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Happy Valentine's Day!

Bittersweet chocolates filled with a hazelnut praline.

Ah, Valentine's. I didn't get to do 'festive' or 'holiday' cooking... thingy... because I was moving over Christmas and the New Year's, so I made sure I was prepared for Valentine's Day.

Oh, and errr this isn't going to be a proper recipe post, because I confess I flew half-blind and just went with the flow instead of measuring what I was doing, haha.

This post inspired me to do chocolates; I have a silicon mold for heart shapes, and I'm always looking to try something I've never done before. The technique for brushing the chocolate up the sides of the molds works wonderfully, although it was a bit messy at times (okay, all the time.) I was afraid the chocolate would crack when I held the mold up to the light to check for weak spots, but it held up really well, actually!

Two things I did different: I used 72% dark chocolate (about 3/4 bar in total) instead of compound chocolate melts, and I changed the filling, partly because I don't have any red wine.

For the filling, I knew immediately that I wanted to do a hazelnut praline. You could say that I have a sort of love affair with hazelnut praline. ;) It's just... amazing. It's my favourite chocolate treat filling ever, and anything that has it on its label is guaranteed to catch my attention. I remember my mother once bought me a very expensive box of some sort of long wafers filled with hazelnut praline, just because she knew how much I liked it. Aw. ♥

So for the praline, I made up erm... roughly 2/3 of the recipe from here. Seriously, look at that tart. Does that not look friggin' amazing?! I must try making that properly one day.

Yum! So that went into the chocolate-lined mold, topped with more melted chocolate and then frozen to set. They came out really easily from the mold, thankfully; I was half afraid I'd crack them getting them out. And yes, they are delicious. Not sure I'd do it again, since it was a bit of a hassle, but... delicious.

Unfortunately, I greatly underestimated how much the praline recipe would produce, so I had about a cup and a half worth of praline left over! Alas, what is a girl to do with leftover hazelnut praline? *sadface* ;)

Well, I could slather them on crepes...

crepes filled with hazelnut praline, topped with slices of plum and apple, and finished with some hazelnut brittle

... or do a little imitation of the praline tart. I have quite a thing for miniatures, don't I?

mini-muffin molds filled with praline and topped with melted dark chocolate and pre-praline ground up hazelnut brittle

Ahem. Unfortunately, that last one was a bit of a disaster, because even after freezing overnight, the praline did not set hahaha. So it was a bit of a mess to eat, albeit a yummy mess.