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Chocolate Praline Brulees

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Serves: 6
150ml / 1/4 pint double cream
250g / 9 oz good-quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces
4 tbsp brandy
250g / 9 oz fromage frais
115g / 4 oz caster sugar
25g / 1 oz flaked almonds, lightly toasted

In a pan, bring the cream just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring frequently until the chocolate has melted to make a smooth glossy sauce. Stir in the brandy, fromage frais and 25g / 1 oz of the sugar, then pour the mixture into 6 small ramekins or dessert pots and scatter over the almonds.

In a small heavy-based pan, gently heat the remaining sugar with 3 tablespoons of water until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for about 5 minutes until the syrup has turned a pale caramel colour. Immerse the base of the pan in cold water to prevent further cooking (it will hiss).

Using a teaspoon, drizzle the syrup in a thin stream over the almonds, don't drizzle over too much or it will be thick and brittle. It will set almost instantly but, if allowed to stand, the caramel slowly and deliciously softens.

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