But on such a lovely day, I reckon I should write about something really delicious that I made about two weeks back. I've been meaning to bake this tart for at least a year now, and after finally getting around to doing so, I really wonder why did I procrastinate for so long. It's amazing.
Triple chocolate praline tart
Mise en place
Roasted hazelnuts for making praline
First of all, let's start with the roasted hazelnuts, shall we? I'm a huge fan of hazelnuts and the mention of hazelnut praline brings my anticipation of this dessert to yet another level. A pity my food processor couldn't really grind the praline down to a smoother consistency, but it's okay, I get little crunches hazelnut brittle crunch in each mouthful, and I'm certainly not complaining about that fact...
I must say that this is the best chocolate tart I've ever eaten! Okay, maybe not the best-est. But one of the best really. And it's homemade too! How awesome is that. The crust was crunchy and really good (I rolled it out quite thinly between plastic wrap). The filling, oh the filling, creamy milk chocolate mixed with crunchy hazelnut praline, really, my heart didn't had a chance against it. The dark chocolate topping was just right to cut the sweetness of the milk chocolate layer. And the excess hazelnut praline sprinkled atop the tart was essentially a fireworks finish to the perfect tart.
In short, I highly recommend it.
On a side note, I've been trying to re-read the Twilight series again as the first instalment of the last movie, Breaking Dawn is going to be out in cinemas in two weeks' time. I'm currently at the second book, New Moon, and as usual, the paragraph that aptly summarises the book's essence and jumps out the most is:
"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. very dark, but there were stars - points of light and reason... And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything."
I never fail to
Chocolate tart pastry
100g plain flour
30g icing sugar, sifted
15g Valrhona cocoa
pinch of fine sea salt
50g cold butter, coarsely chopped
1 egg yolk
Process flour, icing sugar, salt and cocoa in a food processor until combined. Add butter, process until mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add egg yolk, process to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and bring pastry together with the heel of your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and line a 6" diameter tart tin, trimming edges. Gather remaining dough, roll to line a 3" tart tin. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then blind bake for 8-10 minutes, remove paper and weights and bake until dry and crisp (10-15 minutes).
Milk chocolate praline filling
75g hazelnuts, roasted and skins removed
85g caster sugar
150ml whipping cream
200g milk chocolate, finely chopped
Spread hazelnuts on an oiled baking tray, set aside. Combine sugar and 30ml water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook until dark caramel in colour (4-5 minutes), pour over nuts. Stand until cool and set (8-10 minutes), process in a food processor until finely ground, set aside. Bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, add chocolate, stir until smooth, remove from heat, stir in two-thirds of praline mixture (reserve remaining to serve). Spoon into pastry case, smooth top, refrigerate until just set (1½-2 hours).
65ml (1/3 cup minus 1 tbsp) whipping cream
15ml (1 tbsp) low fat milk
80g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Combine cream and milk in a small saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat. Add dark chocolate, remove from heat, stir until smooth. Spread over tart, refrigerate until just set (45 minutes-1 hour). Cut into wedges with a hot knife and serve immediately scattered with reserved praline.