Here’s a favorite recipe of mine. It is almost impossible to screw up and results in an elegant-looking dessert. Your guests will think you’ve slaved for hours to produce a gourmet treat, when in fact you’ve spent about thirty minutes total.
The hardest part of the dessert is finding the basic ingredient: Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers. Fortunately, they are available from Amazon!
So here are the ingredients:
- 3 egg whites
- dash of salt
- 1/2 TSP vanilla
- 1/C sugar
- 3/4 C (about 15 cookies) of Nabisco Famous Wafer crumbs (use your food processor to make a powder)
- 1/2 C finely chopped walnuts
For the garnish
- 1/2 C whipping cream, whipped with 1TBSP of sugar and 1/2 TSP of vanilla extract
- Red granulated sugar or unsweetened cocoa for dusting
- Chocolate curls for garnish
The method is so easy.
Whip the salt, vanilla and egg whites to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and beat to stiff beats. Fold in the cookie crumbs and walnuts. Coat a 6″ or 7″ spring-form pan with PAM or other non-stick cooking spray and spoon the batter into the pan. Cook at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Let cool for approximately 15 minutes before removing from pan, and then let cool to room temperature before topping with whipped cream.
I usually make two of these, so I’ve got a layer cake. I put raspberry jam between the layers for an extra bit elegance.
By the way, there’s a trick to making chocolate curls. If you try to use semisweet chocolate squares, you’ll get a flaky mess. But if you combine 3 oz of semisweet chocolate squares and 1TBSP of Crisco, it changes everything. Put both the chocolate squares and the Crisco in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high for about 45 seconds. Stir the the result together with a fork, so that the Crisco and chocolate are thoroughly mixed.
If you’re lazy–like me!–you’ll freeze the mixture in a small container, pull it out once frozen, and just use a potato peeler to make the curls. This works okay, but the curls tend to be a little small, and the block tends to melt in your hand so you have to be quick.
If you’re ambitious, you’ll spread the mixture on a flat cookie sheet until it’s very thin before you freeze it. (Finding room in my freezer where a flat cookie sheet can rest level is a problem, but that’s another story.) After 3-4 minutes, it’s probably cold enough that your thumb won’t leave a print on the chocolate. Once it’s passed the thumbprint test, get out a spatula with a pretty sharp edge, hold it upside down compared with how you’d use it to flip eggs, and scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. If it’s neither too cold nor too warm, you’ll get those huge, perfect chocolate curls, just like you see in the bakery.
So now you know how to make a fancy-looking dessert and how to make chocolate curls. Enjoy!