Serves 6 as a main course
I love Kit Kat bars, but it would seem out of place to serve them for dessert in my fancy restaurant. One day I was dreaming about these superb candies and the thought came to me that if I combined chocolate with peanut butter, I would have the nutty chocolate praline that we have in France. Then if I mixed in something crispy, like cornflakes or puffed rice, and topped it all with chocolate mousse, the result would have the textures and flavors of a Kit Kat bar raised to the level of a gastronomic dessert. Mind you, I didn't say better than a Kit Kat, but a pleasing variation on the theme.
HINT: I use organic cornflakes for this recipe because they taste better than ordinary cornflakes. Buy hazelnuts with the skins already removed if you can.
HINT: To check the temperature, dab a small amount of it on your lower lip. When it is "lip temperature" (or body temperature), it is ready to use.
(Makes 3/4 Cup)
Line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap, letting it overhang on all sides.
For the bottom layer, place the peanut butter and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium to medium-high speed until thoroughly combined and light in color, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Reduce the speed to low, add the chocolate, and mix for a minute, or until thoroughly combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the cornflakes.
Pour into the prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread the mixture into an even layer, being sure to reach into the corners. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
For the top layer, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Place the chocolate in a medium to large bowl. Working fairly quickly, fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold in the remaining cream.
Pour the mixture over the bottom layer and spread into an even layer, being sure to reach into the corners. Bang the bottom of the pan against the work surface to eliminate any air bubbles in the top layer.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the top layer is set, at least 4 hours. (At this point, the dessert can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
NOTE: To roast raw unskinned hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toss with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of confectioners' sugar, just enough to coat the nuts. Roast for about 5 minutes, then shake the tray to turn the nuts. Continue to roast another 7 to 8 minutes, or until the nuts are golden and the skins begin to pull away from the nuts. Place about half the nuts in a coarse strainer and rub them against the strainer to remove the skin. Repeat with the remaining nuts.
Happy in the Kitchen
The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating
by Michel Richard
with Susie Heller and Peter Kaminsky
Foreword by Thomas Keller
352 pages; 225 color photographs
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2006
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