May Food for Thought: Brandied Nut Cream
This recipe for brandied nut cream is one of my all time favorites. The combination of peanut butter and brandy sounds a bit odd but they really do taste so good together.
Other flavor combinations that have worked well, but sounded questionable, are strawberries and crushed pink peppercorns or maybe ice cream flavored with balsamic vinegar or chocolate combined with cream cheese to make a decadent filling for cakes. Or how about finely chopped red and green bell peppers simmered in a sweet syrup to make a very tasty dessert sauce served with fruit turnovers?
Brandied nut cream is not a heavy dessert and goes well after a rich meal. The same filling can also be poured into Oreo-cookie pie crust and drizzled with melted chocolate as a nice decoration. My favorite way to serve brandied nut cream is in martini or champagne glasses. The glasses can be striped with dark chocolate ganache for a more dramatic presentation, if you think it needs it.
Brandied Nut Cream
Makes about 8 servings
1 envelope powdered gelatin (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup brandy
6 ounces peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 ounces milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped
Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the brandy and set aside.
Combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar and milk and mix well. Mixture should be smooth.
Heat the gelatin mixture together until liquid turns clear, about 138 degrees.
Add the warm gelatin mixture to the peanut butter mixture and blend thoroughly.
Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and gently fold into the peanut butter/brandy mixture.
Deposit into glasses or chocolate pie shell.
The procedure is really simple to prepare once your ingredients are measured out.
This is not a heavy dessert and the flavor combinations will surprise you.
Steve James, Certified Master Baker
Popovers on the Square, Portsmouth
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