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Hazelnut Ganache Cups

Hazelnut Ganache Cups: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister and the nuts are fragrant. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Immediately place a clean towel over the nuts and let them 'steam' for about 10 minutes. Then rub the towel and nuts briskly to remove the skins. Let cool completely. Remove the 45 hazelnuts to be used as garnish and then place the remaining hazelnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground.

Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. 

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Immediately, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for a few minutes. Gently stir the mixture until smooth and then add the Frangelico (if using), hazelnut praline paste (if using), and finely ground hazelnuts. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes (until at room temperature) and then transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe the Ganache into small candy cups until they're about 3/4 full. Place a toasted hazelnut, pointed end facing up, into the center of each Ganache Cup. Place in the refrigerator until they are firm (about 1 hour).

Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for several weeks or they can be frozen for about two months. Best served at room temperature.

Makes about 45 Hazelnut Ganache Cups.

Hazelnut Ganache Cups:

2/3 cup (100 grams) raw hazelnuts plus an additional 45 whole hazelnuts to be used as garnish

8 ounces (225 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream (contains 35-40% butterfat)

1 tablespoon Frangelico Liqueur (optional)

2 tablespoons (40 grams) Hazelnut Praline Paste (optional)

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