Hazelnut praline begins to be chopped in the processor:
Hazelnut praline ready to use:
Hazelnut praline, plus a bit of egg custard business, plus this.......equals this:
...possibly. Actually I'm not at all confident that I got this element 100% right. My custard had juuuust started to split, and I decided to go with it anyway. So it looked kind of funny, but I have to say it tasted fantastic. Really.
Cherry compote just in the pan:
Cherry compote about five minutes in:
Once the cherry compote is all boiled down and reduced, it gets separated into two elements: the cooked cherries, and, with a little extra work, the cherry syrup:
Which looks unassuming, but is awesome. The flavour punch is incredible.
So, onto the mascarpone cream - ie. mascarpone cheese, icing sugar & vanilla:
The last layer is covered in a poured ganache, before being transferred to the top of the cake:
And finally, the cake is topped with the candied cherries that I also didn't take photos of the making of, chocolate curls, and fresh (or in my case, maraschino) cherries:
And with any luck, it makes it to the picnic in one piece! (Yes, insanity, I know. But I had my heart set on doing it, and when mum said "picnic", I thought "hmmm. Sure, no problem...")
So, The Big Question: Is It Worth It?