Special equipment: A 10-inch square cake pan A candy thermometer
For the maple cream layer: Line a 10-inch square cake pan with plastic wrap so that the plastic falls over the edges of the pan. Then place a square of parchment paper over the plastic in the bottom of the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with just enough water to cover and mix until incorporated. In a small saucepan bring the half-and-half to a simmer. Add the sugar and maple syrup, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the gelatin. Stir until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Refrigerate until set, about 45 minutes.
For the brandy layer: When the maple cream layer is completely set, begin on the brandy layer. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with just enough water to cover and mix until incorporated. Bring the simple syrup to a simmer, then add the gelatin and whisk until melted together. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy. Pour the brandy layer over the maple cream layer in the cake pan. Refrigerate until set, another 45 minutes.
Using the plastic wrap as handles, carefully lift the layered gelatin from the cake pan. Slice into 1-inch squares. Fill a large saucepan with about 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Fit a large glass or metal mixing bowl into the pot, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and, using a heat resistant spatula, stir as the chocolate melts. Once fully melted, stir until a candy thermometer inserted in the chocolate reads 120 degrees F. Then pour the chocolate onto a clean, cool surface and push it back and forth with a spatula or bench scraper. You're looking to push it around to cool it down to 82 degrees F. This is tempering the chocolate. Transfer the chocolate to a clean bowl. Use a fork to dip the gelatin squares into the chocolate, tapping a bit to remove excess chocolate. Then place the squares chocolate-side up on a sheet pan fitted with a cooling rack. Repeat for the remaining gelatin squares. Garnish with the candied pecans while the chocolate is still hot so they stick to the candies.
Please note: these recipes have not been tested by Food Network, so results may vary.
Recipe courtesy of Duff Goldman