Saturday, January 08, 2011

Chocolate Prune Pave with Armagnac Creme Anglaise and Candied Orange Zest (Page 820)

RECIPE #1245

  • Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010 -- 6pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Helen, Charles, Clara, Corbett, Mary, Allison, Ben S., Marcie, Kendra, Jubin, Watson, Linda, and Bob K.
  • Recipe Rating: B

When we hosted our pre-Thanksgiving dinner in November, I only had two desserts left to make for my project. I chose this one to serve with dinner. I had put this off for a long time because chocolate and prunes just didn't sound that good together to me. But the time had come to finally make this dish! I started by pureeing prunes with Armagnac in a food processor. I then forced the puree through a medium-mesh sieve. When I first read this recipe I noticed it had an Active Time of one and a half hours. But reading the recipe it just didn't seem like it could possibly take that long. In fact, that steps all sounded very quick, and they weren't very many of them. Well, I quickly solved the mystery of the hour and a half. The step that took forever: forcing that puree through a sieve. Prune puree is very, very thick and gloppy. It did NOT want to go through a sieve. That step took a nice long while. Once that was done I melted some chocolate with cream then added it to the prune mixture and blended it all in the food processor. I poured it into a loaf pan that was oiled and lined with plastic wrap. I chilled it overnight, then inverted it out of the pan, topped it with Candied Orange Zest, and served it with Armagnac Creme Anglaise.

This dessert was much tastier than I expected it to be. I was worried about the prunes, but they were very subtle. Knowing they were there, it was easy to detect their flavor, but if I hadn't known I probably wouldn't have guessed. They actually contributed a fantastic sweetness and fruitiness to the dish. The predominant flavor, though, was that of the chocolate. The texture was very smooth. The dessert was quite rich -- in fact it was so rich and chocolatey that I found it hard to eat more than a few bites. Eating a slice of this was like eating a giant prune and Armagnac flavored truffle. I would have preferred a chocolate cake to this pave, but it certainly exceeded expectations!

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Only 48 recipes left to go!

This was the last recipe I had left to make in the Fruit Desserts section of The Book! This section had some odd things in it (the Broiled Grapes in Mascarpone come to mind), but overall I enjoyed making these fruit recipes. In no particular order, my top 5 recipes from this section:
  • Fruit Crumble -- I have to include this one because this has become my go-to peach crumble. I have made this at least 10 times since first making it in 2006. It is super-fast, super-tasty, and easy to make for a huge crowd. If you need to throw together dessert for 50 people in a flash, this is the recipe for you!
  • Strawberry Shortcake -- My special gentleman still talks about this recipe, which we made back in 2006, shortly after he and I met. It was indeed memorable!
  • Baked Apples -- I made this one at the very beginning of my project, before I even started taking pictures of the dishes! These are the best baked apples I have ever had, and the recipe is so, so simple. The baked apples are filled with creme fraiche at the end and the result is superb!
  • Chilled Sour Cherry Soup -- Soup cherry soup is one of my special gentleman's all-time favorite foods and I still remember the shocked look he gave me when he realized that we could make it ourselves! This is a good version of the dish, and we make it often in our household.
  • Blackberry Cobbler -- Nothing says summer like a good fruit cobbler, and this one was indeed good! The biscuit topping was delicious and moist and the berry mixture was not too sweet. A winner!
Another section complete! Yay! I have so far completed 11 sections of The Book with only 10 sections left to finish. More than half the sections are complete -- I can hardly believe it! Plus, three of the sections I have left only have one recipe remaining, so hopefully I will finish them off soon!


Adam said...

I loved this dessert. It was so rich and elegant. I made it for a dinner party, and our guests were very impressed. And the Armagnac Creme Anglaise! I could have sipped that up with a straw all day long. Yum.

Teena said...

It was indeed very rich and elegant! And I agree that the creme anglaise was AWESOME!