The Nutcracker Sweet

  • Preparation Time90 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves16
  • DifficultyHard
Caramel Nut Pies:
Pate Sucree:
Mascarpone Cream Froth :
Creme d'amandes:
Pate sucree, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
About 9 ounces butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 18 ounces almond paste (50 percent almond 50 percent sugar)
2 ounces softened butter
About 4 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs
Powdered sugar, to sweeten
1 tablespoon glucose
About 1-ounce pastry cream powder or cornstarch
75 ml heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
30 ml rum or brandy
1 large egg, lightly beaten
75 ml milk
Pinch salt
About 4 1/2 ounces walnuts, chopped
About 7 ounces grams creme d'amandes, recipe follows
Chocolate Espresso Bonbons (aka cup of joe )
Espresso Ganache Bonbon Filling:
About 21 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
About 10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
About 9 ounces espresso beans
946 ml heavy cream
100 ml coffee liqueur
Pinch salt
About 1 1/2 ounces butter, softened, en pomade
Mascarpone Cream Froth , recipe follows
Cocoa, for garnish
For the caramel nut pies:
Roll dough to 1/4-inch and fit into 4 small flan rings and chill. Combine sugar with enough water to cover in saucepan and place over high heat. Cook sugar to caramel stage (a maple syrup color). Carefully add glucose, cream, milk, salt and walnuts to caramel mixture. Cook the mixture, while stirring, until it is thick like pancake batter. Let the mixture cool.
Spread the cooled mixture into the bottom of chilled tartlet shells. Pipe or spread creme d'amandes over the caramel.
Bake tarts in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until evenly browned on top. Allow tarts to cool, cut into 4-inch slices and finish with sweetened whipped cream before service.
For the Chocolate Espresso Bonbons:
Put the chocolate into a work bowl. Dry roast the espresso beans in a saute pan over a medium flame until a strong coffee aroma is present. Coarsely crush the beans on a cutting board with the bottom of a pan. Make an infusion with the hot espresso beans and cream. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain the cream into a clean pan. Bring the infused cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until the chocolate is incorporated. Let cool slightly. Stir in the coffee liqueur, salt and softened butter. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
Line coffee cup bonbon molds with tempered chocolate, tapping to make sure molds are lined and have no air bubbles. Once chocolate is set, fill molds with espresso ganache leaving room to seal molds. Seal molds with tempered chocolate, allow to set and remove from molds. Finish bonbon cups with a swirl of mascarpone cream froth and dust with cocoa.
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.
Sift flour and salt together and set aside. Place the butter in a mixer and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating until just incorporated. Add flour mixture all at once until it forms a ball. Fatten dough into a disk and chill.
In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and almond paste until light and fluffy and smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, incorporating fully. Add pastry cream powder or cornstarch and mix to combine. Add rum and brandy.
Blend ingredients together and fit into pastry bag for easy piping.

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