Photo Courtesy of Herons RestaurantWhile being able to whip up a five-course meal for a dinner date is impressive, all that really matters is the dessert, in my opinion. Getting take-out is even acceptable if you make something impressive to eat afterwards. This recipe for Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Custard with Fruit and Nut Granola fits the bill perfectly because, after all, how can you go wrong with chocolate?
Courtesy of Pastry Chef Daniel Benjamin from Herons, the AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Five Star restaurant at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, N.C., this recipe makes for a rich-tasting, yet light dessert with little added fat.
Herons offers guests homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs from their nearby dedicated farm, using specific ingredients to brighten the taste and presentation of their dishes. Recognized by many, including Food & Wine and Southern Living, Herons' menu brings unexpected surprises to American cooking thanks to the masterful chefs behind-the-scenes. If you're in the area, stop by and check out some of Benjamin's tasty sweets, including the Chestnut Cake and Caramelized Brie.
Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Custard with Fruit and Nut Granola
Dark Chocolate Almond Milk Custard Ingredients:
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- Pinch of salt
- 8 oz. Dark Chocolate
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 1/8 tsp Kappa Carrageenan
- 1/4 tsp Iota Carrageenan
Combine Almond Milk, Salt and Chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler until smooth; set aside.
With a hand blender, mix the Carrageenan into the Water. Then pour into a saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Pour over the chocolate mixture and mix well. Pour Custard into desired serving dish (ramekin, martini glass, bowl, etc.). Allow to set in the refrigerator for one hour.
Fruit and Nut Granola Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil, citrus flavored
- Nice pinch of Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
- 1/4 cup Toasted Coconut
- 1/4 cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
- 1/4 cup Freeze-Dried Raspberries
Combine Honey, Syrup, Olive Oil, Salt, and Cinnamon in a sauce pan and warm (taste for salt and season as needed). Once seasoned well, bring to a full boil for three minutes.
Pour over Oats and toss to combine. Pour onto a parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven. Remove mixture from parchment paper and pour onto a clean cool surface, separate.
Once cooled, rough chop in a food processor to break into pieces.
In a bowl, combine mixture with Coconut, Raspberries and Almonds.
Spoon over Custard and top with a nice sorbet; blood orange or citrus works nicely.