There’s nothing like the combination of nuts and caramel. They’re delicious sugared whole or ground into a crunch and added to a dessert. Caramelized almonds and walnuts appear in lot of recipes, so I went in search for a variety. In this dessert, I caramelized pine nuts. The result? Tasting is believing…..
1 cup sugar
½ cup pine nuts
2½ cup coffee rich or soy milk
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
7 oz pareve bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp orange liqueur
1 tsp good qaulity instand coffee, dissolved in 2 tsp water
28 oz containers Rich's Rich whip
3½ oz pareve baking chocolate
⅔ cup ganache
1 3x3 inch acetate sheet (report cover)
1 decorating comb (available at specialty baking stores)
Pine nut crunch: In a shallow pan, melt 1 cup of the sugar until it turns an amber-colored caramel. Add pine nuts and mix with a wooden spoon until all the nuts are coated in sugar.
Transfer contents of pan to a sheet of aluminum foil and carefully spread the nuts out in an even layer before the sugar hardness. Let cool. Break up the caramel by hand into large irregular-sharped shards. Reserve some shards for the decoration and grind the rest in a food processor.
Gelato: Heat Coffee rich in a small pot until almost boiling. Meanwhile, mix egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly pour the hot coffee rich into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly until evenly mixed. Return mixture to the pot and cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Divide mixture into two bowls. Add the bittersweet chocolate to one bowl and mix until melted. Let cool completely. Add half the ground, caramelized pine nuts to each bowl.
Add the orange liqueur and the coffee to the mixture that doesn’t contain the chocolate. Beat the Rich Whip until stiff and fold half into each mixture. Pour the darker mixture into individual silicone molds of any shape and freeze for half hour.
Remove from freezer and pour the lighter mixture on top of the darker mixture. Freeze for 6 hours and then release from molds.
Decoration: Melt baking chocolate and spread in a think layer on the acetate sheet. Comb chocolate with the decorating comb to form thin strips. Position the sheet in front of you so that the chocolate strips round horizontally across the sheet.
Bring up the right-and-left-hand sides of the sheet so that the edges of the two sides are joined at the top, forming a teardrop shape. Fasten edges together with a clothespin. Freeze for 10 minutes.
Remove clothespin and carefully open the acetate sheet, removing the chocolate. You should have individual, tear-shaped rings. If some of the rings are joined together, use a scissors to separate them.
Fill a pastry bag with ganache and fit with a star shaped tip. Squeeze a star atop each serving and attach chocolate teardrops and caramel-pine nuts shards.
Tip: For a more interesting look, divide the egg-yolk-Coffee Rich mixture into two-thirds and one-third instead of two even halves. When dividing the caramel-pine nuts crumbs and Rich Whip, be sure to divide them similarly into the appropriate proportions.