A couple of weeks ago, my 9-year-old son and I made a mud pie for my father-in-law’s birthday celebration. Hoping nothing too bizarre would be selected, I let my son choose the flavors. (This was risky because his favorite flavors are often florescent colors of the rainbow!)
Think chocolate truffle meets a nutty candy bar and ice cream. It’s a unique, super delicious dessert that will wow your guests — or yourself, because after all, you don’t need a party to make a dessert.
- 1¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted and salted shelled pistachios, divided
- 1-pound, 12-ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped and divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line a square (8 x 8 x 2-inch) baking pan with parchment paper. (Use a large piece that will cover the sides and cut slits in each corner so that it will lay flat.) Then line a baking sheet with parchment. Set both aside.
- Add the 1¾ cup of pistachios to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until it's almost a paste, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Add 10-ounces of the chocolate to a mixing bowl, and and set the rest aside.
- In a small saucepan, scald the cream with the vanilla. Tiny bubbles will appear on the edges of the pan and it should be very hot, but not boiling.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate in the bowl. Do not stir it yet – wait a few minutes and then use a wooden spoon and gently stir to combine. It will take a couple of minutes of mixing before you’ll see it come together.
- Add the ground pistachios to the chocolate mixture and mix until it's evenly blended. (Some of the pistachios might clump together -- you can use the back of a spoon to press it so it fully incorporates into the chocolate.)
- Pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan and use a small flat-bottomed spatula to spread it evenly. Place the pan in the freezer until it's firm, about 2 hours.
- Lift the parchment out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Then use a large slicing knife to cut it into approximately 2 dozen bars.
- Place the bars, with at least an inch between them, on a cooling rack, and place that on a the parchment-lined baking sheet. You might need more than one, depending on the size of the cooling rack. (Keep the bars in the freezer -- or refrigerator if the baking sheet doesn't fit -- until you're ready for the next step.)
- In a double boiler or microwave, melt the remaining 1-pound, 2-ounces of chocolate and roughly chop the remaining 2 tablespoons of pistachios.
- Remove the bars from the freezer (or refrigerator) and then carefully pour the melted chocolate over them, about 2 at a time. Use a small dull knife to gently spread the chocolate from the top to the sides if necessary. It will harden quickly since the bars are cold, so while the chocolate is still wet, quickly sprinkle a bit of the chopped pistachios on top.
- Let the chocolate set at room temperature and then place them in the freezer until you're ready to serve. To lift them off of the cooling rack, slide a dull knife under each one.