Chocolate and Orange Cups
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-----Brazil Nut-Orange Cups-----
(about 2 l/2 oz.)
Grated Orange Rind
Half And Half
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder,
Grated Orange Zest
* see note
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
* whipped to soft mound stage
Make the Brazil nut-orange cups:
1. Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees
F. Spread the Brazil nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and
roast for 10 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a large kitchen towel
and rub briskly to remove most of the skins. Open the towel and
spread out the nuts to cool, discarding the paper skins.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping
blade, combine the peeled nuts and the sugar. Process for 30 to 45
seconds until finely ground. Add the flour and process for 30
seconds to combine. Add the melted butter and orange rind, and
process for 20 to 30 seconds. Add the egg whites and process for
20 to 30 seconds, until blended.
3. Because you must work quickly to prevent the cups from cooling
and getting hard before you have molded them, bake only two cups at
a time. Have 2 or more 6-ounce custard cups ready to use as molds.
Spoon two tablespoons of batter for each cup on each half of the
baking sheet. Using the back of the spoon. spread the batter for
each cup into a thin 6-inch circle. Be careful not to leave any
bare spots or there will be holes in the cups.
4. Bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are
evenly golden and the edges are slightly browned. Remove the sheet
from the oven. Using a metal spatulas loosen the edges of one of
the cookies and lift it off the baking sheet. Quickly press the
cookie into one of the custard cups to form the cup shape.
Immediately repeat the shaping process with the second cookie.
Cool the cookies completely, and then gently lift them out of the
5. Repeat the above process with the remaining batter, making two
cups at a time. Store the cups in an airtight container at room
temperature as soon as they are completely cool.
Make the chocolate orange pudding:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the half-and-half,
cornstarch, and cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the eggs and
the yolks until blended.
2. In a heavy, medium, noncorrosive saucepan, combine the remaining
half-and-half, sugar, salt and orange zest. Cook over medium heat,
stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form around the side of
the pan. Gradually whisk one cup of the hot half-and-half mixture
into the cornstarch/egg mixture until blended. Pour this mixture
back into the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat,
whisking constantly until the mixture starts to form bubbles.
Continue stirring and allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the chopped
chocolate until smooth. Strain the pudding through a sieve into a
bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Cover the surface of the pudding with
plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled. about 3 hours.
Make the candied orange zests:
1. With a vegetable peeler remove only the outer orange part of
the rind. Reserve the oranges for the segments . Stack 2 or 3
of the strips together and using a large knife, cut into thin julienne
strips 1/16-inch wide. Place the julienne strips in a small
noncorrosive saucepan with 1 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Pour off the water and rinse the julienned zests
with fresh water. Add the sugar, grenadine and the remaining 1/4
cup water to the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the
pan from the heat and transfer zests and syrup to a small bowl and
allow to cool.
Segment the orange:
1. Take the dezested oranges and using a paring knife, remove the
white pith by holding the fruit in one hand and cutting down to
the flesh and rotating the orange to make a continuous strip. Over
a medium bowl, remove each segment by cutting with the paring
knife right down to the core. as close to the membrane as
possible. Let the segments drop onto a plate. Cover with plastic
wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Make the orange sauce:
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Set aside.
In a medium noncorrosive saucepan, combine the orange juice and
sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan
from the heat and whisk in the dissolved cornstarch. Return to the
heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 seconds until clear. Strain
the sauce into a small bowl set in a larger bowl filled with ice
water. Stir occasionally to cool. Stir in the triple sec.
Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Assemble the cups:
1. Whisk the pudding until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
Using a spoon. place 2/3 of a cup of chocolate pudding into 12 of
the cookie cups. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the orange sauce onto
6 dessert plates. Arrange 4 orange segments on the sauce and
garnish with the grenadine orange zests. Place 2 of the filled
cookie cups on the plate at the last moment before serving.
PREPARATION: 2 1/2 hours plus chilling and baking times.