A totally delicious dessert, that you make ahead and simply pull out of the freezer 10 minutes before serving.
Line a square 9-inch baking tray with greaseproof or baking paper.
Using a small food processor grind the hazelnuts then add the Amaretti biscuits and muscovado sugar and process until fine but not powdered. Add the ground cardamom seeds.
Melt the butter then mix evenly into the dry mass. Pour the mix into the tin and spread to about 4mm deep. Gently press the mix evenly into the base of the tin then chill to set while the filling is made.
For the filling, break the chocolate into a bowl, add butter and set over a pan of warm water to melt, then mix in the espresso and sugar.
Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly. Beat in the chocolate mixture. Pour this mix into a shallow pan and cook gently on the stove as if you making a custard. Heat, stirring, to 78˚C-80˚C then strain into a clean bowl and let cool before pouring into the tin.
Place on a level surface in the fridge to cool completely then cover and store in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months.
Next make the caramel: the sugar will be very hot - be careful - rubber gloves are a good idea. Pour the sugar into a wide shallow pan and place on a medium heat and warm until the sugar begins to melt. Don’t hurry the process or you may burn the sugar and don’t stir it or it will form icebergs of sugar; just a gentle shake is all that’s needed. When most of the sugar has melted stir to melt down the last few crystals.
Once all melted turn up the heat slightly and watch the pan. Have the water, cream and butter ready. When the sugar is caramelising a ring of foam will appear and a light blue haze will come off the pan. Quickly add the water to cool the pan closely followed by the cream. Be careful as the steam can burn. Stir gently and work in the butter. Strain into a heatproof jug and let cool. Check the consistency of the sauce once cooled; if it’s too thick add a drop of boiling water to thin it. The sauce will also freeze perfectly, giving us the whole dessert from the freezer!
When ready to serve, warm the sauce to a flowing consistency. Cut the cake directly from the freezer at minus 18˚C. If your freezer is colder sit the pud in the fridge for a few minutes before cutting. Remove from the tin, trim the edges then cut the slab in half and slice each side into 4 or 5 rectangles. Place each portion onto a plate and let stand at room temp for 10 mins to warm to a silky texture. Spoon caramel sauce on one side and sprinkle the pud with a little Maldon salt. Set a scoop of crème fraiche on the caramel. Sprinkle chopped pistachio nuts over the crème fraiche and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Head to our 3-Hour Beef Wellington class for this dessert, cooked and served to you by our chefs at the Cook School.
120g Amaretti biscuits
45g unsalted butter
30g chopped hazelnuts
25g muscovado sugar
8 cardamom pods, seeds removed & finely ground
300g caster sugar
150ml double cream
2 pinches salt
300g plain chocolate
(65-70% cocoa solids)
300g caster sugar
300g unsalted butter
150ml strong espresso
6 large free range egg yolks
pistachio nuts, finely chopped
pinch flaky Maldon sea salt