Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Double Chocolate Tart with Black Pepper Ice Cream and Candied Nuts

I got this recipe from Bon Appétit years ago (the online edition says it was published in 2011, which somehow is even more years ago than I thought). It calls for cream, so I waited until I was in Canada to get lactose-free cream; that being said, coconut milk would be a reasonable substitute here. I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate and loved it, so that’s what I’m writing below. Since I couldn’t find skinned hazelnuts and really didn’t want to bother skinning them myself, I used macadamia nuts instead. OH, wow, was this ever wonderful! Everyone loved it. And FYI, leftover ice cream is delicious with warm chocolate syrup!

For the ice cream
2 cups lactose-free cream
2 cups lactose-free whole milk
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
9 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the candied nuts
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg white
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup skinned hazelnuts (see note above)

For the tart
6 ½ oz. chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, about 28 cookies), coarsely broken
5 Tbsp. lactose-free butter, melted
15 oz. high-quality semi-sweet chocolate (such as Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, or Lindt), chopped
1 ¼ cups lactose-free cream

For the ice cream
Bring cream, milk, ½ cup sugar, and salt to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat.

Whisk egg yolks and remaining ½ cup sugar in a large bowl to blend; gradually whisk in hot milk mixture and return to saucepan. Stir over low heat until custard thickens and your finger leaves a path on the back of a spoon when drawn across, about 6 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Stir in pepper. Set bowl over a large bowl of ice water; stir until cold.

Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container, cover, and freeze. (The ice cream can be made up to 3 days ahead.)

For the candied nuts
Preheat oven to 250 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk sugar, egg white, and salt in a medium bowl just until bubbles form. Stir in hazelnuts. Spread out on prepared sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until nuts are golden brown and caramelized, about 50 minutes. (The nuts can be made a day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

For the tart
Preheat oven to 325 °F. Coat tart pan with nonstick spray (I used a tart pan with a removable bottom).

Finely grind cookies in a food processor. Drizzle butter over; pulse until blended. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of pan. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate; stir until melted. Pour filling over cooled crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days (mine lasted a bit longer and suffered no ill effects).

Remove the tart pan side. Cut tart into wedges, working quickly as tart will become gooey as it sits (this was not actually a big issue for me); place 1 piece on each plate. Serve with a scoop of black pepper ice cream and garnish with candied hazelnuts.

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