As I couldn’t make any chocolate desserts for valentine, I’m trying to make up for lost time… so I might make lots of chocolatey posts over the coming week, but I’m sure nobody would mind :)
I found this recipe in Vogue Entertaining + Travel about two years ago – it’s an Alain Ducasse recipe and looked irresistible! I really like the combination of chocolate and nuts or caramel and this dessert has almond praline in the chocolate mousse. It’s quite simple to make – you need to make praline first, in the recipe they use almonds but I tried with hazelnuts and I actually prefer it with hazelnuts (you could use a mixture of both). Before I first tried making praline I was a bit scared, but it isn’t difficult as long as you are careful enough about when the caramel is ready – then tip in the roasted nuts. You can keep the praline in the freezer for months.
While cooling the praline you can make the chocolate sponge for the base (or the other way round if you prefer). To make the mousse, you heat some corn syrup (I can’t seem to find corn syrup here in the UK, so I use a smaller amount of golden syrup instead), water and gelatine, then add chocolate. Fold some lightly whipped double cream and ground praline. I tend to put quite a bit of praline in because I really like the nutty flavour! In the recipe they pour ganache over, but I found it a little too rich – I personally prefer it just with the mousse so that you can taste the praline better. Yum!