To serve:sea salt flakes, roast hazelnuts and ice-creamPraline crust50 gmroast hazelnuts, coarsely chopped50 gmcaster sugar65 gmmilk chocolate125 gmcigar wafers, processed in a food processor to fine crumbs (see note)Salted caramel 165 gm (¾ cup)caster sugar100 mlclotted cream1½ tspsalt35 gmbutter, coarsely choppedChocolate cream210 gmdark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped185 gmmilk chocolate, coarsely chopped550 mlpouring cream120 gmegg yolks (6-7 yolks)40 gmcaster sugarChocolate sauce90 gmcaster sugar55 gmdark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped8 gmDutch-process cocoa powder1 tspliquid glucose
For praline crust, place hazelnuts on a lightly oiled oven tray and set aside. Combine sugar and 20ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel forms (3-4 minutes). Pour over hazelnuts, set aside to cool. Break into coarse pieces and process in a food processor until finely ground. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, add praline, stir to combine, add wafers and stir to combine. Press 1 tbsp of mixture into bases of ten 6.5cm-diameter, 5cm-high lightly oiled ring moulds (see note) placed on a tray lined with baking paper, then refrigerate until set (10-15 minutes).
Meanwhile, for salted caramel, combine sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, then simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel forms (7-8 minutes). Add cream and salt (be careful as hot caramel may spit), return to heat, whisk in butter, divide among 10 small greased patty cases (smaller in diameter than ring moulds) and freeze until firm (1-2 hours).
Meanwhile, for chocolate cream, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring cream to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Stirring continuously, add cream in a thin steady stream until incorporated, then stir over a saucepan of simmering water until thick (6-8 minutes). Strain cream mixture over chocolate, stir until combined and set aside to cool. Pour chocolate cream over praline crust, filling moulds halfway, place a salted caramel in the centre of each, top with remaining chocolate cream then refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).
Meanwhile, for chocolate sauce, bring sugar, chocolate, cocoa, glucose and 90ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until smooth and glossy, cool, refrigerate until required.
Run a small knife dipped in hot water around sides of moulds, unmould chocolate delice onto serving plates, scatter with a pinch of sea salt. Scatter with hazelnuts, drizzle over chocolate sauce and serve with a scoop of ice-cream.
Note Cigar wafers are available from select supermarkets and delicatessens. Ring moulds are available from select kitchenware shops.
This recipe is from the January 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.