A little while ago I was sent some delicious Valrhona Dulcey chocolate by Classic Fine Foods. It is a delicious chocolate, like no other I’ve tried, it tastes like a caramelised white chocolate, it’s buttery and biscuit-like and I really wanted to make something that would truly let this chocolate shine and so the Valrhona Dulcey Hazelnut Entremet was born.
A lot of internet hunting led me to create a dessert inspired by some of my favourite blogs and chefs. The Valrhona Dulcey mousse was inspired by Pastry Workshop, the hazelnut mousse and praline paste came from Hint of Vanilla and the shortcrust pastry came from Julie Jones’ book Soulful Baker.
You may notice from the photos that inside the dome there is some more chocolate, well I made some chocolate and hazelnut discs that I used, but they really didn’t add anything to the dome and they ruined the texture for me. I felt that the pastry was enough crunch, so I have left them out of the recipe.
As long as you read the recipe all the way through before you start, these desserts could be part of your Christmas menu, or perhaps you could serve them if you’re having a new year’s eve party. The Valrhona Dulcey Hazelnut Entremet can be made a day in advance and stored in the fridge until you’re ready for them.
You really need to try Valrhona Dulcey, it’s an amazing chocolate, I still have half a bag left to feature in another recipe, so let me know if you have any ideas of what you’d like me to make with it.
Hazelnut Praline Paste
- 300 g Hazelnuts
- 200 g Sugar
- 65 g Water
- To make the hazelnut praline paste, place the hazelnuts on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and roast in a pre-heated oven at 170C for about 10 minutes until golden and fragrant.
- Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and cook the syrup to 116C.
- Add the warm hazelnuts and stir to coat them evenly. Continue cooking the hazelnuts and syrup until they are a deep amber colour and no sandy white bits remain. Spread onto a baking sheet to cool completely.
- To turn this into praline paste, put the caramelized hazelnuts in a food processor, blend until a smooth and runny paste forms this will take about 8 to 12 minutes. This recipe will make more than you need. Place the excess in a sterilised jar.
Valrhona Dulcey Mousse
- 85 g Egg Yolk
- 12 g Caster Sugar
- 90 ml Whole Milk
- 4 g Gelatine Sheets
- 195 g Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate melted
- 225 ml Double Cream whipped
- Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and allow to soften.
- Mix the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, until they are pale and creamy.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, then pour it over the egg yolk mixture and whisk until combined.
- Return the mixture to the pan and cook until thickened and a thermometer reads 82C.
- Remove from heat and stir in the bloomed gelatine then strain it over the melted Dulcey chocolate.
- Mix until smooth and creamy then cool to room temperature and fold in the whipped cream.
- Take a 6 cavity semi-sphere mould and fill about a 1/3rd with Dulcey mousse, using a small palette knife spread the mousse up the sides of the mould ensuring none of the mould can be seen.
- Take the frozen hazelnut mousse semi-spheres and place them in the mould, seal them up with more valrhona dulcey mousse on top and smooth the tops. Place in the freezer and allow to set.
- 230 g Plain Flour
- 125 g Unsalted Butter
- 50 g Icing Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1 Egg Yolk + 1 Egg for glazing
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- Begin by making the pastry. Place the flour and butter in a bowl of a food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and gently mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the icing sugar and vanilla bean paste and mix through.
- Add the egg yolk and the milk and mix until it starts to form a dough.Take the dough out of the machine and shape it into a block about 1cm thick, this will make it easier to roll out. Rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Take a 6 x 8cm pastry rings and place them on a clean baking tray.
- Cut the pastry in two and place half back in the fridge so it doesn’t get too warm, you’ll line 3 tins at a time. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper so that you don’t add any extra flour. When the pastry is rolled out big enough to cover the rings cut the pastry into three and lay the pastry over a ring, press it into the sides and base of the ring, making sure it’s touching otherwise it will shrink away from the sides of the ring. Leave an overhang of pastry on the edge of the ring, this will help with shrinkage and place them on the tray.
- Repeat with the other 5 rings and place the pastry cases in the fridge for 30mins to chill a little. Pre-heat the oven to 180C Fan/200C and line the pastry cases with baking parchment and baking beans. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking beans and baking parchment and return to the oven for 5 minutes.
- Check the pastry over to see if it needs any of the cracks patching, if so use some raw pastry and fill the holes. Take the egg wash and brush it all over the pastry and bake for another 15 minutes.
