Cocoa Clouds

Course : Desserts
Serves: 6
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1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup almonds, blanched
1/4 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter -- cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ice water

Preparation / Directions:

MILK CHOCOLATE ALMOND FILLING 5 3.52 ounce bars Toblerone Swiss milk chocolate with honey and almond nougat 3 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon almond extract COCOA CREAM 1 3/4 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup granulated sugar 3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa -- sifted 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract Cocoa -- for garnish MAKE THE COCOA ALMOND CRUST 1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, place the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa powder and salt. Process the dry ingrediens for 30 to 45 seconds, un til the almonds are coarsley chopped. Add the butter pieces and the vanilla to the bowl and pulse the mixture 5 or 6 times until incorporated but still crumbly. Add the ice water and pulse a few more times to form a dough. 2. Divide the dough mixture (it will still be crumbly) among six 4 1/2 inch tartlette pans with removable bottoms. Using your fingertips, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of each pan. Place the tartlette pans on a baking sheet; place th e sheet in the freezer for 45 minutes. 3. Remove the tartlette shells from the freezer. cover the pans with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing the foil against the bottom and sides of each pan. Fill each pan, over the foil, with ceramic pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tartlette shells for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Return the shells to the oven and bake an additional 10 mintues. Cool the tartlette shells on a wire rack completely. MAKE THE MILK CHOCOLATE ALMOND FILLING: 1. Break the Toblerone bars up into pieces, following the bars' indentations, and place the pieces into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Add the cocoa to the bowl and process the chocolate for 30 to 45 seconds, until fine ly ground. Transfer the chocolate to a medium bowl. 2. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Gently whixk until smooth. Stir in the almond extraxt. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the filling to a nother medium bowl. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and allow them to stand at room temperature for 3 hours. FILL THE COCOA CLOUDS: 1. Using a hand-held electric mixer set at mediuim speed, heat the reserved 1 1/2 cups filling for 1 to 2 minutes until light in color and fluffy. Scrape the unwhipped filling onto the tartlette shells, dividing it evenly and smoothing it into an even l ayer on each shell. MAKE THE COCOA CREAM: 1. In a chilled, medium bowl, stir together the cream, sugar, cocoa and vanilla (the mixture will not be cohesxive). Using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff peaks just start to form. Cover and refrigerate the cocoa cream until up to two hours before serving the cocoa clouds. GARNISH THE COCOA CLOUDS: 1. Remove the tartlettes from the pans. fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip (such as Ateco #5) with the cocoa cream. Pipe the cream in a shell pattern over the filling on each tartlette, covering it completely. Place each cocoa cloud on a dessert plate. Dust lightly with cocoa. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours before servin

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