Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate Heyhoe  

Praline Parfait Napoleon

by Tish Boyle and Tim Moriarty


Brian Schoenbeck devises a devilish twist to the traditional napoleon, substituting chocolate for the puff pastry and praline parfait for the a pastry cream. Caramelized hazelnuts and cinnamon biscotti add decisive crunch and flavor complements to the creamy parfait, and sun-dried cherry sauce, served warm, adds a pleasing tang and temperature contrast.

Yield: 12 servings

Special Equipment: Silicone baking mat; acetate sheets; cutoff whisk; 5-wheel adjustable dough divider


Caramelized Hazelnuts

21 oz [600 g] hazelnuts
7.8 oz [225 g] granulated sugar
1.3 liq oz [37 ml] water
.8 oz [23 g] unsalted butter [preferably 82% butterfat]

1. Warm the hazelnuts in the oven. In a copper bowl, combine the sugar and water and cook to 240 degrees F. [116 degrees C]. Add the nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar coats and caramelizes the nuts. Add the butter and stir until melted. Pour out on a silicone baking mat and separate the nuts.

2. Allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Praline Parfait Filling

8 liq oz [237 ml] whole milk
6.5 oz [186 g] granulated sugar
2.25 oz [64 g] egg yolks
1.4 oz [40 g] invert sugar
12.6 oz [360 g] praline paste
31 oz [886 g] reserved caramelized hazelnuts, chopped
1 pt [473 ml] heavy cream [35 % butterfat], whipped to soft peaks

1. Chill a half sheet pan and line it with parchment paper. Whisk the milk, granulated sugar, and egg yolks together in a double boiler and heat to 185 degrees F [85 degrees C]. Strain the mixture into the bowl of a mixer and whip with the whisk attachment until cool.

2. Add the invert sugar and the praline paste to the egg mixture and mix until blended.

3. Fold the hazelnuts into the mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

4. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and freeze.

Cinnamon Praline Biscotti

13.5 oz [383 g] pastry flour
I Tbs [15 g] baking powder
2-1/2 Tbs [15 g] ground cinnamon
6 oz [170 g] unsalted butter
6 oz [170 g] turbinado sugar
3.5 oz [99 g] large eggs
1-1/2 Tbs [22 ml] bitter almond essence
11 oz [312 g] praline grains
Confectioners' sugar, as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F [205 degrees C]. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Sift together the pastry flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.

2. In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and turbinado sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.

3. Add the bitter almond essence, the sifted dry ingredients, and the praline grains. Mix just until combined.

4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 1/4" [.63 cm] thick and 7" [17.8 cm] wide. Place on the prepared pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut into 1/4" [.63 cm] wide strips.

5. Place the cookies back on the sheet pan and return to the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Chocolate Napoleon Layers

1 lb, 8 oz [680 g] bittersweet couverture chocolate, such as Valrhona Caraibe

1. Dampen the back of 2 sheet pans and adhere a large sheet of acetate to each. Temper the chocolate.

2. Dip a cutoff whisk into the tempered chocolate and move it back and forth quickly across one of the sheet pans. Repeat the process until the pan is sufficiently and evenly covered. Repeat with the second sheet pan.

3. When the chocolate has slightly set, using a 5-wheel adjustable divider set at 3-1/2" [8.9 cm] spaces, cut the chocolate into squares.

4. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove the acetate from the sheet pan and turn it upside-down on one of the parchment-lined sheet pans. Place another sheet pan on top to prevent the squares from curling. Repeat with the second sheet of squares.

Sun-Dried Cherry Sauce

11.8 liq oz [350 ml] red wine
12 oz [341 g] dried tart cherries
12 oz [341 g] granulated sugar
8.4 liq oz [250 ml] water
8.4 liq oz [250 ml] orange juice
2 Tbs [15 g] arrowroot
5 liq oz [150 ml] Cherry Marnier

1. Combine the red wine, cherries, sugar, water, and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Strain the mixture to remove the cherries. Heat the liquid and thicken with the arrowroot. Allow the sauce to cool and add the Cherry Marnier.


Dried cherries

1. Line up 12 chocolate squares on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a 2-1/2" [6.3 cm] diameter, plain, round cutter, cut 24 circles from the frozen parfait.

Neoclassic View
2. Place one parfait round on each chocolate square. Place a chocolate square offcenter on top of the parfait rounds. Layer another round and square in the same manner.

3. Place a napoleon on each plate. Garnish the plates with the sun-dried cherry sauce, dried cherries, and cinnamon praline biscotti.

Reprinted by permission from:

A Neoclassic View of Plated Desserts:
Grand Finales

by Tish Boyle and Tim Moriarty
John Wiley and Sons, publishers

Buy the Book!


Kate's Global Kitchen, December 2001

12/01/01     Holiday Food Gifts & Festive Recipes
12/08/01     The Elemental Crème Anglaise
12/15/01     A Praline Primer
12/22/01     Nutmeg: A Gift from Grenada
12/29/01     Famous Last Words: The Lighter Side of Food
                  (includes Cozy New Year's Recipes)


Copyright © 2001, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


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