With a crunchy hazelnut base, refreshing apricot and rosemary jelly and creamy hazelnut whipped ganache, these rectangular little cakes are simply irresistible. I originally found this recipe in last year’s Fou de Patisserie Magazine and seeing as I already had most of the ingredients, I thought I’d give it ago. I had to slightly adapt the recipe and the end result could not have been better! I have to say that these Apricot, Rosemary and Hazelnut Bars are now my all-time favourite dessert. I could eat them all day, every day!
The recipe calls for pectin NH which can be a little difficult to find. You can, however, replace it with 4 sheets of gold-strength gelatine leaves. If you’re a bit confused with this step leave me a comment and I’ll try to help you out.
Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and set aside in a bowl.
Heat 200ml of the cream with the praliné and slow bring to a boil. As soon as the first bubble appears, pour the cream over the chocolate and mix until smooth.
Squeeze the water out the gelatine and add the leaves to the hot chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine. Finally, whisk in the remaining 200ml of cream.
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
After 2 hours have passed, use an electric beater to whip the ganache until firm like a chantilly. Be careful not to over-beat it. Transfer into a piping bag fitting with a large, smooth tip and place in the fridge until needed.
The Crunchy Hazelnut Base
Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the ground hazelnuts and flour, then mix well to incorporate.
Place a bottomless rectangular mould, approximately 18cm X 25cm on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
Place the mixture in the mould and spread out evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes at 175°C.
The Hazelnut Cake
Use an electric mixture to beat together the butter, ground hazelnuts and sugar. Once creamy, add the eggs and beat on high speed for approximately 4 minutes. Carefully, fold in the hazelnuts and pour on top of the cooked hazelnut base (it doesn’t matter if it’s still warm). Place in the oven and bake for a further 20mins at 170°C. Allow to cool.
The Apricot Jelly
Bring the purée to a boil, then remove from the heat and add the rosemary. Allow the rosemary to infuse for 20mins or until it’s strong enough for your liking.
Mix together the sugar and pectin.
Remove the rosemary from the purée and add the pectin and sugar. Bring to the boil while whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Allow to cool for 10mins, then pour over the top of the hazelnut cake. Use a spatula to smooth over the top.
Place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Carefully remove the mould and cut the cake into bars approximately 3cm x 12cm. Take the piping bag filled with the ganache and pipe domes of whipped ganache on top of each bar. Decorate with fresh rosemary and slices of apricot.