Toast nuts in a hot skillet or in a 375ºF/190ºC preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool. (Remove skin if desired). Meanwhile make caramel a sec (caramel without water). In a hot saucepan stir in powdered sugar over medium high heat and cook until it turns brown but not too dark. Turn off the heat and fold in the toasted nuts. Transfer the caramelized nuts onto a silicon mat and let cool completely. Break into pieces (save some for decoration). While the food processor is running throw in the caramelized nuts pieces and blend for 5 minutes or until it forms a paste. Save 5 ounces (150g) for the praliné crunch and refrigerate leftover for later use.
*Also known as paillete feuilletine, these crepes dentelles crumbs are a great addition to cake making. It can be subbed for crushed corn flakes. Melt milk chocolate and cocoa butter or coconut oil at 105ºF (41ºC). Mix the melted chocolate mixture with the praliné and fold in feuillantine or crushed corn flakes and set aside at room temperature.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and one third of the sugar, on medium speed. Meanwhile, crush nuts and toast them lightly in the oven and cool. In a food processor, blend the toasted nuts, powdered sugar and flour together until coarse. Set mixer to high speed and beat egg whites into firm peaks adding the remaining sugar gradually. Set oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Stop mixer and fold the nuts-sugar mixture into the meringue. Using a large offset spatula, spread dacquoise mixture onto a greased parchment or silicon mat. Or, pipe out into desired size disks.
Bake at 400ºF/200ºC for about 18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely and chill.
Melt chocolate, and mix in oil. Brush on the surface of the dacquoise (crust side up). Chill to set, and cut into desired portions.
*For chocolate mousse, the choice of the chocolate is crucial. Use Valrhona Manjari or Guanaja. Makes a 9''https://bruno.b-cdn.net/22cm diameter x 1.5''/3.75cm high pastry ring or silicon mold. Or, 12 individual pastry ring or silicon molds. Melt chocolate over a water-bath (just melted). Soften gelatin in cold water and drain. Make a creme Anglaise: bring milk to a boil with some of the sugar. Meanwhile, beat yolks and remaining sugar. Pour hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisk thoroughly. Return to stove and cook custard to 185ºF/85ºC on medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Remove from the heat, whisk in the melted gelatin and pass through a sieve over the melted dark chocolate and mix well. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks. When the chocolate mixture reaches 100ºF/38ºC fold in whipped cream. Use immediately.
From large to individual portions, this cake can be built from the bottom to top or using the upside-down method. For the traditional method: place the dacquoise first (chocolate chablon side down). Spread the crunchy praline on the dacquoise evenly without crushing it too much and chill to set. Fill cake with the mousse to the top and smooth out using an offset spatula. Freeze overnight.
For the upside-down method: On a flat platter lined with a large frozen bag (Watch Fraisier Cake Video). Avoid the use of plastic wrap or parchment; it will form small creases. Spoon out the mousse and spread against the sides of the mold. Then sprinkle some crunchy praline over the mousse. Top with the dacquoise (chocolate chablon side up) gently pressing down to even up the surface of the cake. Remove excess mousse and freeze 6 hours prior removing from mold. Place frozen cake on wire rack an hour before glazing.
Soak gelatin in cold water to soften; drain. Melt chocolate over a water-bath (just melted). In a saucepan bring water, sugar and corn syrup to a boil and cook to 103º celsius. Turn heat off and mix in the condensed milk along with the gelatin. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and blend without incorporating air. Pass through a fine sieve, tap to remove any air bubbles and refrigerate one night before using. This chocolate mirror glaze can keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator or frozen for months.
Place the frozen cake(s) rack over a baking tray lined with plastic wrap to collect the excess glaze. Warm up chocolate mirror glaze to 100ºF/38ºC, tap over the countertop to remove any excess air bubbles. Pour the glaze on the cake starting from the center towards the sides using a ladle. Immediately run a large offset spatula from 12 to 6 o’clock to thin out finish. Place glazed cake in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Chocolate royal can be stored in the refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for weeks.
The chocolate royal can be decorated in many different ways from edible gold leaf to fine chocolate decorations, chocolate pearls, caramelized nuts, fresh raspberries, mint leaves... If served as a plated dessert, the chocolate royal can be paired with sorbet such as blackcurrant, mango, passion fruit, raspberry, apricot etc...