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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, finely chopped

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


For crust:
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 350F. 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.



For filling:
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 238F (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 wrap.)


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.


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