Cocoa nibs are little pieces of shelled cocoa beans. They have been the most exciting new ingredient for pastry chefs in many years. When they first arrived, we went wild and tested them in all types of desserts-ice cream, cookies, candies; some even used them straight as a garnish. Thanks to Scharffen Berger Chocolate, they are now available in gourmet cookware stores and Whole Foods markets across the country. Since cocoa nibs are unsweetened, they do have a slightly bitter taste, but when combined with sweet ingredients they produce a wonderful contrast.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks,
Return the egg-and-cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches
Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter
When cool, turn the Florentines over with an offset spatula and gently coat the bottoms with a thin layer of the melted chocolate, using a small pastry spatula. Let harden, about 10 minutes.
The Florentines can be made a day ahead. Coat them with the chocolate the day you assemble the sandwiches. Store the cookies in an airtight container. The sandwiches can be assembled 1 to 2 days in advance. Store wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
Place half of the Florentines chocolate side up. Place a scoop of ice cream on top. Gently, so as to not crack the cookies, press a second Florentine on top, adhering the sandwiches together. Place the
© 2006 Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.