Serves 4

These were served as a little after-coffee treat when I worked at the Grosvenor House in Park Lane 20-odd years ago. Delicious as they were, they had the danger element of having to be served on crushed dry ice.

The dry ice arrived as a lump and, as young commis chefs, we had to hold it with double-layered kitchen cloths and hack bits off with a meat cleaver to serve under the praline balls for that theatrical misty effect as they arrived at the table. It's a good job everyone didn't order them at the same time, or it would have been like the Park Lane house of horrors.

You could make your own hazelnut ice cream for this by adding praline, basically a caramel made from hazelnuts, to vanilla ice cream. But as these chilly little treats are fiddly enough to make, I bought some ice cream instead.

350-400g good quality hazelnut or any ice cream you like
250g good quality 70 per cent chocolate, chopped into chunks
40g lightly toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
15-20 cocktail sticks or fancy skewers

Put a flat tray in your freezer until it's icy cold. This is so the scooped balls of ice cream don't melt when you put them on the tray. With your Parisienne scoop, make ice cream balls about the size of a cherry, or a little larger if you like, and place them on the pre-chilled tray, then put them in the freezer for at least an hour until they are really firm. Put another tray, or two smaller ones, into the freezer to chill at the same time.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring every so often. When it has fully melted, stir in the chopped hazelnuts and remove from the heat.

Take out the frozen trays. Working as quickly as you can, put a stick into each ice cream ball and dip them one by one into the chocolate (or spoon it over if that's easier) turning the stick to let any excess chocolate drip into the bowl.

Put your miniature nutty choc ices on the frozen tray, then back into the freezer in groups, depending on how quick you are, before they melt. Eat straight out of the freezer.

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