If I had to choose one food that reminds me of our honeymoon (other than Turkish coffee), it would have to be Swiss chocolate with hazelnuts. It was totally our thing and we ate it every day.
We haven’t eaten it every day since our honeymoon, but the chocolate/hazelnut combo is still is a favorite of ours. This custard is perfect for celebrating something special.
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts*
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 large egg yolks
4 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet if you prefer), finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*I had raw hazelnuts on hand so that’s what I used. If you prefer, instead of toasting the hazelnuts and removing the skins yourself, you can buy them already like this to save time.
Preheat oven to 300F; spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake until they’re golden and toasted, and their skins come off easily when rubbed (about 1 hour), shaking the pan every so often. Remove the hazelnuts from oven, pour them onto a clean kitchen towel, wrap up the towel, and let it sit for about 5 minutes to help the skins steam off. Rub the nuts with the towel to remove the skins (don’t worry if a few of the skins don’t come off) and the let the nuts cool completely. Coarsely chop the nuts and set aside.
Heat the cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, coffee powder, and salt over medium heat in a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan until it steams and bubbles form around the outer rim, whisking occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Slowly whisk 3/4 cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, starting with just a couple drops at a time and adding it in a thin drizzle toward the end. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pot with the cream mixture and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
Turn off heat, strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, and add the chopped chocolate. Give it a brief stir to submerge the chocolate in the custard, let it sit for 2 minutes without stirring so the chocolate can melt, and then whisk to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped hazelnut (reserving the 2 tablespoons for topping). Pour the custard into 6 small serving glasses.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill (at least 2 hours). Before serving, sprinkle the remaining chopped hazelnut on top.