I am inherently messy. It’s one of the many attributes that I wish I could change about myself. But even I have my limits. Occasionally the disarray will get too much and I’ll explode into a hive of short-lived organisational activity.
So happened this week with my recipe folders. I was so fed up with the muddle of magazine clippings that was ever-growing but increasingly under-utilised that I transferred the whole lot into an Excel spreadsheet (*GEEK ALERT*). So now I have a nice little system of some 500 recipes, searchable by main ingredient and/or course.
I used my spreadsheet to make my Random Recipe selection this month and it turned up this chocolate ganache with salted caramel and hazelnut crumble from Delicious Magazine. The recipe is written by someone called Will. Will who(?) I’m not really sure as I didn’t keep that bit of the article but it’s his career changing recipe – apparently making this dessert got him a top job in a restaurant (somewhere!).
Anyhoo, my contribution to Will’s recipe was to make some hazelnut tuile biscuits to dip into the ganache. This is my absolute favourite tuile recipe. It yields thin and crispy biscuits every time. It’s no nonsense and you don’t need to faff around with stencils. You just need a silicon mat and a cookie cutter. And it’s infinitely customisable. You can substitute the hazelnuts for almonds or another kind of nut. Or I sometimes leave out the nuts altogether and just use 2x as much plain flour in the batter then sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
The whole hazelnut, caramel, chocolate combo in this dessert is insanely good but, by heck, the ganache is rich. Make sure you serve this in shallow dishes as you really need a bit of everything in each bite. Alternatively, if you have a favoured chocolate mousse recipe then you could use that here, instead of the ganache, for a lighter result.
I am entering this post into Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe challenge as the theme for September is puddings, cakes and bakes. And also into Blue Kitchen Bakes’ Classic French challenge where this month’s theme is tuile biscuits.
Chocolate Ganache with Salted Caramel, Hazelnut Crumble and Hazelnut Tuile Biscuits (adapted from Delicious Magazine)
For the tuile biscuits (makes about 16):
- 50g hazelnuts
- 25g plain flour
- 50g butter
- 55g caster sugar
- 2 egg whites
For the tuile biscuits, preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan. If your hazelnuts are skin-on, spread the nuts for both the biscuits and the crumble on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes or until the skins have darkened. Remove from the oven and tip on to a tea-towel. Rub the nuts together in the towel and you should find that the skins flake off. Some will probably be stubborn and won’t shift – don’t worry too much about this. If your hazelnuts have already been skinned, you can omit this step or just give them a quick toast in the oven to brown slightly.
Put 25g of the best skinned nuts in a food processor with the plain flour and pulse until the nuts have become fine and powdery. Tip out this mixture and set aside. Add another 25g of nuts to the processor and pulse gently until roughly chopped with some fairly large chunks still remaining.
Melt the butter. Tip into a bowl with the caster sugar and mix to incorporate. Stir in the egg whites then fold through the flour-nut mixture to form a thick paste.
Spoon the paste on to a silicon mat and spread as thinly as possible with a spatula to make a rectangle. Sprinkle with the roughly chopped nuts. Bake for 10 minutes or until the very edges are just turning golden brown but the centre is still pale.
Remove from the oven and, working quickly, use a 5cm round cutter to cut out individual biscuits. Return the biscuits to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so until golden brown.
For the crumble:
- 50g plain flour
- 15g demerara sugar
- 15g caster sugar
- 30g hazelnuts
- 50g butter, diced and chilled
- pinch of sea salt
Turn up the oven to 180C/160C fan. Rub the flour, sugars and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and toss through the crumble mixture with a pinch of salt. Tip on to a lined baking tray and spread in a layer. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the salted caramel:
- 50g butter
- 50g light muscovado sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 50ml double or whipping cream
- 15g milk chocolate
Melt the butter, sugar and salt in a small pan until smooth. Bring to a simmer and bubble for a few minutes whilst stirring. Add the cream, stirring until incorporated, then remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir to melt. Set aside to cool at room temperature.
For the ganache:
- 140g dark chocolate
- 60g milk chocolate
- 170ml water, freshly boiled
- sea salt
Break both chocolates into chunks then pour over the boiling water. Stir until melted and smooth. Beat with an electric whisk for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture cools and starts to thicken slightly but is still pourable. Divide between 4 shallow dishes and chill for 20 minutes. (Do not chill for longer than 20 minutes otherwise the mixture may set too hard, rather remove from the fridge and allow to stand at room temperature before serving.)
To serve, drizzle the ganache with caramel then sprinkle over the crumble and a little extra sea salt. Serve with the hazelnut tuile biscuits for dipping.