A creamy frozen eggnog mousse layered with paper-thin sheets of crisp chocolate.
Be sure to make the chocolate disks and lace before making the mousse filling.
2 cups pecans, toasted (about 7 1/2 ounces)
1 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet (not
unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces imported white chocolate,
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
8 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup good-quality brandy
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Chocolate Disks and Lace (recipe at bottom of page)
Unsweetened whipped cream
Finely chop pecans, almonds, sugar and nutmeg in processor using on/off turns,
stopping once to stir mixture. Transfer to large bowl. Combine butter and
vanilla in small bowl. Pour over nuts and mix thoroughly. Transfer nut mixture
to 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Using plastic wrap
as aid, press firmly up sides and then over bottom of pan, covering completely.
Freeze 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pan
with crust on cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.
Melt 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
in top of double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.
Spread over bottom of crust. Cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.
Melt white chocolate in top of double boiler over barely simmering water,
stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Cook sugar and water in heavy small
saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and
boil without stirring until candy thermometer registers 238°F (tilting pan
slightly to submerge thermometer), about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat yolks in medium bowl
until pale yellow and thick.
Gradually beat hot syrup into yolks.
Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Continue beating until thick and
cool, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In large bowl, whip 2 1/4 cups
cream, brandy, vanilla and nutmeg to firm peaks. Fold barely lukewarm white
chocolate into yolk mixture. Gently fold in whipped cream. Pour 1/3 of filling
into crust; smooth top. Top with 1 chocolate disk. Gently pour another 1/3 of
filling over; smooth top. Top with second chocolate disk. Gently pour remaining
filling over. Freeze overnight. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.
Cover pan tightly with plastic
Place chocolate lace atop mousse.
Spoon unsweetened whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip.
Pipe cream decoratively around edge of cake. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.