Fresh Fruit Napoleons With Whipped Cream
- PRALINE POWDER:
- 6 slices fresh thin-sliced white bread crusts removed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup thinly-sliced strawberries (or other seasonal fruit)
- Sugar to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or to taste
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream whipped
- Praline Powder (see below)
- Confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
- CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
- 2 1/2 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate chopped (do not use unsweetened chocolate)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Roll out bread between two pieces of waxed paper very thin. Cut bread in half in rectangles to yield 12 rectangles. Brush both sides with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until browned lightly. Remove from oven and let cool.
Toss strawberries with lemon juice and sugar.
Arrange 1 bread rectangle on each plate, top with whipped cream, Praline Powder, and strawberries, cover with another rectangle, add some more cream, praline powder, and strawberries, another bread rectangle and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve with Chocolate Sauce.
Praline Powder: In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil the sugar with the cream of tartar and water over moderately-high heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water.
Cook the syrup over high heat without stirring, swirling the pan until it is a light caramel. Add the almonds, swirl the pan until the nuts are coated with the caramel, and begin to make a popping sound.
Pour the mixture onto an oiled marble surface or jelly roll pan and let cool until it is hard. Transfer the praline to a cutting board, chop it coarsely, and use a food processor or blender to pulverize it in batches. Store the praline powder in an airtight container. (Makes 1 cup)
Chocolate Sauce: Place chocolate in medium bowl. In a small saucepan heat cream over medium heat to scald, do not boil. Pour cream over chopped chocolate whisking until smooth. (Makes 1/2 cup)
This recipe yields 4 servings.