Sunday, December 23, 2012

Forest Floor

A Forest Floor dessert with Frangelico Parfait rolled in Hazelnut Praline served with two Bitter Orange & Cream cheese macarons

                      

Festive dessert for 6

for the soil:
80 gr. self raising flour
70 gr. brown sugar
70 gr. ground roasted hazelnuts
1 tea spoon cinnamon
50 gr. cold diced butter
25 gr. cocoa powder
berries for decoration

Preheat the oven to 170° C. Roast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes. Let them cool completely. Grind the nuts and divide in two equal portions. Add the cocoa powder to one of the portions to make two tones of soil. Add half of the dry ingredients to each of the portion of nuts. Stir and then put in the butter. Rub the butter in with your finger tips, just like with a crumble.

Spread the crumble on a baking sheet with paper and bake for avout 20 minutes. Use a fork to loosen up the crumble a little if necessary. Leave to cool completely after baking and break large chunks into smaller ones. Turn your oven to 140°C.

for the moss:
2 egg whites
115gr.fine caster sugar
green food coloring

Whip up the egg whites in a (stand) mixer. Add the sugar, little by little and mix until all the sugar has properly melted, 5 minutes or so. Add the food coloring. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake to up to one hour. Leave to cool when the meringue is completely dry and break into smaller chunks. Pulse to dust in a kitchen machine. 

for the green:
spray dill with a little oil and dust with sugar
for the twigs:
150 gr. chocolate
little cocoa
little cinnamon

Melt the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. Pour the chocolate over a smooth work surface and spread to about 5 mm thick. Let it set until it is starting to lose its shine (don't refridgerate!) Make chocolate curls by shaving the chocolate with a knife at a 30° angle

Mix together some cocoa and cinnamon and powder the twigs.

for the praline:
125 gr. roasted hazelnuts
20 gr. water
½ vanilla pod
75 gr. fine caster sugar

Preheat the oven to170° C. Roast thethe hazelnuts (also the ones that go into the parfait) for about 15 minutes. Leave them to cool.

Bring 75 gr. of sugar to the boil with 20 gr. water and the vanilla. Add the hazelnuts when the syrup has reached 121° C  and remove from the heat. Mix with a spoon until the sugar starts to resemble sand. Put it back on the fire, let the sugar caramelize. Spread out onto a baking sheet and leave to cool completely. Break into smaller pieces, put them into a plastic bag and hammer them to tiny pieces with a dough pin.

for the parfait:
6 egg yolks
85 gr. fine caster sugar
150 gr. Frangelico liqueur
300 gr. whipped cream
75 gr. roasted hazelnuts
100 gr. 70% chocolate


Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and the Frangelico over a pot of barely simmering water. Constantly whisking, when the the mixture gets thicker, take it off the heat and use a mixer at high speed until the mixture has doubled in volume and has cooled down to room temperature.

Melt the chocolate over simmering water, then fold the chocolate into the egg mixture. Beat the cream and add. Finally add the hazelnuts.

Wrap the inside of a small baking tin (1 liter) with plastic wrap. Pour in the mixture en put in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better. Put the tin into hot water for 30 seconds or so to make it come out easy. Cut the block into 6 individual squares, round the edges a little, making it more into a rough ball. Roll the parfait through the praline. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

for the macarons (batch of ± 30) :

the shells:
150 gr. ground almonds
150 gr. confectioners sugar
110 gr. egg whites
150 gr. fine caster sugar
40 gr water
yellow food coloring

Sift the almonds together with the confectioner's sugar and divide into two portions. Take 55 gr. of the egg whites, divide this in two portions. Add (a little!) food coloring to one of the portions. Throw the portions of egg whites in the portions of almond meal, but don't stir!

Whip up the remaining 55 gr. of egg whites. At the same time bring the water and the sugar to a boil. When the syrup reaches 118° C and you have achieved soft peaks, drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Mix at high speed until the meringue is shiny and has cooled back to about 50° C. Divide the meringue into two portions and fold into the almonds.

Fold until its starting to get shiny, and isn't too thick or too thin (when you pull a ribbon of the dough with a spoon it should fall back and disappear within 5 seconds) Put the mix into piping bags and pipe onto a silicone mat or baking paper in 3½ cm diameter circles. Keep them apart with at least 2 cm.

Preheat the oven to180° C

Leave the macarons to dry and form a crust for at least 30 minutes. When you lightly touch them, your finger should remain dry.

Bake the macarons for about 12 minutes on180° C.

Turn them half way.

Take them from the baking sheet and leave them to cool.

for the filling:
50 gr fine caster sugar
15 gr. water
40 gr. egg
25 gr. egg yolk
80 gr. soft butter
150 gr cream cheese
40 gr. good marmalade
10 gr. fresh passion fruit juice

Bring the sugar and the water to a boil. Heat the syrup  to 120° C. Whip up the egg and the egg yolk until it has become lighter in color. Add the boiling syrup. Keep beating until the mixture has completely cooled.

Beat the very soft butter (not melted!) until it thickens. Then add the cooled egg mixture and incorporate on low speed. Mix carefully! Finally, add the cream cheese that you have loosened up with the marmalade and the passion fruit juice.

Pipe the cream onto the shells and pair them. Put them in an airtight container in the fridge until use.

Assembly:
Start with the soil. Arrange some twigs. Place the parfait and the macarons. Finish with accents of moss-meringue, the dill, and dehydrated cocoa for patches of snow. Put some red berries for contrast.

Breadlab wishes all of you a wonderful holiday season. Made and shared with love!

Sources: Hermé en Citrus & Candy





2 comments:

  1. This may be the coolest thing you've ever posted.

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    Replies
    1. They turned out great at my sister's x-mas dinner. I learned a hard lesson; things that look solid, aren't necessarily just that... I pulled some caramel threads for decoration and plated up in advance... big mistake! it collapsed in on itself/melted. Not that any one noticed the difference, 'cause they melted into beautiful, bizarrely shaped structures that formed a perfect background for the parfait :-) Happy X-mas!

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