly. The recipe calls for making it into a paste, but when I put the caramelized hazelnuts in the blender it ended up being powdery rather then anything that looked like paste. Still adding the chocolate and then the cream still made it look ok and the taste was lovely.
When looking through our cupboards it turned out I did not have a oblong caketin! I had a few but I threw them out a while ago as they were very old and terrible looking. Thinking – ofcourse – that I would remember to buy a new one… Which I obviously did not!!
I had a very tiny caketin that I used for the photo part and the rest I put into a large square caketin which meant it was a bit flatter then it was supposed to be. It’s still very tasty but it just doesn’t look very attractive I think.. O well you can’t have it all. In the end it is the taste that counts, but I like my food to look pretty as well. Especially if I plan on taking a photograph of it!
I did not take the skin of the hazelnuts as I don’t really mind the skin and didn’t think it would make a huge taste difference. Does it? It’s just such a painful process to remove them…:)
I think the hazelnuts look prettier then the finished product but ok. I probably should have left the meringue slightly longer in the oven, as it was on the too sticky side when moving them into the caketin.
Here is the recipe (from Foodjunkie)
- 160g icing sugar
- 60g caster sugar
- 160g powdered hazelnuts
- 6 egg whites (180g)
- 250g hazelnuts
- 130g caster sugar
- 50g water
- the praline we made
- 200g chocolate (55% cocoa content)
- 500g double cream(35%) beaten until it looks like thick yogurt
- Biscuit: Preheat the oven to 170 οC. In medium speed, beat the egg whites and the caster sugar into meringue. Mix the icing sugar with the powdered hazelnuts and fold this mixture into the meringue. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper forming a rectangle measuring approximately 40×25cm and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Praline: In a non stick pan bring water and sugar to the boil and add the whole 20090322-1378hazelnuts. Start stirring until they caramelize. In the beginning they will be all white and crusty, but the sugar will slowly melt again and form caramel. It is a process that needs a bit if patience and a lot of stirring! When the hazelnuts are ready pour them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let them cool. Then process them in the blender until they form a paste called praline.
- Chocolate and praline cream: Melt the chocolate in a bain marie or in the microwave and mix in the praline. When the mixture has cooled down to 38-40 oC (it has to feel tepid when you dip your finger into it) fold it gently into the double cream with a spatula.
- Assemblage: Cut the biscuit into 25χ10 cm rectangles. Spread some of the cream at the bottom of an oblong cake tin and add the first piece of biscuit. Continue alternating cream and biscuit until you finish you r ingredients, but make sure the last layer is a biscuit one.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours until it is set. To take the sweet out of the tin, dip it in hot water. You can garnish with caramelized hazelnuts if you want.