Decadent, silky salted dark chocolate ganache with crunchy hazelnut praline and a sweet toasted Swiss meringue.....Sounds complex right?
I'm going to show you how easy this little showstopper tart really is, and uses minimal ingredients!
Makes approx 10 slices
if you work in stages on this it really couldn't be simpler. the only bit to bake is the pastry case. If you prefer to use a shop bought one i'm not going to judge you!
Ingredients for the pastry case.
170g plain flour
1 egg yolk
40g caster sugar
Ingredients for hazelnut praline
50g halved hazelnuts
100g caster sugar
Ingredients for chocolate ganache filling
360g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids
2 tbsp caster sugar
300ml double cream
1 pinch sea salt flakes
Ingredients for swiss meringue
2 room temp egg whites
100g caster sugar
Method for pastry
First tackle the pastry, this is a sweet pastry with a very high butter content which makes it super crisp, however it is tricky to handle, don't worry if it tears, just patch it up.
Place flour, sugar and butter cubes in a processor and pulse to breadcrumbs.
add yolk and pulse to a dough. form into a ball press flat into a disc and refrigerate for an hour.
preheat the oven to 180c
Roll out pastry on a well floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with parchment.
place pastry in the tin allowing it to flop over sides (we will trim these off after baking)
use a ball of dough to press into the corners and patch up as required.
Place pastry lined tin in the fridge for 20 mins to chill.
Line the tin with a piece of parchment and fill with baking beans or dried pulses and 'blind bake' for 15 minutes.
Remove baking beans and parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes. Now remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Method for chocolate ganache.
add cream and sugar to a saucepan, heat until sugar is dissolved.
add chocolate in pieces and stir until glossy and completely melted.
add sea salt stir and pour into pastry case.
chill in the fridge. (i told you it was easy!)
Method for praline
put hazelnuts on a roasting tray and roast at 180c for 10 minutes.
remove from the oven to cool.
Now add sugar to a saucepan reserving about 2 tablespoons.
put heat on medium and leave alone, don't stir!! ...you'll notice the edges turning amber. using a teaspoon of sugar just srinkle over the hot amber edges.
By doing this you are slowing down the 'burn' in the sugar so the centre has a chance to catch up. keep doing this with any hotspots.
eventually all the granules of sugar will begin to melt, you can swirl the pan but avoid the temptation to stir, this will crystallise the sugar.
once your sugar is melted and it's a rich amber colour tip in the hazelnuts in, swirl round and tip it all out onto non-stick baking parchment or a silicone mat to cool completely.
I must stress this DO NOT TOUCH IT! the sugar is molten and will give you dreadful burns so exercise caution here.
It doesn't matter if its in a big messy ball you're going to blitz it when its cool anyway.
Once cool add to a food processor and pulse to a gritty texture and set aside.
Method for Swiss meringue.
I love Swiss meringue as its super easy, gives a glossy marshmallowy meringue that pipes well and toasts perfectly.
set a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
add egg whites and sugar and continuously stir until the sugar is melted and the egg white is very warm, not scalding hot to touch.
You can test this by rubbing a small amount between your fingers to test for grains of sugar.
now remove from the heat and using a hand held electric whisk start whisking on high until you reach stiff glossy peaks. The meringue should be very glossy and thick.
add to a piping bag with which ever nozzle you like.
Remove filled tart from the fridge, sprinkle the edges of the chocolate ganache with your praline crumb, pipe on Swiss meringue (get artistic here!)
Now using a blow torch quickly toast your piped meringue design. Be careful not to melt the chocolate though.
Allow at least an hour out of the fridge to allow the chocolate to get soft and easy to cut.
Slice a little piece of heaven and impress the hell out of your friends and family!
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