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Alain Ducasse chocolate dessert Louis XV Recipe


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     Alain Ducasse chocolate dessert Louis XV

Category   Desserts - Breads
Sub Category   None

300g caster sugar
1 cup cold water
90g roasted hazelnuts or almonds
300g dark Valrhona chocolate
300ml double cream
1 prepared plain or chocolate sponge cake
40ml water
30g corn syrup
1 sheet gelatine, softened in cold water
150g dark Valrhona chocolate
300ml softly whipped double cream

Have ready a large metal tray lined with baking paper and sit it on a board or thick tea-towel. Put the sugar and water into small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and bring the liquid to the boil. Continue to boil the liquid, washing down the sides of the pan occasionally with a brush dipped in water (This washes away any sugar crystals which can otherwise make the toffee crystallised and cloudy). The mixture will slowly change from being quite watery to a clear, thick syrup and will become thicker as it cooks, with slow bubbles covering the surface. From here on you will need to watch it like a hawk. The syrup will change the colour, becoming a light gold caramel, after which it will darken very quickly. The trick is knowing when the caramel is ready, because if you leave it too long it will burn, not long enough and it will be pale and lacking in flavour.
For praline, it should be a deep golden brown, but bear in mind that it will continue to cook a little once you take it off the heat. When ready, remove the pan from the heat, immediately tip in the nuts and swirl them around so they are well coated. Pour the mixture out onto the tray, holding the tray with a thick cloth and tilting it gently so that a thin layer of toffee and nuts forms. Leave it to cool and set completely, then break it into large chunks and layer them in an airtight container, with sheets of baking paper between each to stop them from sticking together. Freeze the praline then, when you need it, just take as much as you want. If you need it finely crushed you can grind it in a blender or processor, or put it into a double layer of thick plastic bags and pond it with a rolling pin. Be careful not to overwork it in a food processor or the praline turn to a paste.
Ganache Break the chocolate into a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan and pour over the chocolate, then stir together until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before using it to glaze the cakes.
Bring the water and corn syrup to the boil in a saucepan and remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess moisture from the gelatine, add to the pan and stir until dissolved. Break the chocolate into a bowl, then pour the warm mixture over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and set aside. Place 12x10cm metal rings on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cut out discs of sponge, 3mm-thick, to line the base of each. Gently fold the whipped cream and some praline into the chocolate mixture and pour into each ring. Cool for 2 hours until set. Remove the cakes from the tings and place on a wire rack over a tray. Pour the Ganache over each cake and transfer to the refrigerator to set.

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