My Friday night posts have, so far, featured a series of utterly delicious but wholesomeness-devoid desserts. Although I love a White Russian Cupcake or a Peanut Butter and Honeycomb Tartelett as much as the next person, I thought tonight I’d share something a little bit different. I begin with cool, creamy triple-creme French Brie, smother it in an organic Adriatic fig compote imported directly from Croatia, finish it with sublime toasted Macrona almonds, and serve the whole with refreshing and unbelievably good organic grapes. This dish makes an ideal cheese course after dessert at a very formal dinner however is sweet and crowd-pleasing enough to serve as a dessert in it’s own right. I found it paired wonderfully with a glass of French Chablis but it’s really screaming for a nice tawny port or madeira. However you enjoy it the fact of the matter is you will enjoy it…this combination is practically perfect in every way.
Category Archives: Friday Night Indulgences
Friday Night Indulgences: Triple Creme Brie with Adriatic Fig Compote and Macrona Almonds served with Chilled Organic Yaquti Grapes
Friday evening has brought Autumn to Los Angeles in a rush of cool wind, muggy weather, warm rain, and skies ranging from custard to robin’s egg to deep auburn. The days grow shorter and as I grow into the transition the distance between here and San Francisco, the home I loved for half a decade, becomes evident to me. It’s not that I miss San Francisco, per se, in fact I’ve never been happier in my life. It’s more that I miss the knowledge that the forthcoming weeks will bring bitter wind, hail, gray skies, and the promise of a season of cozy evenings inside. As I rode my bike this morning and experienced the signs of the fall in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt I realized with an equal measure of excitement and wistfulness that I have no idea what this season will feel like.
It’s this uncertainty, I think, that made me reach for something that reminds me of what Autumn was like slightly north of here. Peanut butter and honeycomb pie feels to me the perfect balance of sweetness and warm spices that remind me of San Francisco and cool creaminess which I know will make this dessert more palatable on this muggy fall night in Los Angeles. As I prepared the custard, crust, sauce, and honeycomb I was moved to hunt through my dusty collection of CDs. I was yearning to hear Schubert’s mass in G which is, for me, a harbinger of the fall. It’s sumptuousness is the perfect match to this decadent dessert and as I cooked and listened I felt a certainty that although the seasons will feel differently here all that was good in them before will continue here and wherever my life takes me. So take this recipe and prepare it yourself, take comfort in that which tastes good and feels right.
For the Crust
9 graham crackers
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
a pinch of kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons of butter
Peanut Butter Custard Filling
8 large egg yolks
12 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of lite corn syrup
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon of baking soda, sifted
1/4 cup dry roasted, salted peanuts
Directions for Preparation
1. Prepare and pre-bake the graham cracker crusts
2. Prepare the Peanut Butter Custard
3. Pour the custard into the prepared graham cracker crusts and chill to set
4. While the tartelettes set prepare the honeycomb
5. Prepare the Sauce
6. Decorate and serve the tartelettes
You’ll have leftover honeycomb. The honeycomb makes a perfectly delicious candy as-is or if you’re feeling adventurous melt some bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler and dip the pieces in it. Let set and enjoy as a fabulously decadent treat for yourself or throw it in a cellophane bag and impress your friends with a home-made gift. They don’t need to know you gave them some rather inexpensive leftovers 😉
It’s Friday night and this has been one hell of a week. We at Reclaiming the Good Name of the Epicurean, as both big fans of “The Dude” as well as his favorite drink, believe White Russian Cupcakes are in order. You heard it right, White Russian Cupcakes. These delicious bad boys have Stoli, Kahlua, and a whole lot of other devilishly good stuff in them. Enjoy!
2. Make the buttercream
A classic Swiss buttercream is literally swiss meringue with butter whipped into it. It is a three-part proportion, one part egg whites, one part sugar, and one part butter.
3. Decorate the cupcakes once they have cooled completely.