No-Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Crema Catalana

February 1, 2017

No-Bake Chocolate Hazelnut Crema Catalana
Yields: 2 6-ounce servings

1 cup half-and-half
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or you can use chips)
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Frangelico or 1 teaspoon Hazelnut syrup or ¼ teaspoon hazelnut extract (if you have a nut allergy use ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract)

1. Set a strainer in a medium bowl. Put the half-and-half in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate, let sit for 1 minute then whisk until smooth.
2. Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot chocolate mixture (whisking constantly) to temper the eggs. Return the mixture the pot and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
3. Strain the chocolate custard into a bowl and then divide the custard among two 6-ounce ramekins. Cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap onto the surface. Refrigerate until set at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Top each crema Catalana with some of the candied hazelnuts.

Candied Hazelnuts
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup whole hazelnut, skins removed

1. Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat, swirling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer, and cook, swirling occasionally, until medium amber, about 4 minutes. Add hazelnuts and salt, and stir for 1 minute to coat.
2. Pour mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a nonstick baking mat, and immediately separate nuts using 2 forks so that each stands alone on sheet. Let cool. Break apart and coarsely chop.