Okay, the full title is “Chocolate nests with chocolate branches. Pistachio soil, walnut cake soil, and chocolate, anise, cinnamon soil. With quenelles of black cherry ice cream, blackberries, and mint.”
Have you ever seen a photo on Pinterest of a dish so pretty that you just had to try to recreate something similar? Well that was what happened to me. I saw this photo of a stunning chocolate nest by Martin Benn on 10play.com
I did not have all the ingredients, but I grabbed the idea and created something similar.
Time: 45 Minutes
Yield: 4 people
Walnut cake soil
Black cherry ice cream
- Temper some chocolate (I recommend the microwave method. It’s quick and easy and I listed it below. If you want to use the “seeding” method head to our post for chocolate bombs for those details)
- Place a small bowl or dish upside down on your cutting board
- Cover it with aluminum foil
- Put your tempered chocolate in a pastry bag with a small round tip
- Pipe onto the aluminum foil in a round random pattern to create your nest.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a sheet pan. Pipe on chocolate branches.
- Place both in the freezer to set up.
- Grind some pistachios in your food processor
- Crumble some walnut cake (I had leftover Hungarian Nut Cake, link here)
- Mix some cocoa, powdered sugar, and cinnamon
- Grind a little anise into your powdered sugar mixture.
- Mix this into some of your crumbled cake (this will give you colors and layers to play with.
- Create a small mound with your cake crumbles
- Balance the nest of this pile, making a divot so it will stay put.
- Add some walnut cake inside the nest
- Place your quenelle of ice cream on top
- Add your branches and garnish with blackberries and mint if desired
Microwave method of Tempering Chocolate
- Place the chocolate in your silicon dish, microwave for 30 seconds on high, then stir (use your instant read thermometer) don’t let the temperature go over 90 degrees.
- If the chocolate is not completely melted return for 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, then 10 seconds, stirring each time and checking the temperature. When the chocolate is melted, you are good to go.
This is sooo much easier than the seeding method. I will never go back! (I used this for another recipe that will be coming up!)
Here is a great resource for tempering chocolate. https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/tempering-chocolate/
We paired these chocolate nests with a Rioja which went beautifully with the dark chocolate and fruit. The cocoa, anise, and cinnamon also blended beautifully with the wine.
This paired with the Herederos del Marqués de Riscal El Ciego (Alava) Rioja 2014 Reserva
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.