Monday, March 12, 2012

Plaisir Sucré with Coffee Ganache

Unemployment + new kitchen = excessive amounts of time spent baking. This is only the first of many desserts I'll be posting in the upcoming days, I'm literally losing sleep to bake. It may not be entirely coincidental that everything I've made so far has been coffee flavoured.

This is a twist on the Pierre Hermé classic, I substituted the layers of milk chocolate ganache with layers of coffee and dark chocolate ganache.

Milk chocolate sheets:

300g milk chocolate
Candy thermometer
2x A4-sized acetate sheets

To temper the milk choc, place it in a clean bowl, then either double-boil or microwave it in short intervals until the temp reaches 49 degrees C. Be careful not to let even a drop of water get into the choc as it will seize and render unworkable. Remove chocolate from heat and continue stirring until the choc has cooled to a temp of 27-28 degrees C. Reheat the choc again until it reaches 29-31 degrees C (should only take 10 seconds or so). Get ready the A4-sized acetate sheets and spread the choc onto the acetate with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for about 5-10 minutes or until the choc is half set, then remove from fridge and score twelve 11x3cm rectangles with a knife onto each sheet (you should end up with 24 rectangles). Refrigerate until firm, then remove the chocolate by peeling off the acetate sheet and breaking them along the score lines. Refrigerate again until ready to use.

The hazelnut dacquoise :

105g ground hazelnuts
150g icing sugar
135g egg whites, room temp
4.5 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted, skinned & halved

Sift ground hazelnuts & icing sugar together & set aside. In a bowl whisk egg whites until foamy then gradually add in sugar and whisk until stiff peaks. Fold hazelnut mixture into the whites then spread mixture evenly onto a 6-inch baking tray lined with parchment paper. Scatter hazelnut halves on top then press down slightly. bake in a preheated oven of 165 degrees C for 25-30 mins or until browned. Leave to cool.

The hazelnut praline :

300g nutella
75g milk choc, melted & cooled til lukewarm
1 cup rice krispies or chocolate wafers
1.5 tbsp butter, melted & cooled

Place nutella paste in bowl then add in the remaining ingredients the order they're listed. Mix well.

Coffee ganache:

200g white chocolate
200g whipping cream
10g coffee

Chop up the chocolate and melt it in a bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Bring the cream to a boil. Add the ground coffee. Remove from the heat and cover. Allow to infuse for a few minutes then pour it over the chocolate a third at a time. Stir it to obtain a smooth ganache. Refrigerate until it's ready to use.

Chocolate ganache:

200g dark chocolate
200g whipping cream
70g butter

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Can also heat the cream and butter in the microwave.) Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes. Stir gently (as you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth.

To assemble:

Start with the hazelnut dacquoise, then spread the praline evenly onto the dacquoise, working from the center and spread as far as it will go to the edges. Spread the coffee ganache on top and then place 12 pieces of chocolate on top of the ganache, refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and until firm. Then cut around the rectangle chocolate pieces until you have 12 slices.
Pipe the chocolate ganache on top and place another piece of chocolate on top of each slice, topping them with a hazelnut each dipped in nutella. Refrigerate for a further hour.

Source: adapted from Pierre Hermé

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