Italian Gianduia Loaf With Custard Sauce
- 12 ounces imported milk chocolate chopped (such as Lindt)
- 1 cup unsalted butter - (2 sticks)
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
- 6 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup very finely-chopped toasted hazelnuts (abt 4 oz)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped (do not use unsweetened)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Frangelico
- 3 ounces imported milk chocolate finely chopped (such as Lindt)
- 12 husked toasted hazelnuts
For Filling: Line 5 1/2- to 6-cup metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.
Melt chocolate and butter with corn syrup in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm, whisking occasionally.
Whisk 1/4 cup cream, 4 tablespoons Frangelico, yolks, sugar and 2 tablespoons water in small metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until candy thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 3 minutes. Remove from over water. Add yolk mixture and remaining 2 tablespoons Frangelico to chocolate mixture in pan; whisk until smooth. Mix in nuts. Chill until cool, about 10 minutes.
Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/4 cup cream with sour cream in large bowl to stiff peaks. Add chocolate mixture and fold together. Pour filling into prepared pan; smooth top. Cover and chill overnight.
For Glaze: Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted. Cool to lukewarm. Pour 1/2 cup glaze over filling in pan; shake pan gently to smooth top. Freeze until glaze sets, about 20 minutes.
Line cookie sheet with foil. Lift loaf from pan. Turn loaf out onto foil; peel off plastic. Whisk remaining glaze over low heat until just spreadable. Pour all but 1/4 cup glaze over loaf. Spread over top and sides with icing spatula, spreading glaze that runs onto foil up sides of loaf to cover completely. Chill 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and chill loaf and reserved 1/4 cup glaze separately.)
For Sauce: Bring half-and-half to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in hot half-and-half mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes; do not boil. Strain into bowl. Mix in cream and Frangelico. Cover and chill until cold. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.)
Melt milk chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Spoon all but 2 tablespoons melted chocolate into parchment cone. Remove loaf from foil and transfer to platter. Pipe chocolate lines crosswise atop loaf, spacing 1/8 inch apart.
Dip 1 hazelnut halfway into chocolate in pan; place atop center of loaf. Repeat with remaining nuts, spacing evenly and forming line down center. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead; refrigerate.)
Using long thin knife, cut loaf into 1/2-inch-thick slices, wiping knife clean between cuts. Place slices on plate; surround with sauce. Whisk reserved glaze over low heat until melted. Spoon into parchment cone. Pipe Zs atop sauce.
This recipe yields 12 servings.