New Year's Decadence in a Bite

This is a deceptively easy dessert for how impressive it looks. It's just a matter of preparing all of the components in advance to make[ for easy assembly. You can even make all of the components the day before.]

Total Time:
4 hr 35 min
Prep:
1 hr 10 min
Inactive:
3 hr 5 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
12 servings
Level:
Advanced

Ingredients
  • 2 cups feuilletine flakes
  • Twelve 3-ounce chocolate dessert cups
  • Banana Panna Cotta, recipe follows
  • Peanut Butter Mousse, recipe follows
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
  • Peanut Praline, recipe follows, broken into shards
  • Banana Panna Cotta:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 envelopes (2 tablespoons) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
  • 2 medium to large bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 large lemon)
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Peanut Butter Mousse:
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 stick (2 ounces) butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Peanut Praline:
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for garnish, optional
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Add 2 heaping tablespoons feuilletine flakes to the center of each of 12 dessert plates. Top each with a chocolate dessert cup. Using a cookie cutter that fits the inside of the chocolate cup, cut 12 rounds of the Banana Panna Cotta. Place one round inside each chocolate cup and pipe about 2 tablespoons of the Peanut Butter Mousse on top of each. Finely slice the bacon into little matchsticks and top the mousse with a pinch of the bacon and a shard of praline. Serve immediately.

Banana Panna Cotta:
  • Spray an 8-inch square baking dish or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  • Combine the gelatin, heavy cream and milk in a medium saucepan and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes to bloom the gelatin. Set over medium heat, add the sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar and gelatin are dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod and add the gelatin mixture a blender along with the bananas, lemon juice and salt and puree until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into the prepared baking dish and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours or up to overnight.

  • Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Peanut Butter Mousse:
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Continue mixing until satiny and light, another 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Add about a third of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and mix well to loosen it up. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold gently until completely combined. Transfer to a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Peanut Praline:
  • Place a large piece of parchment paper on a flat surface, preferably granite or wood.

  • Combine the peanuts, granulated and brown sugars, butter, milk, bourbon, salt and vanilla in a large pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side, being sure that the thermometer goes deep into the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high.

  • Meanwhile, fill a bowl that's larger than the pot halfway with ice water and set it aside.

  • Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. When everything has melted together, start checking the temperature. When the thermometer reaches exactly 236 degrees F, remove the pot from the heat and stick it in the bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process, stirring constantly, 45 seconds.

  • Pour all of the mixture onto the parchment and spread it out to about 1/8-inch thin. Make sure you've distributed the peanuts evenly. If you feel like it, sprinkle just a bit of salt on top. Let it cool all the way, about 1 hour. (If you're in a humid environment, it might stay sticky, but put it in front of a fan, and it should dry.) Break up into shards.

  • Store shards carefully in a tin, stacked no higher than three layers, separated by wax paper.

  • Yield: about 30 shards

  • Special equipment: a pastry bag; a candy thermometer


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