- When the pastry is golden, remove it from the oven and leave it cool, then take a vegetable peeler and shave off the excess pastry to remove it.
- 100 g Blanched Hazelnuts
- 40 g Caster Sugar
- 15 ml Water
- Place the hazelnuts on a silicone sheet and bake them in the oven for 15 mins at 160C.
- Put the sugar and water in a pan and heat to 113C, slowly add the hazelnuts and stir them coating them in the caramel.
- The sugar will crystallise around the hazelnuts, when this happens, spread them out on a silicone baking sheet and make sure they are all separate, you don’t want them to clump together.
- Leave to cool.
- 80 g Double Cream
- 80 g Whole Milk
- 30 g Praline Paste
- 50 g Egg Yolks
- 15 g Caster Sugar
- 1.5 g Gelatine Sheets
- 160 g Double Cream
- For the mousse, combine the yolks and sugar in a small bowl and whisk until pale in colour. Place the gelatine sheets in cold water to soften.
- Place the 80g of double cream, milk, and praline paste in a medium saucepan, cook over a medium heat, and stir to disperse the praline paste. When the mixture is just below a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.Whisking constantly, pour the mixture onto the yolk mixture, return the mixture to the pan and place over a medium heat.
- Stirring constantly bring the mix to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 minute, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent the mixture from curdling, it will be very thick.
- Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add it to the hazelnut custard you’ve just made. Allow the mixture to cool down.
- While the custard is cooling, whip the 160g of cream to medium peaks, store in the fridge until the custard is the right temperature.
- When the custard had reached an ambient temperature, gently fold in one-third of the cream. When that is evenly mixed, fold in the remaining cream. The mousse is ready to use, take a semi-sphere mould with a cavity that is 3cm diameter and fill the mould. You will have more mousse than you need, I recommend filling at least 9 in case there are any errors, smooth the mousse and remove any excess. Place the mould in the freezer on a tray or board to keep them flat.
- The remaining mousse can be stored in the fridge and eaten when set.
Tempered Chocolate Triangles
- 200 g Dark Chocolate 70% chips, or chopped
- 60 g Dark Chocolate 70% approx. may need up to 100g
- Prepare some food grade acetate and cut it into even sized triangles, you will need 6, but make at least 12 to allow for breakages.Take something round like a buche mould that you can place the triangles in, so that they will curve as they dry.
- Melt 100g chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until it reaches 45C. Remove the bowl from the heat, wipe the bottom of the bowl with a towel and add some of the reserved 100g chocolate, stirring regularly until all of the chocolate is melted, keep adding chopped chocolate until the temperature is reduced to 32C.
- The chocolate is then tempered and ready to use, take the acetate triangles and pour a little of the chocolate on them, using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in one direction and then leave it for a few seconds to set. Place the chocolate triangles in the buche mould and allow them to set overnight somewhere cool.
- When you’re ready, peel the acetate gently off the chocolate triangles and store them in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.
- 150 g Liquid Glucose
- 150 g Caster Sugar
- 75 ml Water
- 100 ml Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 150 g White Chocolate Chips
- 10 g Gelatine Leaves
- Copper Cocoa Butter Food Colouring
- Place the chocolate in a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients.
- Mix the liquid glucose, sugar and water in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat this syrup until it reaches 103C.Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the condensed milk, then add the gelatine, pour this mixture over the chocolate and stir it to melt the chocolate until it becomes smooth and evenly mixed.
- Reserve a few tablespoons of glaze in a separate bowl and colour it with the copper food colouring.
- Allow the glaze to cool down to 35C before using, you can make it a few hours ahead and re-heat in the microwave until it reaches the desired temperature.
- To assemble the dessert, take the mirror glazes and warm them in the microwave to 35C, demould the frozen semi-spheres and place them on a wire cake rack over a baking tray to collect the excess glaze.
- Pour over the white glaze and then dribble over the copper glaze, leave them to set for a couple of minutes.
- Using an offset spatula, pick up the glazed mousses and gently place them inside the pastry case. Take the crystallised hazelnuts and gently push them into the glaze, around the edge of the frozen mousse and then gently place a chocolate curl on top.
- Leave the mousse in the fridge to defrost and when serving, take out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before eating.
Thanks for reading.
Valrhona UK and Classic Fine Foods very kindly sent me a kilo of Valrhona Dulcey 32% to try, all opinions are my own.