COCOA ALMOND CRUST:
BLANCHED WHOLE ALMONDS
CUT INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
MILK CHOC ALMOND FILLING:
3.52-OUNCE BARS TOBLERONE,
SWISS MILK CHOCOLATE
AND ALMOND NOUGAT
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: Six 4 1/2-inch fluted tartlette pans with removable
Make the cocoa almond crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, place
the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa powder and salt. Process the dry ingredients
for 30 to 45 seconds, until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the butter
pieces and the vanilla to the bowl and pulse the mixture 5 or 6 times until
incorporated but still crumbly. Add the ice water and pulse a few more times
to form a dough.
Divide the dough mixture (it will still be crumbly) among six 4 1/2 inch
tartlette pans with removable bottoms. Using your fingertips, press the dough
into the bottom and up the sides of each pan. Place the tartlette pans on a
baking sheet; place the sheet in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Remove the tartlette shells from the freezer. Cover the pans with a sheet of
aluminum foil, pressing the foil against the bottom and sides of each pan.
Fill each pan, over the foil, with ceramic pie weights or dried beans. Bake
the tartlette shells for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Return the
shells to the oven and hake an additional 10 minutes. Cool the tartlette
shells on a wire rack completely.
Make the milk chocolate almond filling:
Break the Toblerone bars up into pieces, following the bars' indentations, and place the pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal
chopping blade. Add the cocoa to the bowl and process the chocolate for 30 to
45 seconds, until finely ground. Transfer the chocolate to a medium bowl.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream
over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the
chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Stir in the almond extract. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the filling to another medium bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and allow them to stand at room temperature for 3 hours.
Fill the cocoa clouds:
Using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium speed, heat the reserved 1 1/2
cups filling for 1 to 2 minutes until light in color and fluffy. Scrape the
unwhipped filling onto the tartlette shells, dividing it evenly. Use a small
metal cake spatula to smooth the filling into an even layer in the bottom of
each shell. Scrape the whipped mixture over this filling, dividing it evenly
and smoothing it into an even layer on each shell.
Make the cocoa cream:
In a chilled, medium bowl, stir together the cream, sugar, cocoa and vanilla
(the mixture will not be cohesive). Using a hand-held electric mixer set at
medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff peaks just start to form.
Cover and refrigerate the cocoa cream until up to two hours before serving the cocoa clouds.
Garnish the cocoa clouds:
Remove the tartlettes from the pans. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium
star tip (such as Ateco #5) with the cocoa cream. Pipe the cream in a shell
pattern over the filling on each tartlette, covering it completely. Place each cocoa cloud on a dessert plate. Dust lightly with cocoa. Serve immediately or
refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.
- Tish Boyle