These soft, buttery sugar cookies are perfect for the holidays! Create festive shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. Download the recipe right now.
By the way, I didn’t use blue tack. Since you asked, I put the toothpick ends into my mouth and then dribbled some sugar down my pajama bottom. I was just too excited to shower, dress, and wear an apron first thing in the morning.
Raymond Blanc assumed that you could easily buy Praline in Berlin (you couldn’t) or unskinned roasted hazelnuts for your Praline. (Yeah, I haven’t seen those either) so I made my own. If you don’t want to bother, you can buy digestives and mash them with butter like you would a cheesecake. This will also work.
Try the hazelnuts for some fun. It can be not easy to gauge the caramel, especially if you are like me and have dark-bottomed pans. But, in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, “Failure leads to success.”
I included the whole recipe but only made half of it because I wanted to try it out. Half the recipe could easily serve eight people. Make individual portions in a jar or glass if you don’t know how to cut straight lines or don’t wish to fuss. You can also sprinkle the Praline on top of a cappuccino mug.
Chocolate Delice (serves 12-14)
Praline with cornflake base
100g cornflakes, slightly broken
Hazelnut Praline Paste 200g
Two medium eggs
Whipping Cream 325ml
Whole milk 140ml
340g dark chocolate
Hazelnuts, 50g, skinned
150g of caster sugar
Hazelnuts, 200g, skinned
1. Mix the cornflakes with the praline paste in a large bowl using a wooden spoon until you have a paste that is easily pressable into the corners of the mold. Line a rectangular frame mold measuring 24x14cm or a tart ring measuring 20cm with non-stick baking paper. Pour the praline cornflake paste into the mold and spread it evenly with the back end of the spoon.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs lightly. Pour the milk and cream into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Slowly pour the mixture over the eggs while whisking. The cream and milk mixture must be boiling before you add it to your eggs. This will help set the combination. Stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Pour the mixture over the cornflake layer and place it in the refrigerator to set.
3. Preheat the oven to 170degC. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. While the nuts are warm, gently push the sharp tip of a cocktail stick into each one. Attach some Blu-Tack to the shelf edge and place a tray below to collect any caramel that may have escaped. Melt the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Then cook until it turns dark golden. Do not remove the caramel from the heat too soon. A pale caramel is too sweet and boring.
4. Dip the bottom of the pan into cold water for two seconds as soon as you see the caramel form. This will stop the cooking. The intense heat from the pan will cause the water to boil immediately when it is dipped in. This step is essential to prevent the caramel from heating up and keeping it the correct color.
5. Allow the caramel to cool slightly for 1 minute or until it has reached a coating consistency. Holding a cocktail stick, dip each hazelnut caramel. Then, press the other end into the caramel. Press the other end into the Blu-Tack to suspend the caramel-coated Hazelnut hazelnutlly. After one minute, the caramel will be hardened and have a long tail.
6. Slice the chocolate delice with a knife that has been dipped into hot water. Sprinkle some grated cocoa on top. Place on serving plates and garnish with caramel nuts.