Chocolate Almond Cream Bar In A Shortcrust Pastry Halo
When it comes to dessert, the options are endless. At the end of the day, it really only depends on your personal preferences. But if you're hard-pressed to find something new and exciting to go to town on, don't fret. We've got you covered! This one is really special – chocolate almond cream bars in a shortcrust pastry halo. Heaven in a delicious halo. What even is that, you might be wondering? See for yourself!
You'll Need (for 4):
For the chocolate almond cream bars:
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 oz whole almonds
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup whipped cream
- 14 oz milk chocolate
- ½ cup chopped almonds
For the shortcrust pastry halos:
- 1 stick butter
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups flour
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- 2 pastry rings (5-inch)
- 6-inch springform pan
- 4 wooden skewers
- berries, mint leaves, and edible flowers to garnish
1. For the chocolate almond cream bars, bring sugar and water to a boil. Let as much water evaporate as possible but make sure that the white caramel you're making doesn't turn brown. Reduce the temperature if necessary. Add the almonds and cook them briefly. Now add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and let the caramel mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Reheat the mixture the next day and add the gelatin powder. Whisk the mixture until smooth, strain the liquid, and let cool. Set the almonds aside for later.
3. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled mixture.
4. Place two pastry rings on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pour the mixture into both rings, and freeze them for at least 4 hours.
5. Carefully remove the pastry rings from the frozen cream bars. You can heat up the outside of the rings with a blow dryer if you need some help loosening them. Cut each cream bar in half with a hot knife and put the 4 half-circles back in the fridge.
6. Melt the chocolate and stir in the chopped almonds.
7. Take the cream bars out of the freezer, stick a wooden skewer into each one, dunk them into the melted chocolate until completely coated, and let the chocolate set. Put them on a cooling rack and then back in the freezer as soon as the chocolate has set.
8. Now get started on the shortcrust pastry. Stir the butter, powdered sugar, and salt until frothy and then mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Knead the two types of flour into the dough until you have a smooth, supple pastry dough. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
9. Preheat the oven to 350°F and take the shortcrust pastry out of the fridge. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry dough and cut out 4 strips of the same size. Ours were 19 x 2 inches.
10. Now press one strip of pastry against the edge of a greased springform pan and put it in the freezer briefly.
11. If necessary, level the overlapping pastry edges. Place a strip of parchment paper cut to size into the springform pan and fill the inside with chickpeas or dried legumes to weigh down the pan. Bake the pastry halo for 15 minutes at 350°F. Let cool afterwards, remove the chickpeas and parchment paper from the ring, open the springform pan, and gently remove the pastry halo. Repeat this process with the other 3 pastry strips.
12. Put each halo in an upright position and fix them to a plate with some melted chocolate.
13. Remove the chocolate almond cream bars from the freezer and fix them to the inside of the halos with more melted chocolate. Decorate each of the bars with fresh berries, edible flowers, and mint leaves.
This is some next-level stuff right here. Truly, it looks like something you'd get at a really fancy restaurant atop a huge skyrise. To be fair, it's a pretty laborious dessert to make, but we promise it's worth it! Once you take a bite out of this chocolate almond cream bar halo, you'll hear angels singing and bells ringing. Hallelujah!
Get the recipe for the Ferrero Rocher Dessert Bowl featured in the bonus video.