Armagnac Prune and Coffee Tortoni with Hazelnut Praline

By • March 1, 2016 1 Comments

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Armagnac Prune and Coffee Tortoni with Hazelnut Praline

Author Notes: I love Armagnac prunes with vanilla creme anglaise or ice cream, but I love them even more with coffee! This frozen parfait can be dressed up further with the hazelnut praline, or you can just keep it simple without it.
The prune method is from Paula Wolfert.


Serves 8

  • 1 3/4 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 1/2 CUPS Armagnac
  • 1 WASHED LEMON,peeled in strips
  • 1 cup skinned toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 cup White sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup well chilled heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons espresso powder(I use Medaglia d'Oro)
  • 6 Tablespoons brandy
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • optional Armagnac
  • OR
  • optional strong coffee, warm or cooled
  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil, add the tea bags and remove from the heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the prunes and lemon zest strips .Soak overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, drain the prunes, drying well on paper towels. (Use tea for drinking.) In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with one-half cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Pour the cooled syrup over the prunes. Completely cover the prunes with the Armagnac, then stir the mixture. If the prunes rise above the line of the liquid, add more Armagnac. Let the prunes in Armagnac soak a minimum of 2 weeks in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.When ready to assemble tortoni, chop prunes in 1/3 inch dice.
  3. Coffee Hazelnut Praline: Spray a sheet pan and set aside. Combine espresso powder with 1 teaspoon of the 1 cup water- and moosh to dissolve. Simmer rest of water and sugar until sugar melts. Turn up heat to medium high.and let it bubble until it turns dark brown. Keep tilting and swiveling pan so sugar syrup doesn't get hot spots that burn. When it looks almost burnt, pour immediately onto sprayed sheet pan. Let cool completely, break up and grind in food processor (not too fine.) Set aside.
  4. Coffee Tortoni: Combine espresso powder with 1 teaspoon of the 1 cup water- and moosh to dissolve. In a saucepan combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water; bring to boil to dissolve the sugar, and boil 5 minutes. In a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks with a paddle til they are thick and very pale. On high speed, add the syrup in a thin stream, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl, til mixture is cooled. Fold in COLD heavy cream, beaten in stand mixer with whisk -til soft peaks. Fold into yolks with dissolved coffee.Layer the tortoni in parfait or wine glasses, topping with 1/8" thin layer of praline that is sprinkled with prunes. Repeat layering, and finish with prunes. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer 4 hours to 3 days. Unwrap, drizzle with Armagnac prune syrup and or strong coffee, cooled, and serve.

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