These luxurious chocolate treats are perfect for special occasion. No one will be able to resist the smooth praline centre and crunchy outer chocolate shell.
For the praline ganache
160ml whipping cream
150g Gianduja chocolate, finely chopped (available from Amazon.co.uk)
80g good-quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate
(70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
25g unsalted butter, softened
For the nutty chocolate:
500g good-quality milk chocolate, chopped and separated into bowls of 350g and 150g
200g almonds, finely chopped and roasted
50g whole roasted hazelnuts
100g crushed feuillantine (available from souschef.com)
Edible gold leaf (optional)
To make the ganache, pour the cream into a saucepan and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla pod, along with the pod. Bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 mins. Strain the infused cream into a clean saucepan, add the sugar and bring to the boil.
Put the Gianduja and dark chocolate in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and mix until everything forms a thick melted chocolate mixture.
Add the butter and mix well until fully incorporated. Leave the ganache to set at room temperature for 1-2 hrs.
To assemble, put the ganache in a piping bag fitted with a 12mm nozzle. Pipe small ‘bulbs’ of the ganache onto a lined tray. Put a whole roasted hazelnut into each bulb of ganache.
Pipe a larger bulb of ganache on top of each hazelnut and leave to set for 1 hr in the fridge.
Roll each bulb into a sphere and coat in feuillantine, and then chill while you prepare the nutty chocolate.
Temper the milk chocolate by melting 2/3 of it in a bowl to 45C-50C set over a pan of simmering water. Add the remaining chocolate to allow it to cool to 26C-27C, and then melt back to 29C-30C.
Add the almonds to the tempered chocolate. Remove the ganache from the fridge and use a fork to dip each into the nutty chocolate. If the chocolate thickens too much, warm it slightly.
Place each rocher on a lined tray to set for 1-2 hrs in a cool, dry area before decorating with gold leaf to finish, if you like. Will keep for one week stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.