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Triple Chocolate Praline Tart

On the cover of Gourmet Traveller [1] a few months ago was one of the most tempting chocolate tarts I have ever seen. Gorgeous rich shiny chocolate on top of a chocolate, hazelnut praline mousse and crispy chocolate pastry. How could I resist making this?

Even though I felt I should serve this with vanilla ice cream, I really wanted to serve it with baci gelato [2] and the combination was fantastic! The tart was rich and relatively soft, with a crisp pastry. The chocolate ganche on top was beautiful and very reflective, the hazelnut praline gave the tart a lovely crunch and all layers worked fantastically together.

A loose bottomed tart tin would have been very helpful in getting out the tart slices, as I had a few problems with removing the first few. Each part of the tart was quite easy, you just need to organise your time a bit, to make sure it’s ready on time. We had some leftovers, as this is a very rich tart, and it tastes gorgeous on the days afterward, so if you didn’t have time to make it on the day I would consider making it the day before.

Triple Chocolate Praline Tart
Recipe from Gourmet Traveller [1] (my hints in italics)

Serves: 16

160ml pouring cream
40ml milk
200g dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Chocolate pastry
200g plain flour
60g pure icing sugar, sifted
30g Dutch-process cocoa
100g cold butter, coarsely chopped
2 egg yolks
(I had to add 2 tablespoons of cold water at the end for it to form a dough)

Milk chocolate praline filling
150g hazelnuts, roasted and skins removed
175g raw caster sugar
300ml pouring cream
400g milk chocolate, finely chopped

For chocolate pastry, process flour, icing sugar and cocoa in a food processor until combined. Add butter, process until mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add egg yolks, process to combine. (If you need to add some cold water add it now and process, I needed to do this as it was very crumbly). Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and bring pastry together with the heel of your hand. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick and line a 28cm-diameter loose-bottomed tart tin, trimming edges (I used a quiche dish as that’s all I had). Refrigerate for 1 hour, then blind bake for 8-10 minutes (place a piece of baking paper in the tart and add rice, beans or weights), remove paper and weights and bake until dry and crisp (8-10 minutes).

Meanwhile, for praline filling, spread hazelnuts on an oiled baking tray, set aside. Combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook until dark caramel in colour (4-5 minutes), pour over nuts. Stand until cool and set (8-10 minutes), process in a food processor until finely ground, set aside.

Bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, add chocolate, stir until smooth, remove from heat, stir in two-thirds of praline mixture (reserve remaining to serve). Spoon into pastry case, smooth top, refrigerate until just set (1½-2 hours).

Combine cream and milk in a small saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat. Add dark chocolate, remove from heat, stir until smooth. Spread over tart, refrigerate until just set (45 minutes-1 hour). Cut into wedges with a hot knife and serve immediately scattered with reserved praline. (I would also suggest serving this with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or baci gelato [2]).