Diplomate orange et cappuccino

Easy to make, tastes good and looks elegant. What more can you ask? Serves 6.

6 buttery biscuits (the recipe suggests palets Bretons, which are crumbly and buttery. You could use shortbread)
6 egg yolks
100g sugar
150g sugar cubes
grated rind of 1 orange
1/2 litre of milk
200 ml crème fraîche
6 tsp chocolate granules
1 smallish cup espresso coffee
6 slivers of preserved orange rind

Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin and set aside.

Beat the egg yolks with 100 grams of sugar and the zest of the orange until the mixture turns pale. Heat the milk to boiling point and pour onto the egg yolks, stirring well. Pour into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (if you are not good at judging this, do it in a bain marie and/or add a small amount of cornflour). As soon as it’s ready, put the pan into a bowl of cold water to cool.

Make some caramel with the rest of the sugar. I have recently discovered that sugar cubes are brilliant for making caramel, much better than ordinary sugar, so use cubes if you can. Simply put them in a small dry pan, and place over a moderate heat. As they start to melt, you can crush them with a wooden spoon. Unlike granulated or caster sugar, they will change directly from cubes into a nice even gold caramel, with no undissolved bits. Usually, by the time they have melted the caramel isn’t quite dark enough, so raise the heat and bubble for 10 seconds or so till it is. Then, off the heat, pour in the cup of espresso, making sure you don’t get splattered with boiling caramel in the process. Return to the heat and stir to blend.

I think this looks nice served in plain, straight glasses. Use half the crushed biscuits to line the bottom of each glass. Top with half the caramel, then a layer each of orange custard and cream. Halfway up the glass, add the remaining biscuits and caramel, then continue with custard and cream. Chill for several hours, or overnight.

To serve, sprinkle with chocolate and spike with a sliver of candied orange peel.

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